So you have an iPad, and now you’re planning on buying an Apple Watch to add a smart wearable to the mix. Unfortunately, if you want to know how to connect Apple Watch to iPad, you are in for some bad news — you can’t.
In short, the Apple Watch won’t work with an iPad. To use the Apple Watch, you must have an iPhone. THE Apple Watch is incompatible with the iPad, and you cannot pair them to each other. You can’t even find the Watch app in the iPad App Store. Apple ensured that the app steers clear of every non-iPhone App Store.
Connect Apple Watch to iPad
Apple Watch is intended to be used in conjunction with the iPhone. However, there’s no technological explanation why Apple Watch can’t operate with iPadOS as it does with iOS. For Apple, the current restrictions of the Apple Watch enhance the experience of using it alongside an iPhone.
However, using an Apple Watch without iPhone won’t be possible until Apple Watch with GPS + Cellular connectivity can reach all-day performance while using a cellular network, which is expected to be available soon. Only then will the Apple Watch handle phone calls, text messages, and all of the other functions now required by an iPhone while being independent of the phone.
Even if you don’t have an iPhone, there are several things you can do with your Apple Watch.
Using Apple Watch Without iPhone
An Apple Watch model with GPS + Cellular connectivity is required to use your Apple Watch without carrying your iPhone along. You’ll be able to answer phone calls, receive texts, and stream music, on your watch’s face. However, this will reduce the watch’s battery life and should not be used for extended periods.
Apple Watch, on the other hand, is capable of performing certain functions when not linked to your iPhone through Bluetooth or cellular data:
- Count your steps.
- Take a reading of your pulse.
- Check your sleep patterns.
- Provide calorie burn estimates for a few different activities.
- Use Passport and Apple Pay.
- Set a timer or an alarm.
- Be used as a stopwatch.
- Use an electrical heart sensor and an ECG app to track your heart rate (Apple Watch Series 3 and later).
- Play music. It’s possible to stream up to 2 gigabytes of music to Bluetooth headphones using the Apple Watch’s built-in storage.
If you’ve previously connected to the same Wi-Fi network using both your iPhone and Apple Watch, you may now use your Apple Watch to connect to the internet.
If you don’t have an iPhone to run third-party (non-Apple) apps, you can still use them.
Also Read: iPad as Phone: Is it possible and how to do it
Connect Apple Watch to iPhone: How to
The iPhone and Apple Watch are meant to work together seamlessly. Using the Watch app on your iPhone, you can configure your Apple Watch by installing applications, changing watch faces, and picking from the greatest Apple Watch complications. You must have an iPhone 6s or later running iOS 13 or later to install watchOS 6 on an Apple Watch.
How to pair Apple Watch with iPhone
- Wear the Apple Watch on your wrist.
- Now, press and hold the side button (dial) on the watch until the screen lights up with the Apple logo.
- Grab your iPhone and place it closer to Apple Watch.
- Your Apple Watch pairing screen will now appear on the iPhone. You must tap Continue. Alternatively, you can open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and tap Pair New Watch.
- Now, you need to tap the Set Up for Myself option.
- When you see the prompt, place your iPhone near the wearable so that Apple Watch shows up in the viewfinder and successfully pairs the two devices.
- Now, tap Set Up Apple Watch and follow every next step prompted on your iPhone and Apple Watch to finish the setup.
Which iPhones and iOS Versions are compatible
Here is a rundown of iPhones and iOS versions that are compatible with the Apple Watch.
1st Generation Apple Watch
It was released in early 2015 with a black and white band for a gold or rose gold watch face. Some models are available for less than $100. However, they do not have GPS.
If you have an iPhone 5 or newer and are running iOS 8.2 or newer, you can use the first-generation Apple Watch.
Apple Watch Series 1
Apple Watch Series 1 was introduced in 2016 and had fewer options for aesthetics and GPS. An iPhone 5 or newer running at least iOS 11 is required to use the Apple Watch Series 1.
Apple Watch Series 2
Apple Watch Series 2 debuted in 2016. It was the first Apple Watch to include a GPS and be water-resistant to a depth of 50 meters. If you have an iPhone 5 or newer, with at least iOS 11 loaded, you can use the new Apple Watch Series 2.
Apple Watch Series 3
Even now, the Series 3 is available for purchase. It’s the least expensive option, but it also offers fewer features.
The Apple Watch Series 3 is presently the entry-level model.
When the Apple Watch Series 3 first came out, you could buy one with cellular connectivity, allowing you to send texts and make phone calls even when you weren’t near your iPhone. The cellular variant of the Watch is no longer available through Apple, although it may be purchased from third-party dealers.
An iPhone 6s or later running iOS 14 or later is required to use the Apple Watch Series 3. The iPhone 6 and previous iOS versions may work with certain older, used devices, but this isn’t certain.
Apple Watch Series 4
A cellular and a non-cellular version of Series 4 were both introduced in 2018. iOS 12 or newer is required to use the Apple Watch Series 4.
Apple Watch Series 5
Retina display with “always-on” brightness debuted in Series 5 and later used in Series 6. An iPhone 6s or later with iOS 13 or newer is required to use this Apple Watch.
Apple Watch Series 6
The most expensive current model is the Series 6, which costs $399. Those focused on their health will like this model’s blood oxygen level monitoring and built-in ECG app. An iPhone 6s or newer running iOS 14 or newer is required to use this Apple Watch.
Apple Watch SE
Many of the Series 6 Apple Watch functions are available in the SE but at a lower price of $279. An iPhone 6s or newer running iOS 14 or newer is required to use this Apple Watch.
Apple Watch for Fitness on Your iPad: How to Set Up
The only workaround to connect Apple Watch to iPad is Apple’s Fitness+ app. Below are the steps to connect Apple Watch for Fitness on your iPad.
How to connect Apple Watch Fitness to iPad
- Ensure you use the same Apple ID on your iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch.
- Enable/Activate Keychain option in iCloud settings on your iPhone and iPad.
- Now, add the Home app to iPad and iPhone and launch the app on both.
- Go to iCloud settings for both devices and enable/activate Home app
- Restart your iPad and Apple Watch.
- You should turn off Bluetooth and WiFi on your iPad and turn it on after 30 seconds.
- On your iPhone, disable Bluetooth temporarily so that the Apple Watch connects to your iPad and not your iPhone.
- Go to Apple Watch settings and enable the Detect Gym Equipment option in Workout. Just go to Settings app > Workout > enable Detect Gym Equipment.
- Disable Power Saving Mode for the Workout App on your Apple Watch by going to Settings app > Workout > toggle off Power Saving Mode.
We hope this guide helps you understand that there is no way to connect Apple Watch to iPad. The only way to use it in some restricted manner is by setting up the Fitness app on your iPad. Is there a workaround that we missed in our guide? Let us know in the comments!
Mark Call says
I had trouble with my watch and iPad connecting to the fitness + app. I tried all of the above. I finally got Apple support on the phone and they passed me around then bumped me up to advanced specialist. We confirmed the watch was not talking to fitness + on the phone either. They said you must not only install the Home application on the phone, you must run it and let it initialize. Still that didn’t work. So we unpaired the watch from the phone (sacrificed my backed up settings) and then repaired the watch and phone. Suddenly the iPad came to life. Repairing watch and phone was the iPad secret.
Zara Ali says
Wow! Really good to know and helpful for our other readers. Thank you for sharing, Mark!