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Apple Watch Stand-alone WiFi Connectivity

I have an eero MESH network in my home (base + 3 wall units). My Wi-Fi connectivity has improved tremendously since installation. I use iOS for practically everything: iPhone 8, iPad Air 2, & Apple Watch Series 1.

 

Problem: Before eero, if my Watch lost Bluetooth connectivity with my iPhone because my iPhone is in one room, my Watch would connect via Wi-Fi, allowing it to perform many tasks. That changed with eero, because it is a combination 2.4/5 GHz Mesh Network and since I can’t choose what network I want my phone to connect to it is connecting to the 5 GHz network. That’s a problem for ANY Apple Watch (including most recent Series 3), because the Watch ONLY works with 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi. The Watch also is dependent on the iPhone for setup of the Watch Wi-Fi, which means that the iPhone has to first be connected to the 2.4 GHz band of my home Wi-Fi, before it will “set-up” the Watch Wi-Fi. If I could specify, just one time that my iPhone connect to the 2.4 GHz, then the Watch would make the same change in the Watch Wi-Fi settings, after which I could then FORGET and reconnect the Wi-Fi connection on my iPhone to a 5 GHz network.

 

The biggest problem for me is that it prevents me from using Siri on my Watch when I am not within Bluetooth range of my iPhone. If I had a Series 3 LTE, it would mean that my Watch would never switchover to Wi-Fi and I would be increasing my cellular data when I could be on eero home Wi-Fi. I don’t know why Apple doesn’t put a 5 MHz Wi-Fi radio in their Apple Watches (probably because of the cost difference); maybe they will in a future release (do you have friends at Apple?).

 

Any suggestions until then...?

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  • My Apple Watch (series 3, but still 2.4Ghz only) connects fine to my eero network so I’m not sure why your’s isn’t. My previous series 2 watch did as well. Have you double checked in control center on your watch (swiping up) to ensure that WiFi is on? Also how long have you waited to see if it connects to WiFi? I don’t think it connects instantly to WiFi after losing Bluetooth connection to your phone, but I haven’t tested to see how long it does take.

    I’m also 99.999% sure that the phone doesn’t specifically connect to 5Ghz. It will choose that if available, but it will connect to the 2.4Ghz radio on the same eero if the phone thinks that’s the best connection.

    Like
  • Something has changed since your experience. When I swipe up on my Apple Watch Series 1 and look at the Control Center, there is NO Wi-Fi icon in the Control Panel (The first two screen shots are with Bluetooth and the last one is with NO bluetooth connection. Also, I’ve waited for over 10 minutes withOUT a Bluetooth connection and I get NO Wi-Fi. 

    Any other ideas...?

    Like
    • RayVra sorry, I didn’t realize the WiFi option in the control center is only available in Series 3 models.

      Hopefully the tips from Jeff C. will help you resolve your issue.

      Like
  • RayVra

    By any chance, are you using the same SSID and password from your previous network? If so, please try forgetting the network from your iPhone (since the Apple Watch uses those shared settings) and then rejoin the network. Not officially recommended, but you may want to try powercycling your Apple Watch before trying again.

    Like
      • RayVra
      • RayVra
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Jeff C. Jeff, 

      No, I was previously using the U-verse router which had two independent bands, 2.4 & 5 GHz. Thanks.../Ray

      Like
  • RayVra

    If that doesn’t resolve the issue, you may want to try and “force” a 2.4GHz connection. To do so, take your phone and watch further away from an eero on the network until your phone moves to the 2.4GHz frequency (you can check which band your phone is on via the eero app by tapping on your phone from the connected device menu). Once your phone is on 2.4, try forgetting and rejoining the network again.

    Hopefully this helps. I can confirm that my Apple Watch Series 1 works on an eero network without a Bluetooth connection, so I’m confident we’ll get this resolved!

    Like
  • Jeff,

    I have spent over an hour today, trying to follow you suggestions (i.e., moving to a 2.4 GHz area, forgetting my home network connection, reconnecting again, closing and reopening the watch to make sure it forgets what network it is one, reconnecting the watch, then trying everything again by walking away from my iPhone). Nothing worked. I’m very frustrated now. If I’m not in Bluetooth range to iPhone, my watch will not switch to Wi-Fi. I have never seen the “cloud” icon in my Watch Control Settings. 

