gear s3

bunk

    im still a little confused about the settings i should have on the watch so should i have bluetooth turned off on the watch

      All replies

      • dshrum84

        Re: gear s3

        If you have Digits set up to mirror the phone's number on the watch, you shouldn't need a bluetooth connection.  Assuming it's properly set up, you can turn off bluetooth on both phone and watch, then they should remotely connect.  When you make a call or send a text from the watch, it will show your phone's number on caller id.  When you receive a text or call, it will go to both without the need for the phone to send the watch any notifications from your messaging or phone app.

        • azdreamscape

          Re: gear s3

          As dshrum84 states, once the watch and phone are set up correctly, there is no need for them to remain connected by Bluetooth. Calls and texts can be sent and received to/from the watch. I get all notifications from any app on the phone, even though I don't have a compatible app on the watch (Hangouts as an example).

           

          However, you may get better battery life by using Bluetooth, and allowing the watch to use a Bluetooth connection to your phone when it can. In a study I just read, the cellular radio (in a phone) used more than ten times as much power as the Bluetooth radio!

            • bunk

              Re: gear s3

              So I turn the Bluetooth off on the watch not phone right

                • dshrum84

                  Re: gear s3

                  I turn the Bluetooth off on both.  If it's off on one, the other is just constantly searching for connections and killing its battery.  This can apply to all the connections you're not actively using, wifi and NFC included.  Your power management should mitigate things somewhat but why make it work when you don't need to?

                   

                  My personal experience has been that my battery life on both devices is best that way.  You may experience differently.

              • azdreamscape

                Re: gear s3

                If you want to use a Bluetooth headset with either device (phone or watch) then Bluetooth will have to be ON on that device.

                I've tried both scenarios (Bluetooth on, and off), and I actually haven't noticed a big enough difference for me to care. It would be interesting to see the results of an actual side-by-side comparison of one watch connected by Bluetooth, and one in standalone with no other variables.

                 

                I have seen claims that either set-up is better than the other, from different people.

                I have also seen claims of three-day battery life, but I don't get anywhere close to that, regardless of the Bluetooth on/off state.

                  • azdreamscape

                    Re: gear s3

                    Another possible battery-saver (one I had overlooked) is to set both WIFI and cellular to auto-swiching (I had WIFI set that way, but not cellular). This keeps both WIFI and cellular radios OFF unless they are needed for connectivity.

                     

                    With Bluetooth being a low-power radio, I should now get better battery life if the majority of my time is within range of my phone.

                     

                    When setting cellular to auto-switching, I got a warning (that can safely be ignored) about not being able to use the watch's number. I'm not using the 'watch's number', so it doesn't matter (test call worked fine).

                  • tmo_tim_b

                    Re: gear s3

                    Hello bunk

                     

                    It sounds like between azdreamscape and dshrum84 you got quite a bit of info. Did you get what you needed or do you still have questions?

                      • jm1313

                        Re: gear s3

                        I still have a question.......

                         

                        I've seen this (turning off / no need for Bluetooth) suggested to make DIGITS work “better” in several other posts as well, and IMHO, I think it's completely ridiculous.  From my experience, the watch was designed to work best when connected to a Samsung phone (preferably newer) via Bluetooth; that is the "best functioning state". 

                         

                        The Samsung phone part is really a guess, but I have to imagine that with both being designed by the same company, even though one is running Tizen and the other Android, it's Android with TouchWiz, so Samsung has been able to ensure full, optimal functionality between devices.

                         

                        As far as the Bluetooth connection part, that's just from usage experience.  If you're not connected via Bluetooth you lose functionality; this is evident the minute you turn off Bluetooth on either device as several options in the Gear app grey out. Sure you can get watch faces directly on the Gear, and you can manage gear apps too, but you can't send content or manage quick messages.  These may not be a big deal to some, or even most people, but it is a clear reduction from optimal functionality. 

                         

                        Other functionality that's lost if you turn off Bluetooth includes no longer being able to use the watch to control music on the phone.  Again, you can download music to the watch itself, but the storage space isn’t as great (4GB’s??...BS when 2+ are taken up by the OS) or if your preference is to stream the options to do that on the Gear are still quite limited.  Oh, and have you tried “Find my Gear” when connected remotely via cellular? Doesn't always work.

