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Apple Watch tips | 48 functions that you are not yet familiar with

Smart tricks and nice tricks: your Apple Watch has dozens of them. In this article, you will find the 48 best tips and tricks for the Apple Watch. Read on quickly and you can do them right off the bat.

48 Apple Watch tips

In this article you will find dozens of Apple Watch tips, so you can get the most out of your iWatch. 

Save time with the Apple Watch

1. Read and send messages via your Apple Watch

With an Apple Watch, you can respond to messages super-fast by simply tapping a ready-made reply. On your iPhone, open the Watch app and select ‘Messages> Standard replies’ in the ‘My Watch’ tab. Tap Edit and add texts such as “I’m on my way, baby!”, “Okay,” “I’m in a Teams meeting!”, Or whatever you send back often. To send them, open a conversation in Messages, scroll down and tap one of your default replies.

2. Pay with your Apple Watch

No, really not: there is no faster way to pay contactless than with an Apple Watch. Press the side button twice and hold your Apple Watch up to the card reader – it’s all it takes. This also works when your iPhone is not nearby. Haven’t configured Apple Pay yet? Then open the Watch app on your iPhone and tap ‘My Watch> Wallet and Apple Pay’. Follow the steps to add a payment card.

3. Share location

Want to quickly share your current location with someone while on the road? Open the chat in Messages, scroll all the way to the bottom and tap Send Location. Note: the recipient only sees the current location. Thus, the location is not updated.

4. As a shopping list

Do not forget to leave your iPhone in your pocket when you go shopping, because finishing your list is much more convenient with a Watch. Activate the Reminders app there and you only have to turn your wrist to view or check items.

5. Unlock your Mac

It is not necessary to enter a password; with a watch your Mac automatically unlocks when you want to log in. First you still have to activate that function. On your Mac, open the System Preferences app and choose Security & Privacy. Make sure the checkmark for ‘Use your Apple Watch to unlock apps and your Mac’ is checked.

Health tips for the Apple Watch

6. Protect hearing

Are you close to the speakers at a party, or do you attend a concert with banging guitars? Your smartwatch listens with you and warns if the noise level could cause permanent hearing damage. By default, the watch sends a notification if the noise level is 90 decibels or more for 3 minutes or longer. With the Watch app on your iPhone, you can set that you receive that notification at a different value, or not at all. You do this via ‘Noise> Noise threshold’.

7. Wash your hands

Washing hands becomes even more splashy. The Apple Watch motivates to do that long enough. From 20 seconds it counts down to make sure you wash away all the bad things. You must first activate the function. Open the Watch app, tap the ‘My Watch’ tab and select ‘Wash hands’. Set the switch behind ‘Timer for hand washing’ to green.

8. Low or high heart rate warning

Do you have a heart rate of 120 or higher, but have not moved for ten minutes? Then maybe something is wrong and your smart watch will warn you. The same applies if the heart rate is too low; by default you will receive a warning if your heart rate drops below 40 beats per minute for ten minutes longer. You can set that you receive the notifications at a different value, or not at all. You do this on the Watch app of the iPhone, at ‘My Watch> Heart’.

9. Get notified of an irregular heartbeat

You can also set the Apple Watch to warn you of an irregular heartbeat, which could indicate atrial fibrillation. You have to configure this first. Open the Health app and choose Heart> Irregular Rhythm Notifications. Tap Configure> Continue and follow the steps.

10. Check your cardio fitness

Recently, your cardio fitness is also measured, also called VO 2 max. This is a good indication of your general physical health. You set it up via the iPhone, in the Health app. Tap on ‘Data’ at the bottom and choose ‘Breathing> Cardio condition’. Which VO 2 value is good depends on your age, height and weight, among other things.

11. Call 112 quickly

Are you in need? Press and hold the side button of the Apple Watch. The watch starts a countdown and plays a sound. After about five seconds, the Apple Watch automatically dials 112. You can also drag the slider of Emergency SOS to the right.

12. Fall detection Apple Watch

When you have a hard fall and you don’t seem to move afterwards, your Apple Watch helps to contact the emergency services. For this you need an Apple Watch Series 4 (from 2018) or newer. If you are 55 or older, this option is automatically enabled. If you are younger, you still have to activate it. Open the Watch app on your iPhone and tap ‘Emergency SOS’ under the ‘My Watch’ tab. Set the switch behind ‘Fall detection’ to green.

Sports tips for the Apple Watch

13. Change your goal

The rings of the Activity app are extremely motivating. But then they have to be feasible or challenging enough. Since watchOS 7, you can adjust your movement goal, training goal, and city goal. To do this, open the Activity app on your Apple Watch, swipe all the way down, then tap Change Goals.

14. Challenge your friends

For even more motivation, share your Activity rings with friends and family. This way you can get it out of your head to binge-watch all day long; those rings must be full. Open the Activity app on your Apple Watch, swipe the screen to the left and select ‘Invite’. With a tap on the contact person and ‘Send’ you have invited him or her.

