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From using Siri to muting notifications to saving battery life, here are some of the most useful Apple Watch tips and tricks you should learn.
It can even tell the time!
Nearly four weeks after the Apple Watch first launched, it seems that Apple has finally gotten a grasp on supply issues. With the pool of Apple Watch users growing each and every week, it's high time that we focus on some of the cooler and lesser-known features of Apple's new wearable. While some basic features like checking text messages or answering calls are pretty well known, the Apple Watch, as with most Apple products, houses a number of compelling features underneath the surface which serve to make the device all the more useful.
Ping your iPhone
With iOS, the "Find my iPhone/iPad" feature is a godsend for those instances where you've completely lost your device. But what about those times when you simply misplace your iPhone in your home? Well, worry no more. One of the Apple Watch's cooler features is that it can ping your iPhone. In other words, you can use your Apple Watch to make your iPhone emit a noise so it can be easily located.
To do so, put your Apple Watch in the watch face mode. From there, activate Glances by swiping upwards from the bottom. Next, swipe until you get to the Settings glance. Then simply tap the "Ping iPhone" button and keep your ears open.
Turn on Power Reserve mode
If your Apple Watch's battery life is degrading quickly and charging might not be feasible, Power Reserve mode is something to consider. This feature shuts down most of the device's functionality, save for the ability to display the time. Apple claims the device can last an additional 72 hours in this mode.
Power Reserve mode will kick in when battery life on the device reaches a critical level. Users can also initiate Power Reserve mode themselves via two ways. They can open Glances by swiping up from the bottom, swiping to the Power glance, and selecting "Power Reserve." Or they can press and hold the side button until the shutdown menu appears, then select the "Power Reserve" option.
Seeing as how the Apple Watch has no keyboard, Siri is a much more integral input mechanism than it is on the iPhone. There are two main ways to activate Siri. First, you can simply lift up your wrist and say "Hey Siri" before making a voice command. Keep in mind, though, that the "Hey Siri" functionality only works if the device is either a) in Glances mode or b) in watch face mode. Of course, the easiest way to activate Siri is to simply initiate a long-press on the digital crown. Siri can be used for a host of activities, from setting appointments to even asking how many steps you've taken for the day.
Setting an alarm
While Apple recommends charging the Apple Watch every night, light sleepers with some battery life to spare might appreciate the alarm feature. As opposed to a typical alarm that wakes you up with noise, the alarm on the Apple Watch wakes you up via haptic feedback, simulating a gentle tap on your wrist. You might say that the Apple Watch alarm is ideal for those times when a nap is in order.
To set an alarm, simply select the Alarms app on the Apple Watch app screen. From there, firmly press the display, otherwise known as a Force Touch, tap "New" and then "Change Time." You can also set an alarm via Siri.
Use Apple Watch as a remote viewfinder, camera remote
One of the coolest features of the Apple Watch is that you can use its display as a viewfinder for your iPhone's camera. In other words, you can set up your iPhone at a distance, monitor the scene via your Apple Watch, and snap a photo remotely.
In order for this feature to work, the Watch and iPhone need to be within Bluetooth range, approximately 33 feet or closer. To get started, open the Camera app on the Apple Watch and press the shutter button to take a quick snapshot. Note that photos will be stored on your iPhone but can be quickly reviewed on your Apple Watch as well.
Take a screenshot
A nifty feature of the Apple Watch is the ability to take a screenshot of the device's display. This can be achieved by simultaneously pressing the side button and the digital crown. For anyone who has taken screenshots on their iPhone, this process should be rather familiar.
Force your Apple Watch to restart
While Apple boasts that the Apple Watch houses the most complex technology it has ever developed, the fact remains that software, especially in version 1 devices, can be prone to acting up from time to time. In such scenarios where your Apple Watch has become sluggish or non-responsive, a complete reboot may be in order.
To force your Apple Watch to restart, simply hold the digital crown and the side button together for up to 10 seconds. You can release the buttons once you see the Apple logo on the Apple Watch. It's worth noting that Apple recommends users only restart their Apple Watch as a complete last resort.
Set the time ahead
While setting the time on a watch ahead a few minutes has long been a strategic move for the chronically late, it's nice that Apple has included this functionality with the Apple Watch given that it derives its time via digital means. To help prevent you from being late, you can set the time on your Apple Watch ahead by a few minutes by going to the Settings app and then selecting Time. From there, tap the +0 Min button and then use the digital crown to select how far ahead you'd like the time on your device to display.
Mute Apple Watch alerts with your palm
While the Apple Watch is great for viewing notifications quickly, sometimes you don't want your watch to emit a sound for every new notification. Thankfully, Apple has built-in an easy and clever way to instantly mute all Apple Watch alerts.
With the app open, go to My Watch > Sounds & Haptics, and then select "Cover to Mute." With this setting activated, you can easily mute new alert and notification sounds simply by resting the palm of your hand on the Apple Watch display and holding it there for three seconds. The Apple Watch will vibrate slightly to indicate that the mute command has been received.
Write stock Messages responses
With the Messages app on the Apple Watch, Apple has provided a few quick pre-composed responses to help users send contextual replies. Taking this a bit further, the Apple Watch also enables users to compose their own stock Messages responses and substitute them for what Apple has come up with. To do so, launch the Apple Watch app on your iPhone. Once that is open, go to the Messages setting and then select Default Replies to apply your desired changes.
Share your location
Sharing your location with other Apple Watch or iPhone users is a breeze. To do so, simply apply a "Force Touch" on the Apple Watch display from within the Messages app. Next, select "send location," and a pinned map will be sent to the active recipient.
Hold a call with your Apple Watch
If you get an incoming call notification on your Apple Watch but want to wait until you grab your iPhone to start the conversation, it's possible to hold the call temporarily. To do so, simply turn the digital crown to scroll down and then tap the "Answer on iPhone" option when an incoming call comes in. You now have some time to grab your iPhone and begin talking. In the interim, Apple's support guide notes that the person on the other line will hear a "repeated sound" until you find your device. Of course, if you can't locate your iPhone at the moment, you can use the aforementioned "Ping my iPhone" option to locate it.
16 November 2023