                         

                        In addition to loss of functionality, the connection options on the Gear allow for Auto on/off connection modes for Wi-Fi and Cellular, but not Bluetooth; this suggests that the intent from Samsung is to have the Bluetooth on, and in the event you get out of range the watch will look for the next best connection option.

                         

                        Personally, as part of the Beta, I don't think we should be looking for / suggesting "work-arounds" in an attempt to mitigate issues.  The whole point of a Beta is to identify bugs or reductions in functionality and fix them; turning off Bluetooth is not a fix, it merely serves to alleviate some of the problems associated with having Bluetooth on (text notification / reception / syncing being a HUGE problem). 

                         

                        If T-Mobile is sincerely looking to "perfect" the DIGITS product, and expecting to be able to charge for it at some point, they need to address the issues with wearables.  Which means you should be able to use your watch in its optimal state. 

                         

                        It's my understanding that a big part of the push behind DIGITS is to have an answer to AT&T's NumberSync, which is essentially one number on multiple devices.  From what I’ve gathered from info about AT&T’s product, it does not require “work-arounds” / reductions in functionality to work properly.

                         

                        So I think the real question we all need to be asking T-Mo is, are you doing something to address the wearable issues?

                          • ransomv

                            Re: gear s3

                            FYI: I am using an S2 instead of an S3, but I think things work pretty much the same.

                             

                            If I understand it correctly, the watch needs to be in "Stand-Alone" mode in order for it to do DIGITS correctly. On the S2 you can check the mode by going to the main watch screen, then swiping from the top to the bottom. I would guess it is similar on the S3

                             

                            Of course, turning off bluetooth will accomplish this, but, as pointed out above, it will make it so you cannot pair with headphones, etc.

                             

                            I believe the official word is to Unpair the watch from any phone. However, this makes it so configuring your watch with the phone is inconvenient.

                             

                            My answer is to:

                            1. Launch the Gear app on the phone
                            2. Scroll down and select "Gear connection"
                            3. Toggle the switch at the top from On to Off.

                            This will disconnect the phone from the watch, but allow you to easily reconnect whenever you want. It also leaves bluetooth enabled on both devices, so you can use headphones, etc.

                              • jm1313

                                Re: gear s3

                                I understand the setup.  My point is that it's not a fix to the issues.  It merely alleviates the multiple notification issues, but it doesn't solve or address the functionality of DIGITS on wearables.  It's a band-aid, work-around at best, and not a very good one.  It's also, not the optimal intended setup for the watch as I mentioned in my previous post.  It's like getting a case for your phone that doesn't allow you to see a small part of the screen, or access some other functionality (maybe an IR blaster).  Sure it's not a huge inconvenience, and you can still use your phone; you can always take the case off if need be, but it's probably not something you'd want to use regularly, let alone ever pay money for; which I believe is what T-Mo plans to do at some point.

                                 

                                So again, my question to T-Mo is: are you working to address the plethora of issues with DIGITS and wearables??  Especially with regard to messaging -- multiple notifications, messages not syncing (ie fragmented conversations depending on which device you use), group messages either not being received at all or only as individual messages, messages being delivered multiple times,etc, etc, etc........

                                 

                                Though I don't agree that it should be the advised configuration, I've been testing the setup with bluetooth off on my Gear and a remote connection to the phone, just to see which setup is more tolerable for now (bluetooth connection with multiple notifications or remote connection with reduced functionality) and I've noted a few additional problems with the bluetooth off setup beyond just loss of functionality.  I’ll further test the blue tooth off with remote connection off as well, and post a separate topic describing the issues.  Hopefully someone at T-Mo will actually take a look........

                              • dshrum84

                                Re: gear s3

                                TL;DR version - I think your expectations are a little high.  Some of the issues you're referencing are due to the limitations of the Digits beta and some are due to Samsung still not being fully cooperative with the rest of the Android world yet.  Some are due Samsung making a watch that pushes the boundaries.  They're being worked on but it will take time to get right.  I also have high expectations of Digits, but I don't expect perfection right now and I'd rather they get it right in time then screw it up fast.

