Tips and Tricks for the Apple Watch: 20 Things You Should Know
Since the release of watchOS 6, iOS 13, and macOS Catalina in the fall of 2019, many of these features were made available. You should have access to the features we discuss below and more as long as your devices are running these versions of the relevant operating system or newer.
Your Apple Watch can assist you in locating your iPhone, unlocking your Mac, alerting you if your hearing is in danger, or even recognizing when you’ve been injured from a fall and calling for assistance. Here are some features, advice, and hacks for your Apple Watch.
1. Locate Your Lost iPhone
The Apple Watch’s ability to “ping” your iPhone is among its most practical features. This is ideal for situations where you misplace your iPhone.
To access this feature, swipe up on the watch face to reveal Control Center and then tap the iPhone icon.
A loud, high-pitched chime will be played on your iPhone. The bell icon can be repeatedly tapped until your iPhone is located. This feature alone may be enough to convince you to buy an Apple Watch if you have a tendency to leave your iPhone in odd places.
2. Accept Password Requests on Apple Watch
For any admin-level authorization requests, the feature “Approve with Apple Watch” was added in macOS Catalina. When you try to delete or install software, view saved passwords in Safari, or access locked settings panels, you frequently see these prompts.
There is nothing more to do if you’ve already configured auto-unlock (see above); just approve using your Apple Watch. While working on your Mac, notifications asking you to approve changes will appear on your wrist.
3. Track Ambient Noise Levels
If you own an Apple Watch Series 4 or newer model, the watchOS 6 and newer watchOS by Apple has ambient sound level monitoring. When a certain threshold is exceeded for three minutes or longer, the feature notifies you and monitors the sound levels in the area. The feature can be turned on by opening the “Watch” app on your iPhone, tapping “Noise,” and then choosing your preferred threshold.
Additionally, a feature that displays the current ambient noise levels in real-time can be enabled on the watch face. A new entry appears in the Health app once you enable ambient noise monitoring. It records the sound levels you hear and warns you if you spend a lot of time around loud noises.
4. Unlock Your Mac
You can now use your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac thanks to this feature. The iPhone 5 or later must be connected to your Apple Watch, and your Mac must have been produced sometime after mid-2013 in order to use this feature.
On your Mac, go to System Preferences > General to enable automatic unlocking. Ensure that the option to “Allow Handoff Between This Mac and Your iCloud Devices” is turned on. Next, select “Allow Your Apple Watch to Unlock Your Mac” under the General tab in System Preferences > Security & Privacy.
Now, when you approach the login screen within a few feet, your Mac ought to unlock itself. For this to work, you must be signed in to the same Apple ID on your Apple Watch, paired iPhone, and Mac.
5. Detect When You’ve Had a Bad Fall
Your “falling and being unable to get up” can also be detected by an Apple Watch Series 4 or later. The watch will automatically contact emergency services and the emergency contacts you’ve pre-selected if it notices a fall followed by a period of inactivity.
Unless you’re 65 or older (and even then, you can disable it), this feature is off by default. Although you can turn it on manually, you should be aware that your watch may occasionally contact emergency services even if there is no real emergency.
To activate Apple Watch fall detection:
- Open the “Watch” application on your iPhone.
- Select “Emergency SOS.”
- Turn “Fall Detection” on.
Although there are reports that the feature could save lives, you should also think about the legal repercussions of a device that automatically calls the police (and forgoes the need for a warrant to enter your property).
Your likelihood of enabling false positives increases with your level of physical activity. Fortunately, the watch makes an effort to alert you before dialing 911. If you’re concerned, you can also decide only to detect falls during workouts.
6. Mute Incoming Call Alerts with a Gesture
Although receiving call alerts on your Apple Watch is convenient, not every call should be answered. Simply place your palm over your watch to quickly silence an incoming call notification if you’re in a hurry. The phone will stop ringing and vibrating, but the call won’t be turned down.
If you want to answer the call before it rings, wake up your watch or take out your iPhone; otherwise, it goes to voice mail.
