Since bursting onto the scene in 2015, the Apple Watch has become an essential accessory to many people worldwide. The device, particularly when linked to an iPhone, can be helpful in many aspects of your everyday life.
Does Apple Watch use data?
The Apple Watch uses cellular data if it’s set up with your network carrier. Technically, the Apple Watch can use data independently from the iPhone. A GPS-only watch cannot connect to the internet without Wi-Fi, so it consumes data via the iPhone.
If you’re concerned about mobile data usage when using an Apple Watch, there are several vital points that you need to be aware of. Using the Apple Watch with the iPhone will use data if you engage in cellular activities.
In this guide, we’ll discuss all of the important information on this topic.
Does Apple Watch Use Data?
When you use your smartphone or tablet to access the internet, this uses mobile data. Unless you’re on a plan that includes unlimited data, you’ve probably experienced the dilemma of nearing the end of your allowance before.
GPS + Cellular Apple Watch models allow users to access a range of features without needing to be connected to Wi-Fi. Therefore, it’s understandable for users to want to know whether using the watch for specific purposes will use data and, if so, how much.
You must connect the device to your iPhone when setting up an Apple Watch. This connection can be made via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, or if you have a cellular Apple Watch, you can connect through your mobile data.
Once the Apple Watch is connected to the iPhone, it can begin using data for any online activities. This includes sending and receiving iMessages, using certain apps with online features, streaming music and podcasts, and other features such as Apple Pay.
Data is consumed every time you use the Apple Watch for anything that requires an internet connection. Cellular models allow you to use the smartwatch even when you don’t have your iPhone to hand, thanks to Apple’s embedded sim card installed in the devices.
When the Apple Watch connects to cellular, it does so through an LTE network. If there is a Wi-Fi connection nearby that you have previously paired the device with, it will connect to that instead.
LTE (Long Term Evolution” networks are commonly used for connecting to 4G and are the global standard for wireless mobile data connections. Therefore, the Apple Watch should have no problem connecting to your chosen network in most places.
Once the connection between the Apple Watch and the LTE network has been made, the watch will begin to consume data when you use it for any online activity or purpose.
If you’re interested to understand how Apple cellular works, here’s a YouTube video to watch:
Do I Have to Pay For Cellular on Apple Watch 7?
You’ll have to pay two additional costs if you choose an Apple Watch 7 with cellular over a GPS-only model. Firstly, you’ll likely have to pay more for the GPS + Cellular Apple Watch 7 than you would the GPS-only model, and secondly, most network providers will charge you an additional monthly cost for adding an Apple Watch 7 to your data plan.
Unfortunately, using a cellular Apple Watch is not as simple as connecting the device to your iPhone. Until you’ve contacted your network carrier, you won’t be able to enjoy the cellular capabilities of the watch.
The GPS + Cellular Apple Watch 7 has an eSIM card which makes the connection to a mobile data network possible. This sim card is embedded within the Apple Watch and cannot be removed or replaced.
The eSIM is connected to the mobile network you use for the Simcard in the iPhone that your Apple Watch is paired with. Rather than simply using the data from your existing plan, the Apple Watch must be registered as an additional device with your mobile network provider.
On average, mobile network providers charge $10 per month to add an Apple Watch to your existing plan. This allows you to use the smartwatch anywhere, even if you don’t have your iPhone, as long as you have adequate signal strength.
If you want to use the cellular capabilities of your Apple Watch 7, you can expect to pay a monthly cost from the date that the device is added to your data plan. The watch will then be able to use data from the agreed monthly allowance in your contract.
Using the Apple Watch 7 with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or GPS won’t cost you anything or use any of your mobile data, but you’ll miss out on the cellular features of the watch, such as making calls or sending messages.
How Much Data Does an Apple Watch Use?
An Apple Watch’s data consumption depends on the cellular activity you use the device for. Overall, the Apple Watch shouldn’t use much data.
Streaming music and podcasts on your Apple Watch is one of the device’s most data-using activities. Streaming music for one hour using Apple Music would result in around 1GB of data being used.
Using maps to get directions on your Apple Watch only uses around 3-5MB of data each hour. Apple Health is another popular smartwatch feature that uses minimal data.
The Apple Watch will use much less monthly data than your iPhone does. You can’t perform data taxing functions highly on the Apple Watch, such as steaming HD videos or scrolling through social media.
You can track the data usage of your Apple Watch by following these steps:
- Open “Settings” on the watch
- Open “Cellular”
- Scroll down to view the data usage in the current period
If your Apple Watch uses more data than you expected, you can go to Settings > Cellular. On some iPhones, cellular may be labeled as “mobile data.”
This will present you with the amount of data each app uses over the selected period. You can then figure out whether the apps and features you commonly use on your Apple Watch are using a lot of data.
If you’re not using your Apple Watch to stream music or podcasts, but you’re still using several gigabytes of data through the device, you need to future out what is using all of that data.
Most commonly used apps and features besides music streaming only use a few megabytes per hour, so you would need to use them frequently to eat through lots of data.
How Do I Stop My Apple Watch From Using Data?
If you’re concerned that your Apple Watch is using too much data, you can do a few things to prevent this. To stop the watch from using data altogether, you can turn off the cellular connection by taking these steps:
- Swipe upwards on your Apple Watch face
- Find “Cellular” in the Control Centre menu
- Turn this feature off
This will prevent your Apple Watch from connecting to the internet through mobile data. None of the apps or features that require mobile data will work properly until you turn cellular back on or connect to a Wi-Fi network.
Connecting your Apple Watch to Wi-Fi is another effective way to stop it from using data from your monthly allowance. If you use your watch at home and have Wi-Fi available, once you connect to the network, the device will automatically reconnect whenever it is in range.
If you want to remove the possibility o using data with the Apple Watch completely, you can contact your network carriers and have the watch removed from your cellular plan. This will mean you can no longer use the watch to make calls and send messages or use the internet when not connected to Wi-Fi.
To reduce the amount of data your Apple Watch uses, the best method is to monitor the apps and features that use the most data. You can try to limit how much you use these apps or ensure you only use them when connected to a Wi-Fi network.
Can you answer calls on Apple Watch without a phone?
If your Apple Watch is connected to a Wi-Fi network or has cellular capabilities, you can use it for phone calls even if you don’t have your iPhone. You can also use maps, send and receive messages, and use Apple Pay.
What does the red dot on an Apple Watch mean?
The red dot on an Apple Watch signifies that you have a notification. To see the notification, swipe downwards on the Apple Watch face, and it will open.
Does the Apple Health app use mobile data?
The Apple Health app tracks statistics and information such as the number of steps you have taken, calories burned, and more. Doing this doesn’t require any mobile data; it can be done offline.