                                 

                                Full version:

                                 

                                I don't think it makes sense that the "designed" use of a watch with full LTE capabilites was to be constantly connected by bluetooth to a phone.  While I agree that Samsung phones make for a better watch experience (shocking considering who designed it), I don't lose any notifications while I'm remotely connected and I don't have a Samsung or a new phone.  The first thing I noticed while I had the watch connected by bluetooth constantly was that my phone's battery life got cut to 25% of normal.  Why should I bother with that when I don't need to?  Constantly connecting, dropping connection, searching, and reconnecting with wifi or bluetooth drains the battery even faster.

                                 

                                You don't need to be constantly connected to the watch via BT to download faces and apps, only when you're downloading them.  A constant connection isn't needed to sync S Heath data, just while you're syncing.  Almost everything you can't do while remotely connected are things most people don't do constantly.

                                 

                                If I want to control music on my phone from my watch, I'll BT connect them.  Usually when I'm listening to music on my phone I'm wearing BT headphones that have controls on them.  Who listens to music so constantly while controlling via the watch that it's a major issue you can't do it unless BT connected?

                                 

                                The BT not having an auto on/off doesn't suggest the Samsung wants it on all the time, it's a product of the nature of BT connections.  Devices have to be paired to each other manually and while it's a fast connection, it also draws a lot of power while looking for connections.

                                 

                                Most mobile OS's take up at least 2 GB.  It's hard to fit the memory into a watch that a phone will have.  Therefore, more of the watch's memory will be taken up by the OS than on your phone.

                                 

                                If your watch is constantly BT connected to your watch, why would you need Digits or Numbersync?  The primary purpose of them with regards to the watch is to make calls and texts come "from" the phone's number either way.  Which already happens if you're connected by BT.  Hopefully I don't need to "find my gear" while it's close enough to be BT connected.

                                 

                                Lastly, keep in mind that Samsung makes the watch while T-Mobile Digits is about more than making your watch and phone connect.  How quickly do you expect something which requires a service provider and every phone manufacturer to work together on to be made "just right"?

                                  • jm1313

                                    Re: gear s3

                                    TL;DR version (reply) - I don't think expectations are too high.  In fact they should be high as part of a Beta so you don't short the final product (expectations are hardly ever all met -- shoot for the stars, so you at least get the moon).  I completely accept perfection takes time, but again the point of a Beta is to identify issues, and address them; not to look for work-around band-aid fixes and call it good. I'm hopeful that in the end DIGITS can fulfill all of its potential, but it won't necessarily be a deal breaker if it doesn't.  At this point though, (a little over a week with DIGITS personally) and few months into the Beta (for T-Mo), it seems to me that the syncing and messaging issues (not just with wearables) continue to be pretty big problems. So, using a work-around to mitigate things creates the risk of those things not being addressed (squeaky wheel gets the grease).  I completely agree -- "I'd rather they get it right in time than screw it up fast."

                                    Full version (reply) 

                                    I don't think it makes sense that the "designed" use of a watch with full LTE capabilites was to be constantly connected by bluetooth to a phone.  While I agree that Samsung phones make for a better watch experience (shocking considering who designed it), I don't lose any notifications while I'm remotely connected and I don't have a Samsung or a new phone.  The first thing I noticed while I had the watch connected by bluetooth constantly was that my phone's battery life got cut to 25% of normal. Why should I bother with that when I don't need to?  Constantly connecting, dropping connection, searching, and reconnecting with wifi or bluetooth drains the battery even faster.

                                    I don’t think I ever said anything about being constantly connected via Bluetooth; I was merely commenting on the optimal functioning state.  I don’t think you can argue that if you lose functionality, you are no longer at the optimal functioning state.  Yes it has full LTE capability, but I see that as an added benefit, not necessarily the best use scenario.  It’s also IP68 rated, but I doubt anyone is submerging it in up to 5 feet of water for up to 30 minutes on a regular basis.  I don’t think it makes sense for the watch to constantly be remotely connected or in standalone mode via LTE or otherwise. Sure you can use it that way, but you lose some functionality. 

