How does the Apple Watch work ?: 31 tricks for your Apple Watch
When the Apple Watch appeared in 2015, it was not just a new product: it was Apple’s entry into wearables , a market it had previously avoided. Unfortunately, without an interface tradition to lean on, it was difficult for Apple to achieve the same levels of intuitive usability it had achieved on the Mac, iPhone, and iPad.
Obviously, Apple wasn’t going to give up, so the company forged a new design language. The Apple Watch features multiple control methods – a touchscreen sensitive to two degrees of pressure, a button and a dial, plus voice control – and numerous third-party apps that take different approaches to an interface that took a few years to establish.
All of this means that the Apple Watch is packed with secret features and hidden potential. In this article, we share our tips and secrets to help you get more out of your watch, from vital interface techniques to obscure tricks for optimizing app behavior. And we will update it regularly to add new features from the latest WatchOS software updates .
When the Apple Watch came into use, they found they wanted a Home button like the one at the bottom of the iPhone and iPad screen. But there is already a home button: the Digital Crown, which is Apple’s name for the dial on the side of the device.
Pressing the Digital Crown performs similar actions to the home button on your iPhone: tap it once to return to the home screen, or press and hold to activate Siri.
If you are using the Apple Watch and want to quickly return to the last application that was used, double tap the Digital Crown and the last application will open automatically. (This also works from the watch face.)
Then, once you are done using that application, you can return to the initial application (which is now the “last used application”) by pressing the Digital Crown twice again.
2. Use the Digital Crown to open applications
There are several ways to navigate the Apple Watch. You just have to find the path that is right for you.
For example, apps from the start menu can be opened by tapping the icon, but some people have found tapping to be inaccurate; sometimes the application gets lost and opens to the left or right of the desired application.
To find the app on a crowded home screen, you may have to zoom out by turning the dial on the Digital Crown to find the desired app. Once you have located it, touch near it to zoom in on the area and then center the application on the screen.
Once centered, instead of touching it, use the Digital Crown to zoom in and out – it’s much more accurate and includes cool animation when zooming in on the watch face.
Alternatively, try the alphabetical list view instead of the grid view – this may be easier to navigate. Press hard on the start menu and select the appropriate option.
3. Use (and customize) the dock app
The easiest way to open an app on your watch – or a commonly used app, in any case – is by using the dock, which came with the watchOS 3 update. This quick-launch app selector is accessed by pressing the button. side. Not the Digital Crown dial, but the button next to it.
Any application can live in the dock, regardless of whether it is pre-installed or made by a third party. The apps you put there are constantly being updated, so you can see a live preview when you hover around the dock. If you touch an app from its live preview, it will launch instantly (or almost instantly).
You can choose up to 10 apps to put on the dock. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, make sure you’re on the My Watch tab, and then tap Dock. Make sure the Favorites option is checked at the top and tap the Edit option at the top right to move apps to or out of the Dock. You can also choose the order in which they appear.
You can also check Recents and watchOS will automatically populate the dock with your recently used apps.
4. Download applications directly to your Apple Watch
Just like on the iPhone, it exists as a standalone app, and you can open it from the standard apps view or even from the dock, if you’ve put it there.
The problem is that text input is more difficult on a smaller screen; Both voice dictation and scribble writing are offered on the screen, but it may be easier to use the iPhone anyway. It’s certainly easier to navigate through the multiple tabs of the iOS and iPadOS versions of the App Store.
If you want to try it, read How to use the Apple Watch App Store for more details.
5. Watch the Control Center
Going through the watch face reveals the Control Center. You will see how much life the battery has left; tap the percentage figure to easily access the Power Reserve if you need to conserve power.
There is also an airplane mode, a cinema mode (indicated by two masks, which prevents the screen from lighting up unless touched), a silent mode, Do not disturb, a flashlight, a ping button to locate your phone and a button AirPlay to listen to music from your Apple Watch with wireless headphones or a Bluetooth speaker.
In addition, if you use a waterproof model (Series 2 or later) there will also be a hydraulic seal, indicated by a drop icon. This turns off the touchscreen so it won’t wake up when moving the shower or pool water (once it’s on, you won’t be able to tap the icon to turn it off. Turn the dial instead).
