As the same applies to nearly everything they do, Apple managed to set the standard for smartwatches with their eponymous flagship. The Apple Watch has become a mainstay among athletes and tech lovers alike over the past few years — and for good reason. Full of numerous features, the thought of having a portion of your iCloud on your wrist could surely make life a whole lot easier for many. While their patented watchOS makes for a rather simple workaround as far as utilization is concerned, its small-scale display can be far more intimidating to tackle head-on compared to that of the commonplace iPhone or MacBook.
With an abundance of tricks and tips to hone with the Apple Watch, many of the ones lying right under your nose are the most interesting to take advantage of, while others may require a bit more of a learning curve to get used to. Nevertheless, we’ve put together a guide made up of 20 (well, OK, 21) quintessential tips every owner should know like the back of their hand.
Know The Basics
Start With The Simple Stuff
Change the watch face: When taking a glance at the Apple Watch in your local store, one of its standout features is photos of random people dancing across the display as if somebody already owns this watch. Luckily, by utilizing all the photos on your iCloud or any picture you scroll by on the web, users have the opportunity to customize their watch face however they see fit. Capable on watchOS 8, scroll down to Portraits upon opening up the Face Gallery, and simply tap the photos you’d like to choose. Aside from Portraits, countless looks can be chosen, and all users have got to do to tailor it to their liking is to swipe from one edge of the face to another.
Rearrange the Control Center: Similar to your iPhone, their flagship smartwatch allows you to customize Apple’s patented Control Center to your liking. Beneficially, it is bafflingly simple to edit, as the only necessary move is opening Control Center up, scrolling to the bottom, and pressing Edit to make the apps jiggle in their trademark fashion en route to becoming vulnerably movable.
Enable Focus Mode: It always seems that constant updates and notifications bombard you at the most inconvenient time imaginable. As one of Apple’s latest offerings across all devices, their newly implemented Focus Mode allows users to set time windows in which they only receive designated notifications. To do so, simply open up the Control Center and then hold the Focus button before selecting any mode of choice, be it Work or Sleep. Avoid constant clutter on your small-scale screen by ridding it of endless updates.
Add multiple timers: One of the great things to take advantage of on the more recent watchOS updates is one that may not seem too convenient on any other device, but simply makes way too much sense to utilize here. To set up multiple timers for whatever occasion, just head to the Timer app and choose to add a Custom Timer. Upon starting the first one you’ve created for yourself, repeat the process depending on any potential situation you find yourself needing it in.
Enable Theater Mode: While watching a movie in theaters has gradually grown into a thing of the past throughout these last couple of years, that doesn’t mean everyone is streaming the latest film from their couch. With others in mind, theater mode will dim your watch screen upon receiving any notifications, so you and others around you don’t have to deal with your wildly bright screen causing any distractions. To do so, simply enable the feature to be present in your Control Center and toggle it on whenever you see fit.
Enable Nightstand Mode: As one of the watch’s quintessential features, Nightstand Mode serves as an ideal piece of what the Apple Watch has to offer. Luckily, it is incredibly easy to access and serves as an excellent tip to keep in mind when you’re trying to get some rest and the watch is not in use. To activate Nightstand Mode, simply open up its designated section in your general settings, and turn the watch on its side to take full utilization of this smartwatch-turned-digital-alarm-clock.
Unlock your Mac automatically: Capable on any device running on watchOS 3 or later, the Apple Watch serves as an easy gateway on to your other Apple products, and assuming the majority of Apple Watch owners have a Mac lying around somewhere, it surely couldn’t get handier than that. To pull this off with ease, make sure that Bluetooth is enabled on both your watch and laptop, with the former requiring a password to open is necessary as well. Next, click Security & Privacy through your computer’s System Preferences. Lastly, enable “Allow your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac.”
Use Face ID with a mask: Although this is surely accessible through all of Apple’s Face ID-eligible products, this may have not dawned upon you, as it’s (understandably) a pretty new feature. To gain easy access in public in these trying times, simply create a new Face ID in its designated settings section while wearing your mask for your watch to register that the bottom half of your face isn’t always visible.
Move the time forward: To avoid showing up late for an event, be it fashionable or downright unpunctual, many people like to set their timepieces a few minutes ahead of time. Of course, the same applies to Apple’s, and all it takes is a twirl of the Digital Crown. First, head over to settings, click Clock, select the button that reads “+0min,” and move the time as far forward as you like by spinning the crown.
Adjust font size: The Apple Watch’s small screen can make answering messages or reading notifications a bit impractical, so this can definitely be helpful. In a two-step process, simply open up your settings and head over to Display & Brightness, and then adjust font sizing to your liking by using the Digital Crown.
Set up Apple Pay: The modern form of payment meets a modern-day timepiece with the ability to simply raise your wrist at the local market without having to dig through your pockets, meaning this handy gadget could serve as a wallet as much as it does a watch. To pull this off, you’ll need to pull your phone out and open up the Apple Watch app. Next, head over to My Watch and hop in the Wallet & Apple Pay section. Lastly, all you’ll need to do is pick which specific card you wanna toss on your watch for future use.
