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Apple Watch set to get one step closer to being independent from your iPhone

Image Credit: Apple

Even if you own the full LTE version of the Apple Watch 3 or Apple Watch 4, neither of these devices work entirely without an iPhone, but a new hint in the watchOS 6 beta suggests we may be getting close to that reality.

According to VentureBeat's Jeremy Horwitz, the latest watchOS 6 developer beta - which was released earlier this week - will download over-the-air updates directly to the Apple Watch for the first time.

Previously, Apple has used your iPhone to download the software within the Apple Watch app and then pushed it to your wearable over Bluetooth. Now watchOS 6 will seemingly download it directly, if you have a smartwatch that is connected to Wi-Fi.

If you're after an untethered Apple Watch experience, don't rejoice yet. In this process, you'll still have to use your iPhone to accept the terms and conditions of the update.

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That's weirdly backwards, but remember this is just the beta for developers, so this may change by the time watchOS 6 rolls out.

This cord cutting between your Apple Watch and iPhone is another step toward a fully useful device away from your handset, which will also be helped by the addition of a dedicated Apple Watch App Store coming in the next update.

We expect to see watchOS 6 around September this year, where we're also likely to see the launch of the Apple Watch 5, iPhone 11, and the release of iOS 13 onto your iPhone.

Via Phone Arena

James Peckham

James is Phones Editor for TechRadar and covers all the big announcements from the best manufacturers making mobile phones, tablets and wearables. Based in London, James is often testing out the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, VR headsets and - when he can be motivated to go outside - fitness bands. Be sure to follow him on Twitter for all the latest from the mobile world.