Inside iOS 9.3: 'Auto Switch' lets you use multiple Apple Watches with one iPhone

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited January 2016
Upon installing iOS 9.3 and watchOS 2.2, users can take advantage of a new feature Apple has dubbed "Auto Switch," allowing users to own multiple styles of Apple Watch and swap them out with ease.




The new Auto Switch feature can be enabled in the Apple Watch app in the first developer beta of iOS 9.3. It requires that all connected Apple Watches be running the first beta of watchOS 2.2.

Once enabled, Auto Switch will automatically connect to any paired Apple Watch, once the user puts it on and raises their wrist.

Within the Apple Watch app, users can see all of the watches that have been connected to their iPhone. The currently active one will be marked with a green check to the left side.

Apple also includes an image of the user's Apple Watch, complete with their style, color, and even the watch face and complications they have enabled. This will make it easier for users to distinguish between their connected watches.

The ability to pair multiple watches with a single iPhone will allow Apple Watch owners to purchase multiple styles and swap them out as needed. For example, fashion-conscious consumers might own different styles and colors to fit their current attire or activity.

Auto Switch should also make it easier for developers to test their apps on multiple devices, such as comparing the 38- and 42-millimeter screen sizes, or using both first- and second-generation Apple Watches, if and when Apple updates its wearable device.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    I get the feeling we may see more Hermés like partnerships.
  • Reply 2 of 16
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,435member
    For example, fashion-conscious consumers might own different styles and colors to fit their current attire or activity.
    Or those wishing to have a "nice" watch they want to keep clean and pristine, while they have another watch they work out in, and use for activities that might result in more dings and scratches. Or my personal favorite -- having two watches so a person can wear their watch at work all day, come home, switch to their "gym" watch which will be fully charged and can be worn through a shower, and worn overnight to monitor sleep, then through the shower again, before being swapped out for a fully charged watch. no fiddling with bands, just pick one up up, put one down.

    It was obvious this would happen since they introduced the watch, especially for anyone who is a watch person, and already owns multiple watches. Especially when they introduced the new case colors and the Hermes. But even before, with the Edition and stainless. Gold is nice but it doesn't go with everything. We might even see a Platinum or white gold watch Edition with the next gen.
    steveau
  • Reply 3 of 16
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,604member
    Maybe other other offshoot lines, like a swim-proof Apple Watch Shuffle. 
  • Reply 4 of 16
    I wish it were the other way. I have a personal phone and a work phone so it would be ideal for me to get updates from both phones on a single watch
  • Reply 5 of 16
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,435member
    I wish it were the other way. I have a personal phone and a work phone so it would be ideal for me to get updates from both phones on a single watch
    Except that's not in Apple's best interest. You should buy one watch for each phone. ;-)

    The good news is, then you can use whichever watch you want with whichever phone.

    I fully expect once the watch is more autonomous (and it's darn close now), that Apple will allow people to pair with iPads, iPods (if they're still around), and Macs. Once that happens, then Apple may be open to allowing pairings among multiple devices. I can't see any reason why it wouldn't be possible, since there's not really anything stored on the watch anyway, and all the Apple devices will share the information anyway. 
    edited January 2016
  • Reply 6 of 16
    Why not pair an Apple Watch with an iPad? Let me switch from iPhone to iPad pairing with my watch when I get home. 

    And then pair watch with my Macbook Pro when I'm in the office.

    This would be far more frequently useful than switching between watches. 



  • Reply 7 of 16
    Deeeds said:
    Why not pair an Apple Watch with an iPad? Let me switch from iPhone to iPad pairing with my watch when I get home. 

    And then pair watch with my Macbook Pro when I'm in the office.

    This would be far more frequently useful than switching between watches. 



    Why? You don't have your phone with you at home or in the office?
  • Reply 8 of 16
    Deeeds said:
    Why not pair an Apple Watch with an iPad? Let me switch from iPhone to iPad pairing with my watch when I get home. 

    And then pair watch with my Macbook Pro when I'm in the office.

    This would be far more frequently useful than switching between watches. 