15. Other statistics

During your sports session you will see different measurements. For running, these are the duration, heart rate, current pace, average pace, and distance. The statistics that are displayed can be adjusted. Grab your iPhone and open the Watch app. Activate the ‘My Watch’ tab. Select ‘Workout> Workout view’ and tap on a workout. Choose ‘Change’ and add other measurements.

16. Extensive Workout Statistics

After completing your workout, the Watch will show some important statistics. For example, the average speed and the number of calories burned. On the iPhone you will find much more interesting data about your training. To see them, open the Fitness iPhone app and tap the activity.

17. Unwind with Breathing

The Apple Watch is also good for your mental health. Are you feeling stressed, or could you use some relaxation? Open the Breathing app (it’s on the Apple Watch by default) and press Start. An animation and taps on the wrist guide you through the breathing exercise. It’s a great way to improve your focus and concentration.

6 Apple Watch tips for the beginner

18. Take a screenshot

You can also take a screenshot on your Apple Watch. You do this by simultaneously pressing the side button and Digital Crown. The screenshot will then appear in your iPhone’s Photos app. Is it not working? Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch. Choose General, scroll down and tap Screenshots. Set the switch to green.

19. Update an Apple Watch

To see if you have the latest watchOS version, open the Settings app on your Apple Watch. Tap on ‘General> Software Update’ and you can see if your smartwatch is up to date. This also works via the iPhone app. From there, open the Watch app and tap the ‘My Watch’ tab. Select ‘General> Software update’.

20. Hide iPhone apps

Not all iPhone apps need to be on your Apple Watch. Open your iPhone’s Watch app. Activate the ‘My Watch’ tab and scroll down. Under the Installed on Apple Watch section, tap an app you want to hide and toggle the toggle to gray.

21. Download an Apple Watch app

The Apple Watch has its own App Store. Open the app on your smartwatch and scroll down to find something you like. Tap an app and select Download to add it to your Apple Watch.

22. Activate the Apple Watch power saving mode

To last longer with the Apple Watch, swipe the bottom of the watch face up. Tap the battery percentage. Swipe the power save switch to the right. From now on, all functions of the Apple Watch will be disabled; only the time remains to be seen. To switch off the power save mode, press the side button longer. The Apple Watch restarts and goes into power saving mode.

23. Relocate app icons

There is a large number of small app icons on the home screen. You want the most important apps in the middle because you see them immediately. To relocate the app icons, open the Watch app on your iPhone. Choose My Watch> App View. Make sure ‘Grid view’ is checked and tap ‘Arrangement.’ Drag the icons to a different position.

Tips for Apple Watch watch faces

24. Set new watch face

You can create a new watch face in the Watch app of your iPhone, but also via the Apple Watch itself. Put your finger longer on the active watch face. Swipe the watch faces to the left and tap the plus button. Scroll down to find out and tap the watch face you want to activate.

25. Adjust watch face

Almost every watch face can be personalized. Hold your finger longer on the active watch face and choose Edit. Swipe left or right to select an option and turn the Digital Crown to change it. For example, you can adjust the colors or second hand.

26. Add complications

Complications are small widgets that you see on the watch face of the Apple Watch. This way you immediately see relevant information, without having to open the app first. To add or change them, tap longer on a watch face and choose ‘Edit’. Swipe all the way to the left until you see ‘Complications’. Tap one of the complications to add a new one. Don’t see ‘Complications’? Then the watch face does not support them.

27. Switching the watch face

You can quickly switch between the watch faces you have created. Place your finger on the current watch face and swipe left or right on the edge of the screen. This way you can sweep through your entire collection.

28. Parts watch face

Your designed watch face is easy to share with someone. With the watch face active, extend your finger on the Apple Watch screen. Tap the Share icon at the bottom left and choose ‘Add Contact’. Optionally, enter a message and tap Send.

29. Remove watch face

Place your finger a little longer on your active watch face. Swipe left or right to go to the watch face you want to remove. Swipe the watch face up and choose ‘Delete’.

Tips for Do Not Disturb

30. No sound

Swipe up from the bottom of your Apple Watch. Silent mode is active with a tap on the bell icon. The sound of the Apple Watch is then turned off. You can still receive vibrations.

31. No reports

Swipe up from the bottom of the watch face and tap the moon icon. From now on you will not be disturbed by notifications; there is no sound or vibration (except for alarm clocks) and the screen does not light up.

32. No light

When you turn your wrist, the Apple Watch screen lights up. Usually useful, but sometimes undesirable. For example if you are in a dark room, or if you are a restless sleeper. Apple has come up with ‘Theater mode’ for this. Swipe the bottom of the watch face up and tap the dual mask icon.

33. Turn off notifications for the app

Open your iPhone’s Watch app and tap the My Watch tab. Tap Notifications. Scroll down and you will see a list of your watchOS apps. For apps from Apple, tap the name of the app and select ‘Notifications off’. With third-party apps, set the switch behind the app to gray.