                                     

                                     

                                    You don't need to be constantly connected to the watch via BT to download faces and apps, only when you're downloading them.  A constant connection isn't needed to sync S Heath data, just while you're syncing. Almost everything you can't do while remotely connected are things most people don't do constantly.

                                    I acknowledged that you can still do some things via remote connection “Sure you can get watch faces directly on the Gear, and you can manage gear apps too, but you can't send content or manage quick messages.”  Again though, I don’t think it’s a question of doing things constantly.  For me personally, it’s about efficiency, I don’t think I should have to go in and turn on/off Bluetooth so I can accomplish tasks, even if they are infrequent. I not sure if I want to pay for a service that requires me to use the watch in a configuration that limits its functionality. It’s a $300+ device; I shouldn’t have to limit its functionality however minimal that limit is; and it’s a harder argument to expect me to pay to limit it. (Maybe limit isn’t the best word, but at a minimum, you’re trading one inconvenience not having the same number on both devices for another at this point.) 

                                     

                                    If I want to control music on my phone from my watch, I'll BT connect them.  Usually when I'm listening to music on my phone I'm wearing BT headphones that have controls on them.  Who listens to music so constantly while controlling via the watch that it's a major issue you can't do it unless BT connected?

                                    Actually, I often connect my phone to Bluetooth speakers in the house while doing chores, getting dinner ready, getting ready for work, etc.  I find it very convenient and easier to not have to carry my phone around with me, since I can use the watch (which I almost constantly have on my wrist) to perform basic music control.  Additionally, when exercising, the location of the watch (my wrist) and visual interface is much more convenient for me than the small, non-visual controls on my Bluetooth headset (I think Sammy recognized this use, since you can swipe/bezel left when tracking a workout in S Health, to quickly get to the music control app).

                                     

                                     

                                    The BT not having an auto on/off doesn't suggest the Samsung wants it on all the time, it's a product of the nature of BT connections. Devices have to be paired to each other manually and while it's a fast connection, it also draws a lot of power while looking for connections.

                                    I don’t see how it’s a product of the nature of BT connections; once “paired”, a lot of Bluetooth devices “connect” automatically when in range.  It’s really no different than Wi-Fi in that aspect, as you usually either have to “log-in” if on a public network, or enter a password if a private one.  Those actions are similar to pairing; once completed the Wi-Fi connection occurs automatically when in range.  It was really only speculation, but still seems to me that based on the loss of functionality and the lack of a BT auto on/off feature, the idea is for BT to be the primary connection.  The Wi-Fi and Cellular remain off until you need them, thereby saving power, data and OS resources, etc.  As far as the power draw, I don’t know the stats, but it is my understanding that once the BT connection is made, the power draw is less than that of Wi-Fi or Cellular when they are connected.  Since the watch is most likely only going to be paired to a phone and maybe a BT headset, one of which will be nearby most of the time, there isn’t a whole lot of power spent “looking for connections”.

                                     

                                    Most mobile OS's take up at least 2 GB.  It's hard to fit the memory into a watch that a phone will have. Therefore, more of the watch's memory will be taken up by the OS than on your phone.

                                    This is a total side note and not related to DIGITS at all; I completely realize that most mobile OS’s take up at least 2 GB.  The point I was trying to make is that, if you’re going to advertise something as having 4 GB of memory, the average person is going to be at least a little confused when they have less than half of that available to them out of the box.  People don’t notice it on phones, because as you mentioned 2 GB isn’t a big deal when you have 32 GB; though I bet there’d be uproar if phones that were advertised as 32 GB phones had less than 16 GB available out of the box.  It’s a perception issue.

                                     

                                    If your watch is constantly BT connected to your watch, why would you need Digits or Numbersync?  The primary purpose of them with regards to the watch is to make calls and texts come "from" the phone's number either way.  Which already happens if you're connected by BT. Hopefully I don't need to "find my gear" while it's close enough to be BT connected.