    Why? You don't have your phone with you at home or in the office?
    You can't see how this would be useful?
  • Reply 9 of 16
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,604member
    Deeeds said:
    Why? You don't have your phone with you at home or in the office?
    You can't see how this would be useful?
    Not really, no. But then I rarely go anywhere without the phone. 
  • Reply 10 of 16
    I can't wait for Auto-Switch and watchOS 2.2. I won't do the beta thing but I have multiple Watches and switching them out is a bit of a chore at present.


  • Reply 11 of 16
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,435member
    Deeeds said:
    Why not pair an Apple Watch with an iPad? Let me switch from iPhone to iPad pairing with my watch when I get home. 

    And then pair watch with my Macbook Pro when I'm in the office.

    This would be far more frequently useful than switching between watches. 



    I agree and said as much in the post directly above. I definitely see Apple doing this, especially if they want to increase sales. Apple only has around 40% of the iPhone market in the US, but many of those other platform phone users also have iPads and Macs -- a market Apple could generate substantially more sales. I rarely use my Watch with my iPhone as it is. And I suspect with the 2nd generation, it will be even more autonomous, able to rely on wifi connections exclusively -- I'll be able to make and receive phone calls through ATT as soon as they turn it on for peripheral devices. In your example, the only place where you spend a lot of time where you wouldn't be able to use it is in your, can that assumes an Android or Samsung phone can't create a wifi hotspot. As long as the Watch has wifi, it's pretty damned autonomous. GPS will make the iPhone almost unnecessary for the urban dweller in particular. 

    Eventually, I even expect to see Apple offer an Android App with which to pair the Watch depending on how intense the smartwatch wars become ...
    edited January 2016
  • Reply 12 of 16
    Rayz2016 said:
    Deeeds said:
    You can't see how this would be useful?
    Not really, no. But then I rarely go anywhere without the phone. 
    I'll try to give the most instantly beneficial advantage I can think of, but there's many more I can think of, and many, many more others can realise.


    Imagine you have a different granularity and set of apps active for notifications on your Desktop vs your iPad vs your iPhone. 

    iPad = casual. I'm in couch mode, cooking dinner and/or entertaining, and my settings for notifications are set as such. I've just come home, where I've been in the car, with my phone paired to the Apple Watch based on settings appropriate to the fact that I was driving. Now I'm home, I plug the phone into the charger next to my bed, it will wake me in the morning, the next time I need it. From now on I pair my watch with the iPad and its casual, friends based notifications become the tone of the things I'm seeing on the Apple Watch as I wonder around between the fridge, beer, football highlights on TV, my neighbours coming over for a drink, etc.

    I have an iMac in the den, later tonight I'm going to go in there and do some writing, and photo editing. Once in there I pair the watch to that laptop and its basically on a very private, almost "don't disturb except for important stuff" mode, so I can focus on writing and thinking.

    Having finished writing I pair the watch with the iPhone that's now in a night time mode of notifications, put it on the charger, and goto sleep.

    At the office, tomorrow, I pair the watch with the laptop and its giving me stuff that's work related, social stuff is routed to my phone for break points perusal and away we go...

    etc etc...

    Kind of like an advanced, collaborative handoff between Watch and the other Apple device currently most pertinent to my present state of mind and activity. 

    Make some sense?
  • Reply 13 of 16
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,435member

    Rayz2016 said:

    Kind of like an advanced, collaborative handoff between Watch and the other Apple device currently most pertinent to my present state of mind and activity. 

    Make some sense?
    Actually you kind of lost me. I followed your example pretty well, and certainly this should all be automatic based on where you are, or what you are using. And given that, I actually think the better way to do what you want is to leave it paired with the iPhone, and have the iPhone & Watch know where you are and filter your contacts, notifications, etc. accordingly. When you're on the couch, the Watch just knows to apply the "casual" filter. When you pick up your MacBook in the Den, the Watch knows to put you into "private" mode. Etc. And this is why GPS is going to be an important feature.

