Earlier this week, I encountered my first problem with the Apple Watch, but fortunately I discovered a quick fix for it. The problem was that my Apple Watch didn't see my iPhone. The solution was to reset Bluetooth. Here are the details in case this happens to you.
The Apple Watch works best when it is in constant communication with your iPhone — preferably via Bluetooth, but if your iPhone and Apple Watch are too far away for Bluetooth (e.g., your iPhone is upstairs in your bedroom, but you are downstairs), they can also communicate if they are on the same Wi-Fi network. If your Apple Watch doesn't have that Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection to your iPhone, there are some things that it can still do all on its own, such as:
- Operate as a watch
- Use the alarm, timer, stopwatch
- Play music, if you have previously synced a playlist (up to 1 GB of music) to your Apple Watch
- Track your activity (stand, move, exercise) with the Activity app
- Track workouts (e.g., you can go for a run with your Apple Watch and leave your iPhone at home)
- Display photos that you previously synced to the Apple Watch
- Use Apple Pay to make purchases
But for most of the rest of the features of the Apple Watch — such as work with apps on your iPhone, display your text messages and emails — you need to have that connection to your iPhone.
The problem that I experienced was that I wasn't getting emails on my Apple Watch, and I looked at the display and saw that there was a red icon at the top center of the watch showing an iPhone with a line through it:
Here's a close up view of that icon:
This icon was an indication that my Apple Watch lost its connection with my iPhone. And similarly, when I swiped up on my Apple Watch to get to the Glances view and looked at the Settings Glance, I saw an indication at the top that the iPhone was disconnected:
I knew that this should not be happening because my iPhone was in my shirt pocket — just a few feet from the Apple Watch on my wrist. They were more than close enough for a Bluetooth connection. But on my iPhone, when I looked at the Bluetooth settings, I similarly saw that my Apple Watch was not connected, even if I tapped on the entry for the Apple Watch to try to force a connection:
Fortunately, there was an easy fix. I flipped the switch at the top of the screen shown above to turn off Bluetooth, then I waited a few seconds, then I turned Bluetooth back on again. Suddenly, my Apple Watch and my iPhone found each other again.
All of this happened on Monday morning, and in the several days since then, it has not happened again. Hopefully that was just a one-time bizarre problem for me, but if it happens to you too, now you know what to do.