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Apple Watch (Series 4) Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

Article ID = 215
Article Title = Apple Watch (Series 4) Frequently Asked Questions FAQ
Article Author(s) = Graham Needham (BH)
Article Created On = 13th September 2018
Article Last Updated = 20th September 2019
Article URL =

Article Brief Description:
Frequently Asked Questions about the Apple Watch (Series 4)
Q. When was the Apple Watch Series 4 launched?
A. The Apple Watch Series 4 was announced on the 12th September 2018 with pre-orders on 14th September 2018. Initial availability begins 21st September 2018 for the following European countries:
  • Austria (GPS model only)
  • Belgium (GPS model only)
  • Denmark (GPS / GPS+Cellular)
  • Finland (GPS model only)
  • France (GPS / GPS+Cellular)
  • Germany (GPS / GPS+Cellular)
  • Guernsey (GPS model only)
  • Ireland (GPS model only)
  • Italy (GPS / GPS+Cellular)
  • Jersey (GPS model only)
  • Luxembourg (GPS model only)
  • Netherlands (GPS model only)
  • Norway (GPS model only)
  • Portugal (GPS model only)
  • Spain (GPS / GPS+Cellular)
  • Sweden (GPS / GPS+Cellular)
  • Switzerland (GPS / GPS+Cellular)
  • United Kingdom (GPS / GPS+Cellular)
Further availability on 28th September 2018 will be in the following European countries:
  • Croatia (GPS model only)
  • Czech Republic (GPS model only)
  • Greece (GPS model only)
  • Hungary (GPS model only)
  • Monaco (GPS model only)
  • Poland (GPS model only)
  • Romania (GPS model only)
  • Slovakia (GPS model only)
Q. What are the primary new/upgraded features of the Series 4 compared to older models?
  • New bigger screen (30% larger) - 40mm + 44mm models
  • Smaller volumer - thinner
  • Digital Crown now with haptic feedback
  • Speaker 50% louder
  • Black ceramic / sapphire crystal back - improved reception
  • S4 processor - 64-bit Dual Core
  • Bluetooth 5
  • Better accelerometer and gyroscope
  • Hard fall detection (drop, slip, fall forward) with alert facility to call emergency services (which can be dismissed) or will make the call automatically after one minute and send a message along with location to emergency contacts
  • New heart features
    • Low heart rate warning
    • Irregular heart rhythm warning - Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) - initially USA only
    • Electrical heart rate sensor that can take an electrocardiogram (ECG) - initially USA only
See Apple UK's comparison chart for a full feature by feature comparison.
Q. What models of Apple Watch Series 4 are available?
A. There are three models:
  • Standard - aluminium or stainless steel case (GPS and GPS+Cellular)
  • Nike+ - aluminium case with Nike branded Sport Band (GPS and GPS+Cellular)
  • Hermès - "polished" stainless steel case with Hermès branded strap (GPS+Cellular only)
NOTE: Prices go up depending on the model, watch face size, type of case and type of band/strap you want.
Q. What sizes (watch faces) are the Apple Watch come in?
A. There are two screen/watch face sizes: 40mm and 44mm.
Q. What are the different cases?
A. There are two cases with different colour schemes:
  • Aluminium - toughened, anodised aluminium available in silver, space gray and gold (Nike+ model only available in silver or space gray)
  • Stainless steel - available in silver, space black and gold (Hermès model only available in "polished" silver)
Q. Are there different backs?
A. Not any more. All Series 4 models have a ceramic back.
Q. What straps are available and is the strap detachable/interchangeable?
A. Straps are detachable/interchangeable and there are many official options along with third party products available too. Apple's official straps include:
  • Sport Loop
  • Sport
  • Leather
  • Stainless Steel
Q. Can the face be scratched?
A. With difficulty as the face is made from:
  • Aluminium case - alumina-silicate Ion-X glass (specifically resistant to scratches and impact)
  • Stainless steel case - sapphire crystal (the second hardest transparent substance known to man after diamond)
Q. Is the Apple Watch water proof?
A. Yes. Apple states "Apple Watch Series 4 has a water resistance rating of 50 metres under ISO standard 22810:2010. This means that it may be used for shallow-water activities like swimming in a pool or ocean. However, Apple Watch Series 4 should not be used for scuba diving, waterskiing or other activities involving high-velocity water or submersion below shallow depth. Stainless steel and leather straps are not water resistant".
Q. What are the requirements for using an Apple Watch Series 4?
A. GPS+Cellular model = iPhone 6 or 6+, SE, 6s or 6s+, 7 or 7+, 8 or 8+, X, Xs or Xs Max, with iOS 12 or later.
A. GPS only model = iPhone 5s, 6 or 6+, SE, 6s or 6s+, 7 or 7+, 8 or 8+, X, Xs or Xs Max, XR with iOS 12 or later.
Q. Can I use the Apple Watch without an iPhone?
A. No. You need a compatible iPhone to first pair the watch which then enables the watch to communicate with your iPhone via Bluetooth (close proximity) or local Wi-Fi network. The Watch does not stop working if it cannot communicate with its paired iPhone but obviously some features are not available (e.g. notifications of incoming emails/messages). Without the iPhone the watch does continue to function e.g. tell the time, track data such as exercise and heart rate, play music and view photos from the internal storage in the Watch. However, the new GPS+Cellular Series 4 model can be used during the course of the day without the need for the iPhone to be close by.