    What next...?

    Ray

    Like
      • Jeff C.
      • eero Community Manager
      • Jeff_C
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      RayVra  —

      Thanks for trying those steps. I'm sorry to hear the matter is still not resolved.

      When you open the eero app, is your watch listed as a device that has recently joined the network?

      Like
  • Jeff,

    No, I do not see my Watch in the eero listing (see screenshots below). Interestingly, my wife has an iPhone SE and a Watch Series 2 and everything works fine. Could I have an issue with my Watch...? How would I determine that...?

    Also, there are other items on my eero device list that I’m not clear what they are. How can I determine that...?

    Thanks...

    Ray

    Like
      • Jeff C.
      • eero Community Manager
      • Jeff_C
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Official response
      • Reported - view

      RayVra Thanks for checking that.

      First, I'd be happy to address the question regarding unknown devices.

      If there are any devices on your network that you can't identify, one thing you can do is block them and see what stops working. Because the manufacturer name is determined by the chip that is in the device, it can potentially be confusing as to what the device actually is. To block a device, just tap on it from the connected device menu and tap "block from network" at the bottom of the page. To unblock the device, just follow those same steps.

      As for the continued issue with your Apple Watch, I'm sorry to hear it continues to be unresolved. That is interesting that your wife's Apple Watch is able to connect with no problem.

      Outside of determining if there is a hardware issue with the watch, something you may want to try is unpairing your Apple Watch from your phone and then pairing it again. Here are instructions from Apple on how to do so. After the Apple Watch has been unpaired, you go pair it with your phone again by following these steps.

      I really appreciate your ongoing patience. 

      Like
  • Jeff,

    Thanks for getting back to me.

    Regarding the unknown devices, I was hoping eero had a database of device  chip names associated with their “common name” (e.g., I know I have a Canary Home Security Camera, but I’m not clear which one of the devices is that one).

    Regarding the Watch unpairing. I just did that prior to updating to the latest Watch OS, so doing that now (4 days later) is not going to have any value. I guess my next step is to call Apple Support. I’ll let you know what I learn.

    Let me know if you have a “cheat sheet” for device names based upon chip ID.

    Thanks again...

    Ray

    Like
  • Bumping this topic. Jeff/Ray have you two been able to come up with a resolution?  I am having all of the exact same issues that Jeff has. Tried everything as mentioned above yet cannot get standalone WiFi for the Apple Watch.  Please advise with any solutions and workarounds.  Thanks.  

    Like
      • RayVra
      • RayVra
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Boz Actually, Jeff isn’t the one with the problem, it’s me; Jeff works for eero. My issue with my Apple Series 1 was is still NOT resolved. On the same home eero home Mesh network, my wife’s Apple Series 2 watch connects just fine with the 2.4 GHz network, with her iPhone SE connected to the 5 GHz network. It’s a mystery waiting for someone to solve.../Ray

      Like
  • Boz RayVra : do either of you have a space character in your network name (i.e. My Network, as opposed to MyNetwork)? If so, try renaming it so there is no space (also make sure to not use spaces in your password). I know it sounds weird, but that has fixed issues for various other devices/eero users.

    Like
      • Boz
      • Boz
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      cMoo92 thanks for the tip.  But both my network name and pw are single names with no spaces.  

      Like
      • RayVra
      • RayVra
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      cMoo92 Likewise, I have an eero network with a “single word” name. Thanks for trying to assist. I’m still unable to connect my Watch Series 1.../Ray

      Like
      • Boz
      • Boz
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      RayVra Hey Ray. I seem to have fixed the issue.  Let me walk you through what exactly I did last night.  

       

      Apple Watch patch 4.2.2 fixes the WiFi issue, however, past versions of the watch require WiFi to allow an update to go through (the main issue we’re trying to fix in the first place). Prior to updating my watch OS, I had a phone OS update (had the notice for a week or so now) to update to 11.2.5. This patch (11.2.5) now allows Apple Watch to update through your phone and then apply via having your phone sit on its charger as opposed to through WiFi.  

