Does Apple Watch track location without iPhone?

Answered by Stephen Mosley

Apple Watch Series 2 and later models, as well as the Apple Watch SE, have the ability to track your location without the need for your paired iPhone. This is made possible by the built-in GPS (Global Positioning System) feature in these models.

When you go for an outdoor workout, such as running or cycling, you can leave your iPhone behind and rely solely on your Apple Watch to track your distance and speed accurately. The GPS functionality allows the watch to calculate your precise location and movement, providing you with more accurate data during your workouts.

One of the benefits of having GPS on your Apple Watch is that you can have a more independent and streamlined exercise experience. You don’t have to worry about carrying your iPhone with you or dealing with the hassle of keeping it secure while you’re active. This can be especially beneficial for activities where having a phone strapped to your arm or in your pocket might be cumbersome or uncomfortable.

Personally, I find this feature incredibly useful when I go for runs or hikes. I can simply put on my Apple Watch, start my workout, and head out the door without the need to bring my iPhone along. It’s liberating to have the freedom to move without any extra devices weighing me down.

Additionally, the GPS tracking on the Apple Watch allows for more accurate distance and speed measurements. In the past, without GPS, the watch relied on estimating your movement based on step counts and other motion data. While this provided some level of accuracy, it wasn’t as precise as having GPS directly tracking your location. With the built-in GPS, you can have confidence in the distance and speed data displayed on your Apple Watch during your outdoor workouts.

It’s worth noting that the GPS feature on the Apple Watch is specifically designed for outdoor activities. If you’re indoors or in an area with poor GPS reception, such as dense urban environments or heavily wooded areas, the watch may struggle to get a strong GPS signal. In such cases, it may be less accurate or may have difficulty acquiring your location. However, once you move to an area with better GPS reception, it should regain accuracy.

Apple Watch Series 2 and later models, as well as the Apple Watch SE, have built-in GPS that allows you to track your location and get more accurate distance and speed information during outdoor workouts without the need for your paired iPhone. This feature provides greater independence and convenience, allowing you to focus on your exercise without the added burden of carrying your phone.