Q. Can I use the Apple Watch GPS+Cellular model without an iPhone at all?
A. No. It still needs to be "paired" to an iPhone but a lot of what the Watch can do, the GPS+Cellular model can do without the need for your iPhone to be nearby.
Q. Does the Apple Watch GPS+Cellular model require a separate cellular contract/tariff/charge?
A. You don't need a separate contract but there is a separate tariff/charge for the Watch's cellular service. This will be provided (if possible) by the provider of your paired iPhone's cellular service - Apple Watch and iPhone service provider must be the same and the Watch cellular service is not available with all service providers. The Watch's cellular service may also only work with certain providers in some countries as it only supports a limited number of 4G/LTE bands. Due to the need to share the number of your iPhone it is not likely to work with prepaid/Pay As You Go (PAYG) services, as many of those don't support this feature.
Q. What cellular frequencies does the Apple Watch GPS+Cellular model support?
A. It only supports some 4G/LTE bands and thus only certain carriers in each country. In addition, different models from around the world support different frequencies. See our separate article for more details with links to Apple's Watch cellular providers page.
Q. Can I buy the Apple Watch GPS+Cellular model and not immediately use the cellular service?
A. It would appear so - Apple's web site states, "When you pair your Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS + Cellular) with your iPhone, you will be prompted to set up cellular service with your provider. Or you can set up service later using the Watch app on your iPhone".
Q. Can I use the phone to make calls ala Dick Tracy style?
A. Yes, the Apple Watch has a microphone. The GPS only model has to be in proximity to your iPhone (either via Bluetooth or local Wi-Fi network). The GPS+Cellular model can make/take calls and send/receive messages without the need for your iPhone to be nearby.
Q. What "number" does the Apple Watch GPS+Cellular model have/use for calls/messages?
A. It uses the same number of the iPhone that it is paired to.
Q. What about left handed users?
Q. Can I wear the Watch on either my left or right wrist?
A. Users are able to choose the orientation of the interface when starting the watch up for the first time. The Apple Watch wrist bands are interchangeable and can be swapped around too. The only potential difference for left handed/right wrist wearing users is that the Digital Crown input wheel will be on the bottom left instead of the top right.
Q. Is the hard fall detection automatic?
A. If you have configured health data and are over 65 the hard fall detection will be switched on automatically. If you haven't configured health data (correctly) or are younger and want the detection enabled you can turn it on manually.
Q. How long does the battery last?
A. Apple's web site states that it has "a battery that lasts up to 18 hours" with more detailed information available on a dedicated Apple Watch battery web page.
Q. How is the Apple Watch charged?
A. Apple has created an innovative charging solution where the back of the watch can be attached/placed on to a charger in any orientation.
Apple Watch Charging Solution
Q. Does the Apple Watch have any internal storage?
A. Yes. All Series 4 models have 16GB. However, some types of media are limited to the storage they can take up: music has a maximum of 2GB (approximately 400-500 AAC format songs) and photos have a maximum of 75MB (approximately 1500 photos).
Q. Are there any third party apps/content for the Apple Watch?
A. Yes - see this Apple web page. Third party apps can be searched for, downloaded and transferred to your Apple Watch via a dedicated "Watch" application on your iPhone (requires iOS 10 or later).
Q. What's this I hear about "force touch"?
A. There are two types of touch capability built into the face. Standard tap and swipe gestures along with a pressure sensitive "force" touch which is like pressing a button. For example, when the normal watch face is showing on the screen a force touch brings up different watch faces each of which can be customised.
Q. Can the Apple Watch work with the Apple Pay system?
A. Yes it does. See this article for more information about the Apple Pay system. A passcode is required for setting up Apple Pay with the Apple Watch. For security, this passcode must be re-entered every time the watch is put back on after being removed. A payment can be made by tapping the side of the Apple Watch twice and holding it near a payment terminal. As long as the Watch is paired with your iPhone and the passcode has been entered the Watch does not need to be in proximity to you iPhone to make payments.
Q. Can the Apple Watch control the iPhone?
A. Yes. The Watch can control certain aspects of your iPhone such as music and even be used as a remote control for the iPhone camera which is ideal for group/timed shots.
Q. Are older/cheaper Watch models available to buy?
A. At the time of the Series 4 launch Apple stated that the Series 3 would still be available to buy. The Series 1 is now discontinued.
Q. Does the Apple Watch have it's own operating system?
A. Yes - it's called "watchOS". The Apple Watch Series 4 comes with watchOS 5.0.

