While many of us have had our Apple Watch for awhile, and have had the time to learn all the helpful tricks for making the wearable a valuable addition to our daily lives, other users may have just found one under the Christmas tree. In this “how to,” we’ll share some helpful tips and tricks for getting the most out of Apple’s popular wearable device.
Get Siri to Launch an Apple Watch App for You
Although the Apple Watch display is a wonder of modern technology, if you have a lot of apps installed, things can get pretty crowded on the screen, making it tough to find an app’s icon. Here’s where Siri comes in.
Just raise your wrists and say, “Hey Siri,” (or simply hold down the Digital Crown), and then say “Open [name of the app you want to open]” and the app will open up. Cool, huh? This is particularly handy when you have your hands full and need to make a phone call, or when you don’t want to get your iPhone out of your pocket.
Get Navigation Directions Using Haptic Feedback
While Maps on the iPhone is a great way to get directions, it can still be a bit of a driving distraction if you have to glance down at the display to see when to turn. Your Apple Watch can tell you when to turn, and which direction to turn in, by just tapping you on your wrist.
A left turn will be indicated by two “tap-taps” played through three times, and a right turn will be indicated by 12 steady taps. (I read somewhere that the best way to remember which way it’s telling you to turn is to think “only 6 left,” then you’ll know its telling you to turn left. It really works, try it.) You’ll know you’ve reached your destination by a long steady vibration on your wrist.
Taking a Screenshot of The Apple Watch Screen
When you come up with an especially nice watch face, or when you want to share something else cool from your Watch’s display, nothing is better than taking a screenshot and sharing it.
To take a screenshot of you wearable’s display, just press the Digital Crown, and the side button of your Watch at the same time. (They’re both on the same side of the Watch.) The screen of your Apple Watch will flash to indicate that the screenshot was successful.
While you can immediately view the screenshot on your Watch, you can also view and share it via the Photos app on your iPhone. The screenshot will be available there almost immediately after taking it.
Make Your Apple Watch Battery Last Longer With Power Reserve
While the battery life of the Apple Watch will be sufficient for most users to get through the day, there may come a time when you’re running low on power, and can’t charge the device. That’s when the Watch’s Power Reserve mode comes in handy.
Power Reserve puts your Watch into low-power mode, where it will only display the time, thereby conserving battery power. To enable Power Reserve mode, simply press and hold the side button, then slide the middle Power Reserve slider on the Apple Watch screen.
While your Apple Watch is in Power Reserve, your Apple Watch and iPhone won’t communicate, and you can’t access other watch features. To turn off Power Reserve mode, hold the side button until you see the Apple logo. The Watch will restart and exit Power Reserve mode.
Restart or Force Restart Your Watch
While you may never need to restart or force restart your Apple Watch, it is still basically a tiny computer, and just like your Mac or iPhone, it may need to be restarted from time to time.
To restart your Watch, the easiest way is to turn it off, and then back on again. Just press and hold the side button until you see the sliders appear on the screen, then drag the Power Off slider to the right. The Watch will shut itself down. To turn it back on, just hold down the side button until the Apple logo appears on the screen.
In dire cases, you may need to force restart your Watch. To do this, press the Digital Crown and the side button at the same time, hold them both down until you see the Apple logo appear on the screen, (around ten seconds or so). Now, release the buttons, and your Apple Watch will restart.
To switch between the most recent apps used on your Apple Watch, just double-tap the Digital Crown. You’ll be taken to the previous app you used. To return to the app you were originally using, double-tap the Digital Crown again. It’s not as flexible as app switching on your iOS device, but it could come in handy.
Clear all Notifications
While you can clear notifications on your Watch one at a time by swiping to the left on each one and then tapping the “X,” it’s really a drag to have to do this for a large number of notifications. Use Force Touch to bring up a larger X button that will clear all the notifications with just one tap. Just press down on the notifications list, and you’ll see the button appear to “Clear All” of your notifications.
A Tip for Left-Handers
Left-handers can use the Apple Watch too. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, and go to “My Watch” -> “General.” Look for the “Watch Orientation” setting. Here you can tell your Apple Watch if it’s on your left wrist or your right wrist, and on which side you want the Digital Crown.
Now you can wear the Watch on your right wrist and you’re good to go.
Find Your iPhone
If you lose your iPhone – but you know it’s likely somewhere close – don’t worry, your Apple Watch can help you find it! From the Watch face, swipe upward to access the Glances screen, now, swipe to the “Settings” glance. Tap the “Ping iPhone” button (the one in the lower left corner) to have your iPhone play a pinging noise. Marco! Pingo!