It's time to untangle the Apple Watch from the iPhone

Pre-orders for the Apple Watch Series 7 began on Friday, and as we mark the 10th anniversary of Steve Jobs's death, I can't help thinking about the Apple co-founder's last big initiative, iCloud, and how it relates to smartwatches.
In retrospect, Jobs's last effort was what he called the "post-PC" era. Before 2011, Apple's ecosystem worked like this: The Mac was the hub for the vast array of content like photos and videos that iPhones, iPods, iPods, Apple TVs, and other devices received. If you're old enough to remember that iPhones, iPods, and iPods all require a Mac with iTunes to set up, activate and sync.
In 2011, with the launch of iCloud and iOS 5, Apple and Jobs changed that, making the cloud central to all of Apple's devices. Right out of the box, iPhones and pads can now be set up and used entirely without a computer, and all Apple devices receive content from the cloud instead of the Mac. In other words, you can use any Of Apple's mobile products -- iPhones, Ipads, iPods, and even a Mac.
But seven years into the Apple Watch era, one of Apple's most promising device categories still works the same way. As any Apple Watch user knows, an iPhone is needed for activation and Settings, data synchronization, and daily operations. The Apple Watch does not live up to Jobs' vision of every Apple device operating and existing on its own.

Still, Apple has taken some steps over the years to push the Apple Watch in this direction:
In 2017, the first Apple Watches were released with LTE, allowing most features -- including streaming music and calling -- to be used with legacy iPhones.In 2019, Apple added an App store to the watch, allowing users to browse and install new apps without touching the iPhone.Over the past few years, Apple has added new features to third-party apps that make them less or less dependent on data sent from the iPhone.Apple is also allowing developers to write apps dedicated to the Apple Watch that doesn't come with the iPhone.Apple itself has added several new apps to the smartwatch, including a calculator, Find My service, contacts, shortcuts, reminders, audiobooks, voice memos, and news, allowing the device to handle more functions that would otherwise force users to pull out their iPhones.It also recently introduced a mode for kids called "Family Settings," which allows the watch to work without an iPhone -- but only in certain circumstances. With watchOS 8 this year, the company dramatically expanded the number of account management features in the Apple Watch's built-in Settings app, and updated the Text combo and family, photos, and messaging apps.

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