watchOS 6 for Series 1 and 2 models is due to be released later in 2019.
watchOS 6 was released on 19th September 2019 for Series 3 and 4 models only and included:
  • New watch faces
  • Enhanced Siri
  • Activity trends - viewable on a linked iPhone
  • Independent apps - no longer need an iPhone to manage/install apps
  • App Store on the Watch
  • Redesigned Reminders app
  • New Apple apps:
    • Noise - measure audio loudness and warns when too loud (rumoured to only be available Series 4 watches or later)
    • Cycle Tracking - keep track of female menstrual cycles
    • Audiobooks
    • Voice Memos
    • Calculator - including "tip" and "split with friends" facilities
    • Taptic Chimes e.g. on the hour
NOTE: Some features may not be available for all countries or all areas. This information is derived from Apple's publically available release notes.

the watchOS 5.3.1 bug fix update was released on 26th August 2019.
the watchOS 5.3 feature/bug fix/security update was released on 22nd July 2019.
the watchOS 5.2.1 feature/bug fix/security update was released on 13th May 2019.
  • ECG (Watch series 4 only) + irregular heart rhythm features now enabled for more European countries:
    • Croatia
    • Czech Republic
    • Iceland
    • Poland
    • Slovakia

the watchOS 5.2 feature/bug fix/security update was released on 27th March 2019.
  • ECG (Watch series 4 only) + irregular heart rhythm features now enabled for some European countries:
    • Austria
    • Belgium
    • Denmark
    • Finland
    • France
    • Germany
    • Greece
    • Hungary
    • Ireland
    • Italy
    • Luxembourg
    • Netherlands
    • Norway
    • Portugal
    • Romania
    • Spain
    • Sweden
    • Switzerland
    • United Kingdom

the watchOS 5.1.3 bug fix/security update was released on 21st January 2019.
the watchOS 5.1.2 bug fix/security update was released on 6th December 2018.
watchOS 5.1.1 bug fix/security update was released on 5th November 2018
watchOS 5.1 bug fix/security update was released on 30th October 2018 and withdrawn as it bricked some watches
watchOS 5.0.1 bug fix was released on 27th September 2018
watchOS 5 was released on 17th September 2018 and included:
  • Participate in Group FaceTime calls via audio (requires iOS 12.1 or later or macOS 10.14.1 or later)
  • Enhanced Do Not Disturb - set for meetings, time and/or location
  • New background audio mode supporting third-party apps
  • Activity competitions
  • Brand-new workouts (yoga + hiking)
  • Automatic workout detection
  • Pace alerts
  • Apple Podcasts support
  • Walkie-Talkie feature (not available in China, UAE and Pakistan)
  • Smarter Siri
  • Improved Notifications
  • View web content
  • Contactless student ID cards via Wallet (very limited locations at first, primarily in the USA)
NOTE: Some features may not be available for all countries or all areas. This information is derived from Apple's publically available release notes.

Article Keywords: Apple Watch Series 4 AppleWatchSeries4 iPhone v12iOS iOS12 iOS 12 watchOS 5

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