6. Improve battery life
How is your watch’s battery working? The original and the Series 1, when new, could take a day of moderate use quite easily – with sensible use they could take most of a second as well.
The Series 2, the best performance in the stack so far, was good for two days of use between charges and we found it frequently reached lunchtime in a third. The Series 3 and later have been more like a day and a half to two days, although it depends largely on how much the cell phone is used, which is a battery killer.
If you don’t get these performance levels, and remember that battery life is one of the things that suffers the most as a device ages, then it’s worth contacting Apple Support to see if you have a model. duff. But there are some simple tricks that you can try first.
You may only need to cut back on certain power hungry apps. Some watch faces use more energy than others; some settings are better for improving battery life. It’s worth trying to cut down on notifications and encourage your watch to check in with its paired iPhone to get updates less often.
Lastly, if you have a Series 5, you can turn off the always-on display. Open the ‘Clock Settings’ app and then tap ‘Display & brightness> Always on’.
In this article we talk about all the methods you can use: How to improve the battery life of the Apple Watch.
This app was added as part of the watchOS 5 update, and we like it, although we’re still not convinced it’s a particularly useful feature. Still, it’s free and therefore worth a try just for fun.
Open the Walkie-Talkie app and you will see a list of people you can talk to. Tap the plus sign at the bottom to add more.
Now, from the main screen of the application, touch one of the yellow contact icons to start talking to them. Assuming they give you permission (a unique requirement) you can speak in real time. Press and hold the TALK button to speak; leave it to listen.
8. Check the ambient noise levels
Since we’re talking about new apps, here is one that was introduced in watchOS 6: Noise. As the name suggests, it allows you to monitor the noise levels around you, and alerts you when those levels become dangerous for your hearing.
Open Noise – look on the home screen for a yellow icon with an ear – and you’ll see the app’s default screen (and essentially just). The current decibel measurement is displayed at the top. A color-coded verdict below tells you if this is likely to cause a hearing loss.
This in itself is not very helpful as you have to think “God, there is a lot of noise in here.” I wonder how loud “before opening the app to check. A better option is to make the clock listen in the background and alert you if things get too noisy. Open the Clock app on your iPhone and hit ‘Noise> Threshold Noise ‘to set the level that will trigger a notification (if held for three minutes or more).
Lastly, you can set a Noise complication on any watch face that supports it (which is the most). This way, you only need to glance at your wrist to get the current decibel reading.
9. Don’t run out of data
If you bought an Apple Watch equipped with a cell phone, you should not only worry about the battery draining, but also about the data limit.
Many Apple Watch apps, both premium and third-party, offer ways to limit data usage. Carefully review the options of the apps you like and consider limiting data usage.
Lastly, like most streaming services , Apple Music uses a lot of data. If you are approaching the monthly data limit, this may be a good app to avoid it.
10. Choose a new watch face
Every time Apple updates watchOS, it adds new watch faces. Over the years we have come up with Numerals, an amazingly simple face with clock hands and, you guessed it, numbers; various Toy Story characters; an attractive rotating kaleidoscope face; cold fire and liquid metal effects; and Modular Compact, which is easy to customize.
To add new faces to your lineup, open the Clock app on your iPhone and tap Face Gallery on the bottom navigation bar. You can change the order in which they will appear when moving from one side of the road to the other by tapping the Edit button next to My Watch> My Faces.
You can customize your face (including its colors and complications) with a strong press, or you can slide back and forth either left or right on the watch screen to see more faces, in the order you selected above.
11. Avoid accidentally changing the watch face
We have heard from some people who realize they accidentally change the watch face inadvertently.
This most commonly occurs in the shower, where hot water can sometimes fool the watch into thinking that it is being touched by the tip of a finger, with the result that you walk out of the shower with a ton of settings – perhaps including the choice of watch face – inadvertently changed.
But it’s also easy to slip into a new watch face when using the touchscreen for other things.
If you have the shower problem, the solution is simple: turn on the water shutoff that we mentioned before, and that we will see correctly in the next step. This temporarily disables the touch screen, preventing functions or settings from being affected by intruding water.
