On its own, the Apple Watch is simply an expensive watch, but when you pair it with an iPhone as Apple intended, it becomes a powerful tool that can even make and receive calls. But since they have those capabilities, we must wonder: can you call one from the other? Can you call an Apple Watch from an iPhone or an iPhone from an Apple Watch?
You cannot call your Apple Watch from your iPhone or the other way around. The Apple Watch pairs with an iPhone and will use the iPhone’s phone number to make and receive calls. Even Apple Watch models that support cellular work this way and don’t get a phone number of their own to call.
It can be confusing since an Apple Watch with cellular capabilities will be linked to a cellular network, so it should have its own number. That means it must be possible to make and receive calls independently, or so we think. Unfortunately, the Apple Watch doesn’t work that way. Let’s examine it more closely.
Can An iPhone Call An Apple Watch?
Technically, you cannot call an iPhone from an Apple Watch because of how the watch connects to an iPhone. Apple configured it so that all calls you make or receive on your Apple Watch get routed through the iPhone.
Even though cellular-enabled Apple Watch models are technically assigned unique phone numbers, these numbers are only used for billing purposes, not for making and receiving calls. That part still runs through the iPhone.
The only difference is that a cellular Apple Watch can still make and receive calls even when you don’t have your iPhone and the watch isn’t connected to Wi-Fi. However, that simply uses cellular data as a substitute for a Wi-Fi connection, so your Apple Watch is still connected to the iPhone over the internet, which is how you can make and receive calls.
The Exception To The Rule
When you use your iPhone to call someone using their Apple Watch, your iPhone is technically calling an Apple Watch. However, you are not calling the Apple Watch’s unique number; you are still calling the iPhone, and the iPhone routes the call to the Apple Watch.
Can I Call My iPhone From My Apple Watch?
It sounds pretty logical that you should be able to call an iPhone from an Apple Watch, but the same rule applies. Since the Apple Watch doesn’t have a unique number to use for making calls, you can only make and receive calls through your iPhone and using its number.
So, technically, you can call someone else’s iPhone using your Apple Watch, but the watch will use your iPhone’s number to make the call.
Can An Apple Watch Call A Paired iPhone?
It is not possible to call your iPhone using a paired Apple Watch. Not even Apple’s Walkie-Talkie functionality allows this. Because the Apple Watch was never intended to be a standalone device but was designed to expand the capabilities of your iPhone, Apple assumes that you will be using both devices and have both at hand, rendering the possibility of calling one from the other pointless.
The only way for you to communicate between your Apple Watch and iPhone is to send a ping to the iPhone from the watch when you don’t know where you’ve left your phone.
How To Call Your iPhone From Your Apple Watch
As mentioned, calling your iPhone from its paired Apple Watch is impossible. The only way to call your iPhone from your Apple Watch requires a workaround.
If you happen to have two iPhones, you can only pair the Apple Watch with one iPhone. With this in mind, it is possible to use your Apple Watch to call the unpaired iPhone and vice versa. However, the Apple Watch will still use the number associated with the iPhone it is paired with to make or receive those calls.
However, if you want to send a ping to your iPhone from your Apple Watch, you can do so. All you have to do is scroll up on your Apple Watch to open the Control Center. You should see an icon resembling an iPhone with curved lines next to it. That’s the “Ping iPhone” button.
When you press and hold this button, your iPhone should start making a sound and flashing its flashlight (which is helpful for locating it at night). The iPhone should keep on doing this until you release the button.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can We Call From Apple Watch Without An iPhone?
It’s not possible to make any type of call from the Apple Watch without an iPhone. The Apple Watch was designed to be a companion to the iPhone, not a replacement device. All its calls are routed through the iPhone by default.
In fact, you can’t even really use the Apple Watch without first connecting it to your iPhone. The entire setup process works through the Watch app that comes pre-installed on iPhones, and without it, your Apple Watch would be useless.
However, after setting up your Apple Watch and pairing it with your iPhone, it can still make and receive calls when you don’t have your iPhone with you.
GPS models of the Apple Watch must be connected to a Wi-Fi network for this to work since they will use the internet access on the Wi-Fi network to stay connected to your iPhone remotely.
Cellular models of the Apple Watch will do the same without a Wi-Fi connection if you sign up for a cellular data plan through your mobile provider. These watches will always use the best possible connection with your iPhone, in order of priority:
- If it’s within Bluetooth range of the iPhone, that’s the connection it will use.
- If the Apple Watch is not within Bluetooth range of the iPhone but is connected to Wi-Fi, it will try to connect to your iPhone over the Wi-Fi network.
- If it’s not connected to a Wi-Fi network, your Apple Watch will connect using its cellular data plan (if it’s compatible and you activated its cellular network).
Can You Transfer A Call From Apple Watch To iPhone?
If you make or answer a call on your Apple Watch, it’s easy to transfer it to your iPhone (if it’s the same iPhone that you paired your Apple Watch with). Simply follow these steps:
- While you’re on the call on your Apple Watch, unlock your iPhone.
- You will notice a green bar in the top left corner of your iPhone’s screen. This is the same green bar that you see when you’re on a call on your iPhone and open another app.
- Tap on this green bar; the call will then transfer from your Apple Watch to your iPhone.
If you haven’t answered the call on your Apple Watch yet and it’s still ringing, you can transfer it to your iPhone before answering it. On the watch, simply tap on the three dots, then select “Answer on iPhone.” Your iPhone will start ringing, and you can answer it as usual.
People often get frustrated when they learn they can’t do something like calling their Apple Watch from their iPhone or vice versa. However, that’s by design since Apple wants the watch to be a companion to the iPhone, not a replacement. The Apple Watch can do amazing things, but you only unlock its real power when you use it as intended, with your iPhone in your pocket.