                                    Again, I never said constantly.  Personally for me, when I was “testing” with the BT connection, I found I was probably BT connected 90% of the time. (I’m “testing” the non-BT setup currently) The reality, at least for me, is that I usually have my phone with me, and I suspect this is true for most people (and probably part of the reason smartwatches have struggled a bit).  Maybe not as high as 90% but I’m guessing at least 75% of the time, people have their phone with them.  The watch is by no means a complete substitute for the phone, and we all know how important our phones are.  So that brings me back to the LTE being an added benefit, and DIGITS and NumberSync fall into that category as well.  I think AT&T recognized this, as I don’t believe they charge extra for NumberSync. I don’t “need” DIGITS or NumberSync, but I “want” such a service for convenience and efficiency during that 10% of the time I leave my phone behind.  There have been plenty of times I’ve had to “find my phone” when it was just in the next room, under a t-shirt or in a coat pocket, or I just couldn’t recall where I had set it down.  It’s a whole lot easier to “find my phone” from the Gear vs calling it from another phone, especially if I’ve left it on vibrate or silent.  So far, I haven’t “misplaced” the Gear, but I’m only getting older, so who knows.

                                     

                                    Lastly, keep in mind that Samsung makes the watch while T-Mobile Digits is about more than making your watch and phone connect.  How quickly do you expect something which requires a service provider and every phone manufacturer to work together on to be made "just right"?

                                    As mentioned, I agree that they should take their time and get it right. I also acknowledge that DIGITS is a huge endeavor since not only is T-Mo trying to combine services like Hangouts, Textra, SMS+, etc as far as allowing and syncing messaging across multiple devices, but also add to that the ability to use multiple phone numbers on a single handset or multiple devices, and then work with OEM’s to essentially “bake” it into the stock apps.  That’s a VERY TALL order for sure.  I still stand by my assertion however, that as part of the Beta we shouldn’t be looking for / resorting to band-aid work-arounds to the issues we discover.  Sure they might help alleviate some of the inconvenience we’re experiencing, but they shouldn’t be accepted as the solution to the problem.  If / when T-Mo tries to charge money for DIGITS, the average user is going to want it to work fairly flawlessly without a whole lot of additional configuring, or setup on their part; especially if they’re paying for it.

                                     

                                    Finally, as mentioned, I tested for a while with the BT connection, and am now testing without BT, but with remote connection.  It’s only been a few days, but I’m still noticing issues, duplicates and syncing being the prime things.  So, at least for me, so far, severing the BT has only “shifted” the issues, not solved them. I plan to test without BT and without remote connection after a few more days, and then I’ll post my experience as far as issues I’ve noted.  In the meantime, I appreciate everyone else’s posts and the lively discussions. 

                                      • dshrum84

                                        Re: gear s3

                                        Your expectations for the end result are similar to mine.  I don't expect this to be a quick process and they're doing pretty well so far.  I figured a few months would be just the beginning.  Trying to get a watch made by a company not particularly know for being cooperative using a relatively new OS to work well with phones made by every manufacturer so they overlap in as many ways as possible is as complex as anything I've seen tried in modern tech.

                                         

                                        I think the difference is that I consider being connected remotely instead of by BT the optimal state, not a workaround.  I got a watch with LTE capability so that I wouldn't need to be near my phone or switching connections every time I walk across the apartment to get as much connectivity/usability as possible.

                                         

                                        Every experience I've had with mobile devices using BT has been that it's more of a power drain than helpful with the ways that I use the devices.  I agree that it's not that much if you're using it but when there's nothing connected it can make a noticeable difference.  The way that your devices reconnect when you get within range is an indication that you're still using power to search when you're not connected, and the higher data exchange rate you can get on BT tells me it uses more power than LTE or WiFi.

                                         

                                        There's been no indication what they may or may not charge for Digits or a basic use of it once the Beta ends.  I wouldn't pay that much for it and Numbersync being free will factor into T-Mo's decision.

                                         

                                        My phones "system" memory takes up 9.5 GB.  If they could squeeze 8 GB into the watch and keep the OS at half the memory, that extra 2 GB would probably enable them to make it more than twice as effective.  It's just hard to get LTE, MST, BT, WiFi and memory into a watch that still fits comfortably on most wrists, and that still wouldn't get them halfway to most phone OS sizes.  It's pretty impressive how much the watch does on it's own with that little memory used by the OS.  It's also absurd to think that it wasn't that long ago that the idea of "GB of memory" was laughed at.