But if you only use one face and you prefer that the watch does not change to others by mistake, you can delete all the others from your My Faces list. Open the Clock app on your iPhone, and on the My Watch tab, tap Edit next to My Faces. Tap the red circle next to the unwanted faces, and then tap Done.
They are not gone forever – you can go to the Face Gallery at any time and tap Add to bring them back.
12. Change the name of your Apple Watch
If your name is David, for example, and you come across two Apple watches, and decide to pair them with the same iPhone at the same time, you may find yourself in the annoying situation of not knowing which is “David’s Apple Watch”. Not that we are speaking from experience or something like that.
One solution is to use a different face on each watch, but if you prefer to keep your favorite on both, a better solution is to rename one of the watches “David’s Apple Watch Series 2” or, better yet, “Watchy McWatchface”.
Renaming your Apple Watch is easy once you know how, but the option is strangely well hidden. Open the Clock app on your iPhone, make sure you are on the My Watch tab, then tap General> About> Name and enter a new name, then tap Done.
13. Avoid screen crashes with Water Lock
For Apple Watch Series 2 and later.
As already briefly discussed, Water Lock is a new feature, added in watchOS 3 taking into account the improved water resistance of the Apple Watch Series 2, which locks the touch screen to prevent it from being activated by moving water. . It comes in handy (and turns on automatically) when you do a swimming routine in the exercise app, but it’s also a good idea to manually turn it on in the shower.
Swipe your finger across the bottom of the screen to bring up the Control Center, with a series of commonly used controls. Tap the water droplet icon.
To turn the Water Lock back off, turn the Digital Crown dial. The water shutoff will deactivate and you will hear a noise, that is, the speaker vibrating to remove any remaining water. This video shows what that looks like and sounds like.
Like we said, Water Lock turns on automatically if you start swimming. But if you start another workout – a race, for example – and then it starts to rain heavily, it’s easy to activate the feature from the training app. If you swipe to the left, you will see the usual options to pause or stop the exercise, but there will also be a drop-shaped icon to activate Water Lock. The workout will continue, but the touchscreen will be desensitized, so you will have to turn the dial before using any onscreen functions.
In fact, we have never found rain strong enough to activate the watch face, but we often use this function when we run in a jacket; Prevents the sleeve from accidentally stopping the workout, switching applications or worse.
14. Control the volume of your AirPods
If you open the Now Playing app on your Apple Watch while listening with AirPods, you can change the volume with the Digital Crown dial. Very practical.
(To open Now Playing, tap the side button, go to the correct face, and tap the app – if it’s not in the dock you can change this by opening the Watch app on the companion iPhone and going to My Watch> Dock.)
Even better, with certain watch models it is possible to change the volume of the AirPods even if the screen is off. Open the Now Playing app, then let the screen dim and you’ll see that you can turn the dial and change the volume without activating the wake-up option.
15. Practice Mindfulness with Breathe
In the WatchOS 3 update, Apple released a new built-in app called Breathe. Its purpose is attention: the app is designed to guide you through relaxation sessions so that you think more about your mental health, which often falls short when it comes to wellness.
You can customize the Breathe app on your paired iPhone clock. Make sure you’re on the My Watch tab and then scroll down and tap on Breathe.
From here you can choose how often you want to be reminded to breathe during the day (or turn off notifications completely), and how many breaths per minute is more comfortable. You can also adjust the Breathe’s haptic, the vibrations that will guide you through each session.
watchOS 5 added a Breathe watch face, which you can access from the Face Gallery in the iPhone Watch app. Tap to edit and you can choose between the classic style or the new versions of Calm and Focus.
16. Use your iPhone to unlock your Apple Watch
Every time you wear your Apple Watch, you are prompted to enter your password to access. Of course, it doesn’t take long to enter the password, but some people find it difficult, especially if you have one of the small screen models. Fortunately, there is a solution (and no, we do not mean disabling the password, which makes things easier for thieves).
When you initially set up your Apple Watch, you were asked if you wanted to unlock it with your iPhone. If you selected yes, just unlock your iPhone when asked for your Apple Watch password and it will unlock your watch too. The process is even easier with Touch ID or Face ID.