       

      So. Update your phone if not already current.  Then update your watch if not already current.  

       

      After that, i followed this exact order on my watch and my wife’s watch. I forgot my eero network on my phone. Turned off my watch. Turned my watch back on.  Let watch pair with phone via Bluetooth. Learn WiFi network on phone again.  

       

      After this, tested out by turning Bluetooth on the phone off. Watch then went from green connection icon (upper left corner of control panel) to the blue WiFi signal.  

       

      Thats is what worked for me since my phone and watch weren’t updated.

      Like 1
  • Boz,

     

    This did NOT work for me. First, let me confirm with you what I did.

     

    (1) Both my iPhone 8 and my Watch Series 1 are both running the current iOS: 11.2.5 & 4.2.2, respectively.

     

    (2) I forgot the eero network on my iPhone.

     

    (3) I Powered Off my Apple Watch.

     

    (4) I held the Watch side button and let the Watch power up.

     

    (5) The Watch connected with the iPhone’s bluetooth. My Watch now shows a GREEN connection in the Watch Control Panel (Swipe up).

     

    (6) I connected to the eero Wi-Fi network on my iPhone.

     

    (7) In the iPhone Settings, I turned off the bluetooth.

     

    Now, when I look at my Watch, it has a red “disconnected” icon at the TOP of the Watch face and when I open the Control Panel, it has the same red icon (larger) in the upper LEFT-hand corner. I repeated ALL of these steps TWICE. In fact, I tried it a third time using Reset Network Settings in Step 2 (above), and then reconnect to my eero Wi-Fi network in Step 6.

     

    I’ve never seen, that I can recall, the BLUE Wi-Fi icon on this Watch. My wife has an iPhone SE and an Apple Watch Series 2 and her Watch goes to the BLUE Wi-Fi icon when the SE’s bluetooth is turned off. Also, her iPhone and Watch both show up in the eero Devices Screen. Only my iPhone shows there; NO indication at all of my Watch. 

     

    Any other ideas...?

     

    Ray

    Like
      • Boz
      • Boz
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      RayVra 

      unforunately i don’t have any other ideas.  The steps you followed (with both updates applied) is exactly what I did.  Step for step.  My only follow up is this. When I turned the Bluetooth off on my phone, and the watch showed the red connection, it took a good 5 to 10 seconds for the blue WiFi signal to kick in initially.  Are you waiting long enough? That’s the only simple solution I can think of.  I know I was guilty of this initially as well.  When I got the red connection icon I immediately turned Bluetooth back on.  Maybe wait a little longer and see what happens.  

      Like
  • Boz,

    Patient for me is NOT a virtue, so I’ll follow your suggestion later today after I’m caught up on other things. Thanks for the additional tip...

    Ray

    Like
  • Boz,

    I finally got around to trying your suggest to wait before connecting to bluetooth. I waited for over 30 minutes and all I ever saw was the Red Not Connected with iPhone icon. I even reset the watch and waited for over 15 minutes; still shows only the Red Disconnected icon. My conclusion: It’s a mystery (or the Wi-Fi in my watch doesn’t work)...

    Like
    • RayVra a new watchOS update just came out today. I don’t know what it fixes, but it’s certainly worth a shot to see if that might resolve your issue.

      Like
  • Thanks, I’ll let the group know after I update my Watch with the new WatchOS. I just wish updating the Watch didn’t take so long. It’s painful...

    Like
  • A couple of days ago, I glanced down at my Apple Watch while I was separated from my iPhone 8 inside my home; at about the same location/distance that I usually loose my bluetooth headphone connection if I happen to be wearing it when separated from my iPhone.

    I was connected to Wi-Fi. Why after all this time, this feature started working, I’m now on Watch 4.2.3 and iPhone 11.2.6. I hope it remains working after the next update which I’ve delayed installing, while waiting to make sure it is stable (which it now appears that it is).

    It’s a mystery to me why it started to work. Any ideas...?

    Like
      • Jeff C.
      • eero Community Manager
      • Jeff_C
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      RayVra  
       

      Interesting! Nothing has changed on our end, but I'm happy to hear this seems to have resolved itself.

      Like
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