Jonathan Wylie is a digital learning consultant who has a passion for helping others get the best out of their technology.
The Apple Watch started its life as a relatively straightforward device. However, as time progressed, it gained a host of new features and has grown in complexity to the point that very few people know everything that it is capable of. So, if you are looking to get the most out of your Apple Watch, take a look at the tips below.
1. Stronger Vibrations for Notifications
The haptic engine on the Apple Watch is the technology that is used to send vibrations to your wrist when you get a new notification. However, depending on how you wear your watch, the vibrations may not be as strong as you might want. In fact, many people miss notifications because they didn't feel the buzz on their wrist. Here's how to fix that:
- Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch
- Scroll down to Sounds and Haptics and tap to select this option
- Under Haptics, tap Prominent
Once you have enabled this setting, vibrations from notifications will now be stronger and more noticeable. It might seem too strong at first, but try it for a couple of days before you make the change back to the default settings.
2. Change the App View Layout
The iconic grid view of circular app icons is instantly recognizable, but not always very practical. Sometimes, it can be hard to find the app you want, especially when some apps like Timer and Stopwatch have very similar app icons. The good news is, an alternative does exist. It's called List View, and it puts all your apps in a handy vertical list that is sorted alphabetically. Here's how to enable it.
- Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch
- Scroll until you get to App View and then tap to select it
- Choose List View
Once enabled, you can scroll through your apps by swiping on the screen or turning the digital crown on the side of your watch.
3. Silence Notifications Quickly
Sometimes notifications arrive at very inopportune moments. An incoming phone call can be very distracting, even if you have muted the sound on your iPhone. To quickly silence that notification, all you need to do is place your palm over the screen of your Apple Watch. It works for phone calls, text messages, and any other kind of notifications.
4. Water Lock for Swimming
If you are a keen swimmer, Water Lock is a feature worth knowing about. To enable it, simply swipe up from the bottom of the screen to access Control Center on your Apple Watch, and then tap the raindrop icon. When enabled, the display on your watch is disabled to prevent accidental touches while swimming. To exit Water Lock, simply turn the digital crown. This vibrates the speaker on your Apple Watch to help dispel any remaining water that was still inside your watch.
How to Use Water Lock on an Apple Watch
5. Ping Your iPhone...Like a Pro
One of the features that Apple Watch users love is the ability to ping their iPhone when you can't remember where you left it. This is one of the first things people learn to do when they get an Apple Watch. However, not many people know about the hidden option that exists to find your iPhone even quicker!
To test it out, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to launch Control Center on your watch. Most people just tap the button to ping their phone but if you press and hold that button, your iPhone will play a sound and illuminate the flash on the back of your phone. This means you have a much better chance of finding your lost devices.
How to Ping Your iPhone With Your Watch
6. Find Other Devices
Speaking of finding things you lost, the Find Devices app on the Apple Watch is a quick and easy way to find all your Apple Devices. Simply open the app to get started. Then, select the device you want to look for to see a map of its last location as well as the ability to play a sound to help you find it. This works for iPads, AirPods, MacBooks, and more.
If you want to track something that has an AirTag attached to it, use the Find Items app. This shows a list of all your active AirTags and will help you keep track of the ones you are missing. Yes, you can do this on your iPhone, but the convenience of being able to do this on your wrist is a great way to get the most out of your Apple Watch.
7. Set Multiple Timers
Did you know your Apple Watch can do something that your iPhone can't? Setting multiple timers is a very handy feature, yet for some reason, Apple has yet to include it as an option on iOS. Your Apple Watch, however, is a different story. Here is how to set up multiple timers on your wrist.
- Open the Timer app
- Start a timer
- Tap the back button, and then start a new timer
- Repeat as often as necessary
You can also ask Siri to start a timer for you, and then repeat the request for the additional timers that you need.
8. Remote Camera Shutter
The iPhone is great for selfies, but sometimes your arm just isn't long enough to capture everyone in a group shot or to capture everything you want in the background. For times like this, your Apple Watch is here to save the day because it allows you to trigger your iPhone camera remotely from your wrist. Here's how.
- Prop your iPhone up against a wall or set it on a tripod
- Open the Camera Remote app on your Apple Watch
- Tap the 3-second timer button to start a countdown
- Your photo will be captured when the timer gets to zero
It's worth noting that the Camera Remote app is not just for photos. It also works for portrait photos, video, slo-mo and time-lapse captures. Simply select the correct mode on your iPhone before you trigger the timer on your watch.
How to Take Pictures With Your Apple Watch
9. Raise Your Wrist to Speak to Siri
You can launch Siri on the Apple Watch by pressing and holding the digital crown. However, you can also raise your wrist close to your mouth and just start talking. You don't even need to say, "Hey Siri". Simply raise your wrist to your mouth and ask what the weather is going to be like today, and Siri will reply accordingly.
If you are having trouble getting it to work, open the Settings app on your watch and then tap Siri. Check that Raise to Speak is turned on, and then try again. If you don't have a cellular Apple Watch, your iPhone needs to be in range of your iPhone and connected to the internet.
10. How to Share Apple Watch Faces
If you have a friend or family member who is particularly fond of the watch face on your wrist, you can share it with them so that they can add it to their watch with just a tap. Here's how.
- Press and hold on the watch face
- Tap the Share arrow
- Choose whether you want to share by text message or email
- Send your watch face
The recipient will receive a link to the watch face that you sent. When they click that link on their iPhone or Apple Watch, they will be able to add it to their face gallery.
Create and Share Watch Faces With Others
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Jonathan Wylie