7. Tell Time with Haptic Feedback
To avoid having to look at the time, the Taptic Time feature taps out the time on your wrist using the haptic feedback capabilities of your Apple Watch. People who are farsighted or visually impaired will find this feature to be especially helpful.
To enable Taptic Time, follow these steps:
- On your Apple Watch, open “Settings”.
- Scroll down and tap “Clock”
- Tap on “Taptic Time” and then toggle on the feature
- Select a profile using the guidelines below.
You have a choice between the “Digits,” “Terse,” and “Morse Code” profiles. You receive a long tap every ten hours, a short tap for each individual hour, a second long tap every ten minutes, and a short tap for each individual minute with “Digits.”
You get long taps every five hours with the “Terse” profile, short taps for the other hours, and long taps every quarter hour.
Each digit of the time is tapped in its corresponding Morse code pattern by the “Morse Code” profile.
Place and hold two fingers on the Apple Watch face to check the time after you enable this feature and select a profile.
8. Get Hourly Haptic Chimes
You can turn on “Chimes” if you want to feel the passing of time on your wrist. This feature buzzes your wrist every hour, half-hour, or quarter-hour when your watch is not in Silent mode.
To enable “Chimes,” follow the steps below:
- On your Apple Watch, open “Settings”.
- Scroll down and tap “Accessibility”
- Choose “Chimes”
- Toggle on the “Chimes” setting
- Tap “Sounds” and then choose “Bells” or “Birds”
- Tap “Schedule” and then tap “Hourly,” “Half-Hourly,” or “Quarter-Hourly.”
9. Register your Workouts
The Apple Watch is a fantastic workout buddy, but it may not have a workout for every activity you might want to log. Instead, you can select “Other,” which awards activity at a rate that is similar to that of a brisk walk. The watch rewards you with more activity if your heart rate increases during this time.
You can label these workouts to better organize the workout data, but there isn’t much time to do this. As soon as you finish your workout, you must label it on the summary screen.
Follow these steps to label your workout:
- On your Apple Watch, launch the “Workout” app.
- On the list, select “Add Workout” at the bottom.
- Tap “Other” workout and complete your activity
- End your workout, and then wait for the workout summary screen to appear
- Tap “Name Workout,” and then select from the list of available workouts
Now, in the Workouts app’s master list of workouts, you can choose this workout type (or the label) to perform. Kickboxing, Downhill Skiing, Pilates, and Martial Arts are a few of the intriguing exercise options.
10. Transfer Incoming Calls
Calls can be transferred to your iPhone as well. To initiate the transfer, merely tap the ellipsis “…” on the incoming call screen before selecting “Answer on iPhone.”
Your iPhone receives the call, answers it automatically, and puts the caller on hold. The caller is informed of the situation by a pre-recorded message. The call can then be continued by picking up your iPhone.
11. Customize Workout Displays
When your Apple Watch is active, each workout displays differently. For instance, a cycling workout shows distance traveled, average speed, and elevation gain, whereas a walking workout, shows average speed and total calories (or kilojoules) burned.
These displays allow for a minimal amount of customization. Open the “Watch” app on your iPhone and scroll down to “Workout” to do this. A list of customizable workout displays is displayed when you tap “Workout View.” Based on the kind of workout, Apple places restrictions on what you can add and remove.
As a result, you will need to remove an item from the “Include” list before adding one from the “Do Not Include” list because the majority of workout displays will already be “full.”
12. Toggle Between Current and Last-Used Apps
Double-tap the digital crown on your Apple watch to quickly switch between two apps. Tap the side button once if you’d prefer to use the app switcher and look through a list of your most recently used apps (like you can on your iPhone).
13. Eject Water From Apple Watch
Although the Series 1 and the first-generation Apple Watch are water-resistant, you shouldn’t immerse them in water. Series 2 and later devices can be submerged and used in saltwater.
