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Apple Watch (Series 6) Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

Article ID = 257
Article Title = Apple Watch (Series 6) Frequently Asked Questions FAQ
Article Author(s) = Graham Needham (BH)
Article Created On = 16th September 2020
Article Last Updated = 8th June 2021 • updated 4 days ago
Article URL = https://www.macstrategy.com/article.php?257

Article Brief Description:
Frequently Asked Questions about the Apple Watch (Series 6)
Q. What is the Apple Watch Series 6?
A. The Apple Watch Series 6 is an upgraded version of the original Apple Watch - it was announced on the 15th September 2020 with immediate pre-orders and starts shipping on the 18th September 2020.
Q. What are the primary new/upgraded features of the Series 6 compared to older models?
  • Blood Oxygen measuring
  • S6 processor
  • Brighter display
  • Continuous, always-on altimeter
  • New colours
See Apple UK's comparison chart for a full feature by feature comparison.
Q. What sizes (watch faces) does the Apple Watch Series 6 come in?
A. There are two screen/watch face sizes: 40mm and 44mm.
Q. What are the different cases?
A. There are three cases with different colour schemes:
  • Aluminium - toughened, anodised aluminium available in silver, space grey, blue, gold and Product Red
  • Stainless steel - available in graphite, space black, silver and gold
  • Titanium - available in titanium and space black
Q. What models of Apple Watch Series 6 are available?
A. There are three models:
  • Standard (aluminium, stainless steel or titanium case)
  • Nike+ (aluminium case)
  • Hermès (stainless steel case)
NOTE: Prices go up depending on the model, watch face size, type of case and type of band/strap you want.
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:
  • New "single" loop
  • 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)
  • Titanium - ???
Q. Is the Apple Watch water proof?
A. Yes. Apple states "Apple Watch Series 6 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 6 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 6?
A. A supported iPhone model running iOS 14 or later. Supported iPhone models include:
Q. Can I use the Apple Watch without an iPhone?
A. Generally, 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. The GPS+Cellular Series 6 model can be used during the course of the day without the need for the iPhone to be close by. However, with iOS 14 or later and an Apple Watch model running watchOS 7 or later, you can use the new Family Setup feature to setup multiple Apple Watches for the family from one primary iPhone - requires iPhone 6s with iOS 14 or later + Apple Watch SE or Series 4/5/6 cellular models only.
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. 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. Can the "always-on" screen be switched off?
A. According to Apple, yes, you can turn this feature off, but exactly how that is accomplished and what it means for the Watch in normal usage is to be confirmed - we'll update this article when we know more.
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. 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 6 (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. 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 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. 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 6 launch Apple stated that the Series 3 would still be available to buy. The Series 5 is now discontinued. But they did also launch a mid-range/mid-priced Apple Watch SE!
Q. Does the Apple Watch have it's own operating system?
A. Yes - it's called "watchOS". The Apple Watch Series 6 comes with watchOS 7.0.

watchOS 8 was officially announced at Apple's WWDC online virtual event on 7th June 2021. The first Developer Preview was made available on 7th June 2021. The consumer edition of watchOS 15 will be available in the autumn of 2021 probably in September or October. New features of note, that are currently listed by Apple, include:
  • Enhanced Breathe app
  • New Reflect app - to help with mindfulness
  • Respiratory rate now monitored during sleep
  • New workouts - Tai Chi + Pilates
  • Portrait photos can be turned into a Watch Face
NOTE: Some features may not be available for all countries or all areas. This information is derived from Apple's publically available preview information.



watchOS 7 requires an iPhone 6s or later, running iOS 14 or later
the watchOS 7.5 feature/bug fix/security update was released on 24th May 2021.
the watchOS 7.4.1 bug fix/security update was released on 3rd May 2021.
the watchOS 7.4 feature/bug fix/security update was released on 26th April 2021.
the watchOS 7.3.3 security update was released on 26th March 2021.
the watchOS 7.3.2 security update was released on 8th March 2021.
the watchOS 7.3.1 bug fix update was released on 15th February 2021 (for Apple Watch Series 5 and SE only).
the watchOS 7.3 feature/bug fix/security update was released on 26th January 2021.
the watchOS 7.2 feature/bug fix/security update was released on 14th December 2020.
the watchOS 7.1 feature/bug fix/security update was released on 5th November 2020.
the watchOS 7.0.3 bug fix update (for Series 3 models only) was released on 19th October 2020.
the watchOS 7.0.2 bug fix update was released on 12th October 2020.
the watchOS 7.0.1 bug fix update was released on 24th September 2020.
watchOS 7 was released on 16th September 2020 and included:
  • Family Setup - setup multiple Apple Watches for the family from one primary iPhone - requires iPhone 6s with iOS 14 or later + Apple Watch SE or Series 4/5/6 cellular models only (not all standard watchOS features will be available if the Apple Watch is set up through Family Setup)
  • New watch faces - watch faces are now more customisable, powerful, and discoverable than ever, including the ability to "share" and "download" faces
  • New Memoji app including Memoji watch faces
  • New Sleep app with Sleep Mode, Sleep charts, and Sleep Tracking including alerts, "Wind Down" and Wake Up
  • Fitness - four new workouts (Dance, Functional Strength Training, Core Training, and post-workout Cooldown)
  • Cycling in Maps
  • Handwashing - automatic detection + 20 second handwash notification - requires Apple Watch Series 4 or later
  • Enhanced Siri
    • Siri translation (10 languages)
    • On-device dictation
    • Siri Shortcuts
  • Hearing Health enhancements
  • Car Keys - requires Apple Watch Series 5 or later
  • Support for Fitness+ - watchOS 7.2 or later required (initially, only UK and Ireland in Europe)
  • Support for braille displays with VoiceOver - requires watchOS 7.2 or later
  • Support for Family Setup in Bahrain, Canada, Norway, and Spain - requires watchOS 7.2 or later with cellular models of Apple Watch Series 4 or later or cellular Apple Watch SE
  • watchOS 7.3 includes:
    • Unity watch face—inspired by the colors of the Pan-African Flag, the shapes change throughout the day as you move creating a face that’s unique to you
    • Time to Walk for Apple Fitness+ subscribers—an audio experience in the Workout app where guests share inspiring stories as you walk
    • ECG app on Apple Watch Series 4 or later in Japan, Mayotte, Philippines, and Thailand
    • Irregular heart rhythm notifications in Japan, Mayotte, Philippines, Taiwan, and Thailand
  • watchOS 7.4 includes:
    • Ability to unlock your iPhone X and later with Apple Watch when you attempt to use Face ID while wearing a face mask - requires an iPhone with iOS 14.5 or later
    • Option to classify Bluetooth device type in Settings for correct identification of headphones for audio notifications
    • Ability to stream audio and video content from Apple Fitness+ workouts to AirPlay 2-enabled TVs and devices
    • Support for the ECG app on Apple Watch Series 4 or later in Australia and Vietnam
    • Irregular heart rhythm notifications in Australia and Vietnam
  • watchOS 7.5 includes:
    • Support for Spatial Audio + Lossless Audio streaming
    • Support Apple Card Family
    • Support for Podcast subscriptions
NOTE: Some features may not be available for all countries or all areas. This information is derived from Apple's publically available web page.



Article Keywords: Apple Watch Series 6 AppleWatchSeries5 iPhone v14iOS iOS14 iOS 14 watchOS 7

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