    Pairing is not really needed here. The direct interaction is only to use it for external processing, and offloading data to apps which are tracking watch activity. That said, in the future, all of the information from those apps could be synchronized across iCloud, so the info was available anywhere. If your iPhone is just sitting on the charger in the bedroom, then it's connected to your home network, and the Watch will still access it from anywhere in the house.

    Pairing is needed to set up the watch, and synchronize data and process requests. Since you can do all of those things on the iPhone, you don't need to really pair it to other devices to get what you want. However, someone without an iPhone, could then pair their device to their iPad or Mac to set it up, sync data, and send requests, whereas now they can't without owning an iPhone which is not the reality for 60% of the mobile phone users in the US. 
    edited January 2016
  • Reply 14 of 16
    mac_128 said:

    Rayz2016 said:

    Kind of like an advanced, collaborative handoff between Watch and the other Apple device currently most pertinent to my present state of mind and activity. 

    Make some sense?
    Actually you kind of lost me. I followed your example pretty well, and certainly this should all be automatic based on where you are, or what you are using. And given that, I actually think the better way to do what you want is to leave it paired with the iPhone, and have the iPhone & Watch know where you are and filter your contacts, notifications, etc. accordingly. When you're on the couch, the Watch just knows to apply the "casual" filter. When you pick up your MacBook in the Den, the Watch knows to put you into "private" mode. Etc. And this is why GPS is going to be an important feature.

    Pairing is not really needed here. The direct interaction is only to use it for external processing, and offloading data to apps which are tracking watch activity. That said, in the future, all of the information from those apps could be synchronized across iCloud, so the info was available anywhere. If your iPhone is just sitting on the charger in the bedroom, then it's connected to your home network, and the Watch will still access it from anywhere in the house.

    Pairing is needed to set up the watch, and synchronize data and process requests. Since you can do all of those things on the iPhone, you don't need to really pair it to other devices to get what you want. However, someone without an iPhone, could then pair their device to their iPad or Mac to set it up, sync data, and send requests, whereas now they can't without owning an iPhone which is not the reality for 60% of the mobile phone users in the US. 
    I'm using the word "pairing" to describe the communication of modes of state of the user. When we're primarily using the iPad we're in one state, when primarily using the Desktop, another. The Watch should know that, and pair accordingly.

    I think you get it, you're just hoping for a level of customisation of experience within the iPhone, something that there's little to no indication Apple's ever going to do.

    See the lack of ability to customise what we see and interact with in the control panel by way of example. I would love to have VPN on/off in there. But can't. I don't think I ever turn WIFI off, so that could go, for me. 

    You're asking for granular modal configuration and the ability to switch between them on the iPhone. You'd be better off buying enough phones for the modes you want, and configuring each one accordingly, and swapping between phones when appropriate. 
  • Reply 15 of 16
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,435member
    Deeeds said:

    You're asking for granular modal configuration and the ability to switch between them on the iPhone. You'd be better off buying enough phones for the modes you want, and configuring each one accordingly, and swapping between phones when appropriate. 
    OK. Pairing is the wrong word. These will be contextual filters like setting reminders on my iPhone that alert me when I"m in a specific location. So basically you'll set filters in the watch app that are contextual in the same way. Turn off this when here, turn off that when there, etc. You won't actually be "pairing" to the device. SO that doesn't really apply in the context of this article. Pairing only applies if you want your information to sync with a specific device for some reason, like your iPhone is broken, and you need to access and control the watch from another source. 

    I'm actually curious as to how pairing another persons watch to your device now. Technically you could do it, if both parties were working together to make it happen, but then their data would get all jumbled up with yours. I'm thinking that's where the multiple-user accounts for education comes in. I don't think Apple is going to let multiple users pair their watches to the same device. That would be chaos. 
  • Reply 16 of 16
    mtbnutmtbnut Posts: 195member
    But one Apple Watch synced to 2+ phones = No? 

    I have both a work and personal iPhone, and one Apple Watch. 

    (I am aware it *can* be done; but I am not going to pair/unpair my Watch every time I want to switch iPhones.)
    edited February 2016
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