34. Mute notification sounds

Forgot to set your Watch to Do Not Disturb while in an important meeting? When receiving a notification, cover the screen with your palm for three seconds or more. Immediately, the Watch turns on the ‘Keep still’ function, so you are no longer bothered with notifications

35. Mute an incoming call

To mute an incoming call, cover Apple Watch with your hand. You now mute the call without immediately rejecting the call.

13 hidden tricks for the Apple Watch

36. Unlock with iPhone

When putting on the Apple Watch, it is not necessarily necessary to enter the passcode. You can choose to unlock your iPhone first, which often works faster. The Apple Watch will then also be unlocked automatically. By default this feature is on, but check if it is in the Watch app of the iPhone. There, go to ‘Passcode’ via the ‘My Watch’ tab and enable or disable ‘Unlock with iPhone’.

37. Find your iPhone

Have you lost your iPhone for a while? Your Watch will help you locate it. Swipe up from the bottom of the watch face and tap the iPhone icon to have it play a sound.

38. Back to the previous app

Using two apps side by side? It is fine in watchOS. Press the Digital Crown twice and you will go directly to the app you had open last time.

39. Apple Watch as an alarm clock

An Apple Watch also doubles as an alarm clock for the bedside table. To do this, put the Watch on its side and hang it on the charger. The screen is already activated from now on with a small tap on your bedside table; you don’t even have to touch the screen. If you have set an alarm, the screen will slowly brighten in the minutes before the alarm goes off. Is it not working? On your iWatch, open the Settings app and go to ‘General> Night clock mode’. Make sure the switch is green.

40. Change the home screen

By default you see all kinds of small app icons on the home screen, in a honeycomb-like grid view. This can be changed to a ‘List view’, which gives you a much clearer view of the apps. You set it up via the Watch app of your iPhone, select the ‘My Watch’ tab and choose ‘App view’. Or open the Settings on your watch and tap ‘App View’.

41. Favorites in the Dock

Pressing the side button on the Apple Watch brings up the Dock. By default you will see a list of your recently used apps. But wouldn’t it be more convenient for the Dock to display your favorite apps? Open your iPhone’s Watch app and tap Dock in the My Watch tab. Place a check mark behind ‘Favorites’ and tap ‘Edit’. Use the green plus button to add apps to the favorites, with the red one to remove the current one. Put your finger longer on the three horizontal lines to reposition your favorite apps.

42. Take photos with the Apple Watch

Your Apple Watch doesn’t have a camera, but it can control your iPhone’s camera. Ideal for group photos or selfies. Open the Camera app of your Watch and you can see through your wrist what the camera of your iPhone sees. Tap ‘3s’ and the photo will be shot in three seconds.

43. Never be late again

An Apple Watch tip for the latecomers: set the time of the Apple Watch. This does not affect the alarm clock or notifications; you only change the time displayed on the watch face. On the Apple Watch, go to the Settings app and tap Clock. Select ‘0 min’ and spin the Digital Crown to manipulate the time.

44. Send a voice message

You may have already discovered the Watch’s dictation function. In this way you record a message and the audio is automatically transcribed to text. But you might prefer to send an audio message instead of text. Open the iPhone Watch app and tap Messages in the My Watch tab. Choose ‘Dictated messages’ and tick ‘Audio’. Or choose the third option, so that after recording you always have the choice between sending a voice message or transcribed text.

45. Turn your watch into a cuckoo clock

Well, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but you can make your Watch chirp like a bird from time to time. You do this via ‘Settings> Clock> Tubular clocks’ – underneath, set ‘Sounds’ to ‘Birds’. To adjust the frequency of the sound, go to ‘Settings> Accessibility> Tubular bells’. Here you decide whether you want to hear the chirps every hour, every half hour or every 15 minutes – but the latter makes you a bit of a cuckoo.

46. ​​Navigate by feeling

While walking, you don’t have to keep turning your wrist to see which turn to take. If you navigate with the Maps app, the Watch lets you know with small vibrations from the Taptic Engine when you need to take a turn – and which way you need to go. For a left turn, you get a series of two taps, which are played three times: tap-tap, tap-tap, tap-tap. For a right turn you get a sustained beat of twelve vibrations: tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap.

47. Open the last opened app

For example, if you are playing tennis, it is annoying to constantly have to reopen your favorite tennis app to see the statistics. This is no longer necessary after changing a setting. On your iPhone, go to ‘My Watch> General> Activate screen’. Under ‘Back to clock’, check the option ‘After 1 hour’. Not the watch face, but the most recently opened app is the first thing you see for the next hour.

48. Subtly peek at the time

Last but not least, one of our favorite Apple Watch tips: you can peek at the time without immediately coming across as someone who has had enough. Gently rotate the Digital Crown forward. The dial will light up gently. By turning back the Digital Crown, you can quickly turn off the screen.

The above tip also applies to the Apple Watch Series 4 and older. The latest Series 5 and Series 6 have an Always on screen; with that you can also peek without this tip.

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