Can I use Apple Watch without iPhone?

Modified on Wed, 9 Aug, 2023 at 5:19 PM

Standalone mode for Apple Watch

You can use GPS-equipped Apple Watch (series 2 or later) even when you don't carry iPhone in your pocket! Simply start the round on the iPhone and put it away. You'll see rangefinder distances and club recommendations right on the watch. You can change holes and track shots and more. Once the phone is back in range, the scores will be synced. See the important note below about location accuracy. 

How do I get started? 

1. Update Golf Pad app to the latest version in App Store on your phone.

2. Smartwatch sync is a part of Golf Pad Premium upgrade. If you don't have premium yet, please upgrade to use this new feature. Click here to learn about all premium features

3. Start a round and pick a course on your phone like you do usually. Once the round is started, open Golf Pad app on your watch (watch setup instructions). Make sure you see rangefinder distances and can navigate between holes by swiping left or right.

4. Turn off the phone or enable airplane mode - this will ensure the best accuracy (see the note below for more details). Or enable Health app integration in preferences > Apple Watch > Send golfing activity to Apple Health. With this integration, the watch will use its own GPS during your game. Roam free - your Apple Watch will rely on built-in GPS to provide rangefinder distance, track shots and more. See this guide for more information.

5. When you are about to finish the round, turn on your iPhone or turn off airplane mode. Once the phone and the watch are connected, you will see the scores from the watch appear in Golf Pad app on the phone. Finish the round on the iPhone.

What about battery life?

GPS sensor consumes extra energy, however, most users should be able to complete a 4-5 hours golf round on one charge. Please read this article for some tips on improving battery life. 

IMPORTANT: Apple Watch uses iPhone's GPS location if the phone is nearby and Health app integration is disabled. This is a built-in Apple optimization aimed at improving watch battery life. This means that you may get inaccurate distances or shot tracking it the phone is nearby, but not in your pocket. For example, if you leave the phone in your golf cart and walk to the fairway, your watch will show distances and track shots based on your cart's location. To prevent this from happening, please turn off your iPhone/enable airplane mode after starting the round or enable Apple Health app integration. Note, disabling Bluetooth is not sufficient, as iPhone and Apple Watch can communicate even when Bluetooth is disabled.

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