Keep It Healthy
With Athletes In Mind
Track your sleep: One of the areas in which the watch outperforms the smartphone is its sleep tracking capabilities, providing a far more accurate result than that of your phone. To utilize your Apple Watch’s sleep tracker to the fullest, start off by heading into the Sleep app and creating a bedtime schedule for yourself. With the opportunity to make multiple schedules for yourself, be it on a long week of work or a three-day weekend with some additional R&R, the ultimate result is tailored to your needs. Most impressively, the watch will track your motion if you decide to wear it in bed and make note of you waking up at any point.
Track your workouts: The Apple Watch’s strongest pull is the fact that it can track the entirety of your workout all while staying put on your wrist. To start the process, head over to the Workout app and turn the Digital Crown to whichever option you select, be it surfing or hiking. Afterward, set a designated goal for calories, time, or distance, then feel free to press start and let your routine do all the work.
Check your heart rate: The watch’s heart rate monitor is surely the most useful app to take advantage of throughout your workout, and the folks over at Apple make it extremely accessible. For those attempting to do so in the midst of one, simply head over to your specified Workout in the designated app and your BPM will be displayed alongside your other selected goals. To do so without a workout, open up the Heart Rate app to view your current rate, resting rate, and walking rate.
Use the Handwashing Timer: Accounting for the times we live in, this truly could be as important and innovative a feature that Apple offers. Thanks to the Watch’s water-resistant capabilities, owners do not need to fear about their electronic timepiece’s life span simply because they chose to wash their hands with it — in fact, the brand encourages you to do so with immense ease. In a mere two-step process, go to your watch’s settings, then Handwashing, and enable this feature. This timer proves to be both as simple and beneficial as actually washing your hands.
Take an ECG/Blood Oxygen reading: This procedure takes a bit longer than the standard two-step process that much of this list has to offer. To start things off, open up your iPhone’s Health app then tap the Browse tab and head over to Respiratory, and enable the Blood Oxygen option. Next up, go ahead and open up the Blood Oxygen app on your Apple Watch and treat yourself to a free reading. Those looking to take an ECG reading can expect a similar set of steps, though they will have to go on to their iPhone’s Health app’s Electriocardigrams section, which can be found in the Heart category. Lastly, just head over to the Apple Watch’s ECG app. However, keep in mind that these are not necessarily professional-grade health tools, but they are incredibly well-equipped to provide solid estimates for either of the two readings. Regardless, Apple Watch is not a doctor.
Don't Live Without It
Some Top-Tier Tips
Use the Walkie-Talkie: In the case of looking to restore some of that old childhood nostalgia, the Walkie-Talkie app available for Apple Watch serves as an incredibly fun tool to utilize, and may even prove to be as practical as a standard phone when it truly comes down to it. Capable of working on watchOS 5.3 and all that follow, simply download the app, add any of your iCloud contacts through the ‘Add Friends’ button, and take advantage of the nostalgic twist on talking to a friend that Apple has to offer smartwatch owners.
Create an Apple TV Remote: There is nothing that has slid between the cracks of our couch cushions more than the last-generation Apple TV Remote, and it’s safe to assume that nothing has changed with their latest. Thankfully, Apple’s smartwatch doubles as one. Similar to the iPhone, which also serves as a convenient tool in such dire times, it truly cannot be any more convenient than having the remote already sitting on your wrist. With no need to download anything, simply open the Remote app on the device and it should sync with ease due to Apple’s seamless iCloud device accessibility. From then on, feel free to scroll, play, and pause as you wish.
Work on your breathing: Over the course of a long day at work or even a restless night at home, keep in mind that a few deep breaths can often solve a portion of these problems. With this in mind, there’s Apple Watch’s breathing exercises. To access them, download and then open the Breathe app and adhere to the expanding graphic that is displayed while slowly inhaling alongside the haptic feedback featured on the watch. Breathing: don’t live without it.
Take iPhone photos: Though a bit excessive, taking a photo with your watch is not necessarily impossible and is made fairly simple by way of utilizing your iPhone. Start by opening up the Camera Remote app on your watch, which will set your phone off as long as it’s within range, and then position the latter to your liking in order to set a frame for the shot. Turn the Digital Crown if you feel the need to zoom in, and then snap the shutter button to take your photo. While this surely comes in handy, it’s easy to ask just how long it’ll take before Apple implements a camera into their timepiece.
Bonus – Upload songs: Connecting your AirPods to your Apple Watch so you can listen to Apple Music is the type of product synergy the conglomerate has been hoping to access since the dawn of the iPod, and they’ve managed to pull it off. As simple as adding a few extra songs on the go may sound, its presentation differs slightly from that of Apple’s other devices. To do so, open up the Music app, tap Search, then press the album or song you have in mind and choose Add to Library.
Apple Watch Series 7
Apple’s latest installation in their six-year-old line garners the luckiest number yet and is equipped with numerous handy additions to boot. With IXPX6 dust resistance, a larger display, and a faster data transfer rate, the Apple Watch Series 7 serves as the ideal smartwatch to pick up as far as taking full advantage of these modernized features are concerned.
The Complete Guide To Apple Products
While their flagship smartwatch grows into a behemoth of its own, the same goes for Apple’s tablets, smartphones, laptops, and, well, just about everything else. Allow us to give you the full rundown of the iconic brand and just about everything they have to offer in our detailed guide to each of Apple’s products.
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