                                         

                                        I can see needing to find my phone while I'm in the same room, but my watch is almost always either on my wrist or charging.  I suppose I could text my phone the Where's My Droid phrase to make it ring if the connection wasn't working.

                                         

                                        All in all, the problems in Digits on my end have gone from a few deal breakers to mostly smoothness issues.  The hard part of getting those just right is just starting, but the focus has been on the right things so far.  The watch is doing everything I expected it to and getting better a little at a time.  The only major weakness, app selection, can only be solved by demand as more people by a Tizen watch and app makers see a market worth entering.

                                         

                                        Something to try in regard to your double notifications would be to restart both the phone and watch.  Beyond that, maybe a soft reset of the watch.  Those seemed to help me when the watch felt caught in a loop and not doing what multiple settings were supposed to do.

                                • azdreamscape

                                  Re: gear s3

                                  Personally, I'm completely happy with the way things are working FOR ME.

                                  Since getting my watch to duplicate my main phone number, I have never received duplicate texts or notifications.

                                  The text conversation fragmentation on some devices is a concern, but it has gotten better. As far as the watch is concerned, I wouldn't want to try and read a whole conversation on that tiny screen anyway. I CAN see that someone sent a message, and respond to it. If I need to reply in context to previous discussion, I'll go get my phone.

                                   

                                  As I mentioned above, I recently set WIFI and cellular to automatic. I now get about 20% better battery life on the watch, and haven't noticed a big loss on the phone. I'm in and out of my work truck all day. My personal phone stays in the truck, and the watch (obviously) stays on my wrist. The watch and phone connect and disconnect Bluetooth many times a day, and so far everything goes smoothly. I even get Hangouts notifications on the watch, (whether on Blutooth or standalone) and can see the images my wife is sending! I can't reply, since there is no Hangouts app on the watch. If it were important for me to reply immediately, I'm now aware of it and can go back to my truck and get my phone out to do so.

                                   

                                  Anyway, the watch has limitations, as great as it is. I'm not sure if any of those limitations are really due to using DIGITS. One advantage I see is the possibility for your watch to ALWAYS use the same number as your phone. Before setting up the watch in DIGITS, I didn't care for the fact that the watch could only use it's own number unless connected by Bluetooth to my phone.

                                   

                                  I wonder how people not using DIGITS are coping with that?

                                    • bunk

                                      Re: gear s3

                                      So your telling me that if you go into the msg app on the watch you don't

                                      have any duplicate text I think you are the first

                                        • azdreamscape

                                          Re: gear s3

                                          Nope, no duplicates in here!

                                          I was having an issue (as I said) before I got the watch included into DIGITS (I forget what the actual settings were), but since then I have received one, and only one text for each one sent.

                                          • dshrum84

                                            Re: gear s3

                                            I don't get duplicate notifications either.  I figured out that the source of the double texts was that I was getting one from the phone through the notification and one directly from the watch mirroring my phone in Digits.  Now that I've stopped the messages app from sending notifications to the watch, I only get the texts that come into the watch.

                                              • jm1313

                                                Re: gear s3

                                                Did it take time for the "phone messages" (the ones received by the phone and sent/linked to the watch) to stop showing up on the watch?  Just curious, since I've had the notifications for messages turned off for a few days now, but I still fairly regularly (not quite always) get one message that appears to be sent directly to the watch via DIGITS (it has the little watch icon on it) and one message that is received by the phone and forwarded to the watch (no little watch icon).  So, not getting duplicate notifications, but definitely still getting duplicate messages.

                                          • tmo_amanda

                                            Re: gear s3

                                            DIGITSBETA.png

                                            This thread was the product of our fantastic collaborators during DIGITS Beta! As many terms have changed and bugs have been exterminated since the Beta launched, the information here may no longer be accurate. If you still have a question, please search our active threads or ask a new question in the DIGITS space!