If you didn’t enable the setting initially but want to do it now, open the Clock app on your iPhone and navigate to the Password menu. From here, all you have to do is activate the “Unlock with iPhone” option.
17. Use your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac
Apple’s signature synchronicity between its devices came into play with watchOS 3 and macOS Sierra. Now you can use your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac, no password required.
Take these steps first. Make sure both your Mac and your Apple Watch are signed into the same iCloud account, and enable a password on your watch if you haven’t already. On your Mac, click the following settings: System Preferences> Security & Privacy> General. Enable the “Allow your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac” option.
If you have two-step verification enabled, you will have to switch to two-factor authentication, otherwise you will run into a wall of frustration. You can see what security method you are using by logging into your Apple ID account.
To disable two-step verification and enable two-factor authentication, follow Apple’s handy guide here.
18. How to take screenshots on an Apple Watch
Taking a screenshot on Apple Watch – capturing a static image of what is on the screen at any given moment, in other words, so you can share it or save it for future reference – used to be easy. Just press the Side Button and Digital Crown at the same time, and the screenshot will appear in the photo app of the paired iPhone.
But since the release of iOS 10 and watchOS 3, Apple Watch screenshots are disabled by default.
If you want to turn screen captures back on, open the Watch app on the paired iPhone and tap General. Scroll down again and tap the slider next to Enable Screenshots so it turns green.
Now you can use the old technique: press the side button and Digital Crown at the same time, then look in Photos on the iPhone for the screenshot.
19. Use your Apple Watch to reach your fitness goals
The Activity app, as the name suggests, tracks your physical activity: the more you move, the more you raise your heart rate, and the less you sit on your butt, the better your progress toward all three daily goals.
If you find it difficult to reach the Move goal, you can always lower the goal – it is the only one of the three that is customizable by the user. When you’re in the Activity app, make a firm press on the screen and you’ll see the option to Change motion target. This applies to today’s goal, so you can always lower your goal in an emergency “about to miss an achievement.”
But if you desperately want to hit today’s goal without cheating – sorry, I mean adjusting your goals – there are plenty of ways to burn off those last few calories (and gain the minutes of exercise while doing it) before your time runs out. . Above all, don’t assume that you need to do a full workout or even go outside.
Comparatively, static activities can be quite effective, as long as you move a little and get your heart pumping – we found practicing front defense with a child’s cricket bat to be curiously effective (albeit embarrassing), presumably because It involves taking steps forward and backward and exercising many parts of the body. By contrast, making the baseball minigame on Wii Sports seems much less effective, presumably because our feet barely move.
Jogging in place, as long as it’s a fairly vigorous jog, is currently our method of recharging unburned calories at the end of the day.
For the total posture, keep in mind that standing for a minute is not enough to hit the target for a given hour. You need to move a little for the clock to notice. Walking to the kitchen and making a cup of tea should be enough. But I have found that when padding the house with socks or slippers (especially on the carpet), sometimes you can’t lift the steps, or you struggle to lift it for a while.
If you’re really desperate to hit the mark, you can put on shoes or go for a walk to the kitchen or just jump around a bit, but try to remember that by sitting less you’re seeing the health benefits whether you win the “game” or not.
We have a more detailed tutorial on how to use the Apple Watch Activity app.
20.Share your activity rings
Sharing activities on Apple Watch lets you see your friends’ daily progress in meeting their activity goals, from training details to their rings. You can send positive messages to cheer up a friend who needs a boost from the Activity Watch app, or if you’re feeling competitive, a little pre-written snark is just a tap away.
Sharing activities is not activated by default: you have to invite your friends to share their data with you and wait for them to respond. This is in the iOS Activity app, not the iOS Apple Watch app.
Select the ‘Share’ tab at the bottom and then tap the plus sign in the upper right. Enter an email address or search for your contacts and select Send. They will have to accept.
If you’re feeling particularly competitive (and you’ve upgraded to watchOS 5 or later), you can even challenge your teammates to a competition. Here’s how to create (and win) Apple Watch contests.
21. Take pictures with your watch
Apple pre-installs a camera app with Apple Watch. That may seem strange, because no currently available Apple Watch model comes with a camera of any kind. In fact, this application allows you to use the watch as a remote trigger for your iPhone’s camera. It is a very useful function.
