Apple Watch can tap into known Wi-Fi hotspots when your iPhone’s at home

From the onset, Apple’s been telling us its Watch uses Wi-Fi (along with GPS) in your iPhone, but omitted that the gizmo can also take advantage of known Wi-Fi hotspots for limited functions when the paired iPhone isn’t nearby or connected to the cellular network.

As Pogue mentions in his review, the Watch is able to send and receive messages, respond to any queries made to Siri, send and receive drawings and more automatically when it is connected to a known Wi-Fi network and is not connected to an iPhone. This potentially makes the Watch slightly more useful when the user’s iPhone is out of juice.
And here’s a surprising feature that Apple hasn’t said anything about previously: When the watch is in a known Wi-Fi hotspot, the watch can perform the most essential online functions even when your phone is completely dead, turned off, or absent. It can query Siri, for example, send and receive texts, and send/receive drawings and tap patterns to other watch owners. That’s impressive.
Apple had already mentioned that the Watch will be communicating with the iPhone via Wi-Fi as well as Bluetooth. Pogue highlights in his review that this is quite useful as the Watch is able to communicate with the iPhone even though both devices are out of the Bluetooth range of each other, but are still connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

According to Yahoo Tech’s David Pogue, who first made the discovery, when the Watch is in a known Wi-Fi hotspot it can perform the most essential online functions even when your phone is unavailable.
“It can query Siri, for example, send and receive texts, and send/receive drawings and tap patterns to other watch owners,” Pogue’s review reads. Again, making and receiving phone calls on the Watch without an iPhone isn’t a possibility because this feature actually routes calls through your iPhone’s cellular network.
Interestingly enough, Google’s competing Android Wear software for smartwatches has yet to gain Wi-Fi functionality. 
Lastly, when your iPhone’s at home the Watch can still be used to make payments through Apple Pay without an iPhone or network connectivity.

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