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You can run Shortcuts locally without your iPhone in watchOS 7

Watcgos 7 Shortcuts
Watcgos 7 Shortcuts (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple announced watchOS 7 at WWDC 2020.
  • One new feature is Siri Shortcuts on Apple Watch.
  • Apple has now confirmed that these will run locally and that you don't need to be connected to an iPhone

Apple has confirmed that the new Shortcuts feature for watchOS 7 will function locally on the device, meaning you don't need your iPhone to run them.

Apple announced watchOS 7 as part of WWDC 2020, and one new feature included a new Shortcuts app for Apple Watch, which can also be accessed as a complication. Earlier beta users including Federico Viticci noticed however that not all Shortcuts seemed to function on Apple Watch if the companion iPhone wasn't powered on, however it was unclear whether this was by design or a beta issue.

It seems the latter is more likely, as Apple has now confirmed in a WWDC developer session that Shortcuts in watchOS 7 can run locally. From the session description:

Shortcuts are a natural fit on Apple Watch, allowing people to get things done with just a tap — even from a complication. Bring your app's intents to the wrist: We'll help you optimize your shortcuts performance, understand how intents can be routed from watchOS to iOS, explore the latest interaction and presentation interfaces, and examine how the Shortcuts app manages shortcuts and intents for Apple Watch.

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In the session, Apple confirmed that Shortcuts could run locally and that you didn't necessarily have to have an iPhone connected. The Watch can fall back on the iPhone and execute a Shortcut remotely if for some reason it isn't able to do it locally.

At WWDC, Apple announced watchOS 7 with new features including new Watch faces, more complications, Face Sharing and sleep tracking.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple.