On Friday 22 September Apple launched the first Apple Watch with cellular. The Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular is able to get its data from a mobile network - so you will be able to leave your iPhone at home.
But what are actually be able to do with your Apple Watch with cellular if you don’t have your iPhone with you?
Things you are able to do with Apple Watch Cellular
- Read and reply to text messages
- Stream music (Coming in October, £9.99/month Apple Music subscription required)
- Access Beats 1 live or any Apple Music radio station
- Make and receive calls using the same number as your iPhone
- Use Siri
- Use Maps and get directions
- Use Find my Friends (and your location will switch from your phone to your watch)
To be confirmed:
- Use Apple Pay
- See notifications and alerts from other messaging apps
- Get the latest weather reports
Third party apps that work with Apple Watch cellular
At launch there is only one third party Watch app that is working over cellular. Apple announced that WeChat would work with cellular during the September event keynote.
Third-party apps should be able to run completely independently on the cellular Apple Watch. They will be able to update data and retrieve information from the internet without piggybacking a paired iPhone
Hopefully it won’t take long for other app developers to catch up and update their apps to take advantage.
The Apple Watch ecosystem does need a bit of a boost. Currently many of the apps on the Apple Watch are a restricted version of the iPhone app. While the Watch interface restricts some of what you can do, it does feel like many of the apps aren’t even utilising the features that are available to them.
There are also a lot of apps that are missing from the Watch. For example, Whatsapp doesn’t have a Apple Watch version of its app, although you can set WhatsApp Notifications to appear on your Watch. Amazon, Google and Skype have all discontinued their Watch apps. FaceBook has a watch version of its Messenger app, but it is glitchy.
We hope the arrival of the cellular Watch will be the incentive needed to reboot the Watch app ecosystem.