Make sure to drain the water from the housing of your Apple Watch if you do submerge it. Do this after you return to dry land. To accomplish this, turn on your Apple Watch’s water lock feature, then turn the digital crown to allow any water that has become trapped inside the speaker to escape.
Here’s how to do it:
- Swipe up from the bottom of the Apple Watch’s watch face.
- Tap the water lock icon
- Turn the digital crown until several long tones are audible and felt.
- Continue doing this until you are certain there is no more water inside.
Before diving into the shower, pool, or ocean, it is best to activate the water lock. With the touch screen locked, accidental swipes won’t be recorded on your Apple Watch. If you begin a “Swimming Workout,” your watch will take care of this for you.
14. Use the Apple Watch as a Walkie-Talkie
Apple introduced the walkie-talkie feature in watchOS 5. It’s a bit temperamental at best and only functions with people who also own an Apple Watch. To use the walkie-talkie feature, you need an Apple Watch Series 1 or later.
Make sure your watch is up to date and running watchOS 5.3 or later in order to use it. The FaceTime app must be installed and set up on your iPhone, which must be running iOS 12.4 or a more recent version. FaceTime can be activated by going to Settings > FaceTime.
Then, open the Walkie-Talkie app on your Apple Watch, tap “Add” to find the person you want to talk to, tap and hold the on-screen contact button to select them, and then let go of it. The recipient of your voice message is then notified.
Even with Silent mode turned on, any messages you receive on your Apple Watch are read aloud automatically.
Swipe up on the watch face to reveal Control Center, then tap the yellow Walkie-Talkie icon; it will turn gray, making you unavailable on the walkie-talkie.
15. Quickly Clear All Notifications
Swipe down from the top of the watch face screen to access the list of notifications you’ve received. At the top of the watch face, you’ll always see a red dot if you have any notifications in this “tray.”
Swipe down on the watch face to reveal your notifications, then tap the red dot to quickly clear all of your notifications. Next, force touch the screen (i.e., press it firmly and quickly enough to produce a haptic click). To delete all notifications, tap “Clear All.”
16. Hands-Free Siri
While Siri on your Apple Watch isn’t always listening like it is on your iPhone, you can still use it hands-free. Before you ask a question, hold your Apple Watch up to your face to activate Siri. It’s not necessary to say, “Hey, Siri,” first.
Getting used to this might take some time. We’ve discovered that the best outcomes come from raising your hand and pausing briefly before speaking. You can turn off the raise-to-speak feature if you decide it’s not for you.
Additionally, you can deactivate Hey Siri on your Apple Watch if you don’t want to use Siri hands-free.
17. Kill Unresponsive Apps
On watchOS, apps can crash occasionally, just like on iOS on the iPhone. You must force quit them when this occurs, just like you would on an iPhone.
To do this, open the app switcher by pressing the side button once (not the digital crown). Swipe right after scrolling to the app you want to force quit. To end the application, click the red “X” that appears.
18. Browse the App Store
You no longer need to use your iPhone to browse and install apps from the App Store on your Apple Watch if you have watchOS 6 or higher. Make sure your Apple Watch has been updated by going to Watch > General > System Preferences on your iPhone. This works with any Apple Watch compatible with watchOS 6 (Series 1 and newer).
19. Shake Up the Home Screen
You can toggle between the more common list view and the default grid view by using the Digital Crown when you Force Touch the home screen on your Apple Watch (press down firmly until you hear a haptic click).
Organizing it on your iPhone is much simpler if you want to stick with the grid view. Simply open the Watch app, choose App Layout, and then drag your apps to the desired location.
20. Add Your Initials to the Watch Face
On some watch faces, a monogram of up to five letters can be seen. Open the Watch app on your iPhone, then scroll down to Clock to set your monogram. Choose the watch face you want, add the monogram complication, and then type the five letters you want under “Monogram.”
If Apple has proven anything with the Apple Watch, it’s a dedication to software updates. Since its debut on the original Apple Watch, the watchOS has undergone significant changes. Expect even more goodies from Apple with each update and Apple Watch model because new features are added every year.