Open the camera application of your Apple Watch and it will automatically open the camera application of the paired iPhone. Get the iPhone in an advantageous position (maybe using one of these lovely iPhone camera tripods?) While you check that the shot is okay on your Apple Watch.
When you’re happy, you can tap the white circle on the clock screen to take a photo, or press the “3s” button to use a three-second delay. The latter is useful when you want to take – and be in – a group family photo and not be looking at your watch as the shutter is released.
22. Make your iPhone flash when you ping
These could be two tips in one, if you didn’t know that you can make your Apple Watch “ping” an iPhone that you can’t find.
You just have to access the settings view of your Apple watch and touch the icon that shows an iPhone with sound coming out of it. This will send a signal to the paired phone and cause it to ping hard, allowing you to easily find it. A very useful function, right?
But if you can’t find your iPhone by pinging alone, tap and hold the iPhone ping icon on your Apple Watch to activate the camera’s LED flash as well, which will hopefully give you a better idea of where your lost device is.
23. Dismiss notifications temporarily
When you get a notification on your iPhone, it shows up on your Apple watch, obviously. But did you notice that once a notification has been dismissed on your Apple Watch, it is also dismissed from the notification center of your iPhone? While this means that you can prevent the notification center from getting too crowded, it can also be inconvenient when it comes to message notifications.
Let’s say, for example, I get a WhatsApp message notification on my Apple Watch from a friend while I’m at work and I can’t reply to him right away. If I reject the notification from my Apple Watch, it will also reject it from my iPhone, but in doing so I completely forget that you have sent me a message and end up ignoring your message for hours. Not ideal, right?
However, there is a simple solution: when you receive a full screen notification that you do not want to remove from the notification center, simply press the digital crown to go back to what you were doing without deleting it.
24. Quickly delete all notifications
If you follow our advice above not to reject notifications from your Apple Watch, a side effect can be a large number of notifications in the Notification Center of your Apple Watch, available by swiping your finger across the watch face. Although we don’t want to delete important messages or notifications, we also don’t want you to drown in a sea of annoying notifications.
If you find yourself in a situation like the one described above, you have two options available: manually delete each notification by swiping your finger to the left and touching “Delete”, or delete all notifications at once. To clear all notifications at once, simply go to the Notification Center, force-tap, and tap “Clear all.” This will clear all notifications from both your Apple Watch and your iPhone.
25. Turn off the Apple Watch screen with the palm of your hand
Have you ever finished using the Apple Watch, lowered your wrist and noticed that the screen does not turn off? Although it’s no big deal and it turns off automatically after a few seconds of inactivity, it would be helpful to know how to manually turn off the screen, right?
It would come in handy, especially if you have disabled wrist detection to save battery life. Well, you’re in luck, as there is a way to manually turn off the screen; and it is much easier than you think.
Once you finish using your Apple Watch and want to turn off the screen, you just have to place the palm of your hand on the screen. Once you move your hand away, you will notice that the screen has turned off. It also has other uses: if you receive a phone call on your Apple watch, place the palm of your hand on the screen to silence the call.
26. Let Siri know when you’re done talking
Using Siri on the Apple Watch makes time-consuming tasks like setting alarms much easier to accomplish, simply by telling Siri to set the alarm for you.
It is also an integral part of the message application, being used to dictate your response before converting it to ready-to-send text. But Siri on the Apple Watch is still young, and it has a lot to learn, like when to stop listening to your dictation.
We have discovered that when we use Siri to dictate responses to texts, it is not very sure when to stop listening to us and it will start transcribing someone who is speaking near you. However, we have found that tapping the screen after you are done with your reply will make Siri stop listening, and it will transcribe what has been said.
But it is not only useful for dictation, as the audio clip can also be sent as a voice memo via iMessage on the occasion when Siri does not transcribe accurately. So tapping when you’ve finished speaking makes sense, since you don’t want to send your friend a voice memo with 10 seconds of silence at the end, right?
