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Is the Apple Watch really that iPhone-needy?

So, I packaged up my trusty iPhone 6 Plus and toddled off to the post office. Handing over several hundred pounds-worth of 5.5″ smartphone to a complete stranger feels a little odd, but, then, that’s how I’ve always felt come recycling time.

I now await my 6s. And, unlike previous years, I’ve got an interesting dilemma. To Apple Watch or not to Apple Watch?

Without the iPhone, the Apple Watch is just a watch. Or, at least I thought. Gone are apps, GPS and telephone calls on the wrist. But there’s actually some rather useful stuff left, as I discovered yesterday.

It appears you can still receive iMessages. After initial confusion and spookiness, I did a bit of digging and discovered that, providing you’re on a WiFi network with which the Watch is already familiar, it’ll continue to receive (and send) iMessages. Regular text messages are out, for they require the iPhone to be present, but you can happily get in touch with fellow Apple-ites.

Siri, works, too.

And, providing you’ve already done a bit of exercise in tethered mode, the activity app will continue to monitor your progress. What’s more, with watchOS 2, apps installed locally on the Watch are also likely to run uninterrupted when a phone isn’t present. Of course, we’ll all be able to test that once watchOS 2 is finally released…

Impressive, Apple. Why do you keep this kind of thing so quiet? This adds another highly useful dimension to the watch, essentially extending iMessage battery life and proving that their wearable isn’t quite as iPhone-needy for which many have lambasted it.

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