27. Organize your Apple Watch home screen
It’s a good idea to organize the apps on the home screen of your Apple Watch. With the combination of a small screen and a large number of installed applications, it can be frustrating trying to find applications that you want to use.
Now the quickest way to rearrange your Apple Watch’s home screen is to tap and hold the app icon until it moves, just like the iPhone. Once everything starts moving, you can drag the icon to its new position. It’s also where you can uninstall any third-party Apple Watch apps.
There is also another way to organize the Apple Watch home screen, that is, using the Apple Watch companion app on your iPhone. By opening the companion application and accessing the application design menu, you can get an overview of the design of your applications. From here, you can easily rearrange them by tapping, holding, and dragging without the Apple Watch’s small screen stopping you.
28. Put the watch on your right wrist (attention lefties!)
The next tip is for the lefties among us – tired of wearing the apple watch on the left wrist? You tried it and it doesn’t play nice with wrist lift detection? Do not worry; you can switch to your right wrist once you have adjusted the Apple Watch settings in the Apple Watch Companion App on your iPhone.
Once you’ve opened the app, simply navigate to General> Clock Orientation. From here you can select on which wrist the Apple Watch will be worn, as well as the placement of the Digital Crown. By selecting the correct wrist and Digital Crown placement, you help the Watch to know when to wake up the screen, as well as how to orient the screen.
Lefties can choose to hold the Digital Crown away from their hand or carry it “upside down” with the side button located above the Digital Crown. Whichever you choose, it doesn’t have much of an impact on your watch experience.
29. Enable “Prominent Haptic” for a notification preview
The decision to include a Taptic engine inside the Apple Watch was welcomed with open arms by the tech community as a whole. We’ve all had bad experiences with traditional vibration motors – you’ve had your phone quiet and you’re in an important meeting when you receive a text, but the vibration is so strong that every person in the room is aware that you just received a text. . Haptic feedback is nothing of the sort.
Thanks to the Taptic Engine, instead of feeling a big buzz on your wrist when you receive a notification, you will feel a gentle “tap” on your wrist to alert you. However, some people have commented that they hardly feel haptic feedback when they are away from home, and this tip is for those people.
The prominent haptic is a pre-announcement vibration that is louder than the standard Apple Watch vibration to alert you to an incoming notification. To activate it, open the Apple Watch companion app on your iPhone and navigate to “Sounds & Haptics.” From here, you can customize the sounds and haptic feedback on your Apple Watch, and most importantly, activate the “Prominent” haptic feature.
With this function activated, you will feel two vibrations each time you receive a notification: one as a pre-announcement and one for the notification.
30. Answer calls on your iPhone using Apple Watch
Even though we’ve been using the Apple Watch phone feature since we got our hands on it, we’ve missed this feature for weeks. When you receive a call on your iPhone, you have the option to answer or reject the call, right? Incorrect.
Other options are available – just use the Digital Crown to scroll down and access them. The first option is to send a quick reply, which will disconnect the call and present you with preset messages such as “I can’t talk, what’s wrong?” to send to the caller.
The second option, however, is much more useful. Although the phone function of the Apple Watch is great, the speaker is not loud enough to be used properly in a public environment – it is too quiet to hear the call. So in those situations you can use the Digital Crown to scroll down and select “Reply on iPhone.”
Not only does this answer the call on the iPhone, it also puts the recipient on hold until you have a chance to remove the phone from your pocket / bag and unlock it. This eliminates any confusion on the part of the recipient, as they will not hear you whisper in your bag looking for your phone.
To learn more about this, read our Guide to Making Phone Calls on Apple Watch.
31. Share your location from Apple Watch
There is nothing more annoying than being with your friends and having them keep texting you wondering where you are, especially when you wear an Apple Watch and you can feel every text on your wrist.
You have several options: ignore them, activate the do not disturb mode on your watch or tell them where you are. The latter seems like the easiest option, but not when you’re not sure where you are, and that’s where our last tip comes in.
All you have to do is open the Messages app on your Apple Watch and select a thread to reply to, and instead of dictating a reply, force touch the screen and select “Send location.”
This will take the current location of your iPhone and send it to everyone on the thread, which in this case is all the friends you are going to meet. They can load your location from the message app and easily see where you are. It is very simple.