Apple WatchApple

The Apple Watch line of smartwatches were designed with fitness tracking and health monitoring features. And it can also be used for controlling music, making phone calls and paying for goods.

As Apple Watch devices have hundreds of useful features, a number of them are not as obvious. Here are 18 Apple features that you should know about:

1.) Adjust The Haptic Feedback Strength

Haptic StrengthScreenshot: Amit Chowdhry

Under the display of the Apple Watch is a Taptic Engine, which provides subtle haptic feedback on your wrist when it receives a notification. You can adjust the strength of the haptic feedback by going to the Watch app on the iPhone > My Watch > Sounds & Haptics > Haptic Strength.

2.) Adjust The Text Size

Apple Watch – Text SizeScreenshot: Amit Chowdhry

If the font size is too big or too small for you on the Apple Watch, then you can adjust it. This is set up by going to the Watch app on the iPhone > My Watch > Brightness & Text Size.

3.) Breathe App

Breathe appScreenshot: Amit Chowdhry

Apple added an app to the Apple Watch called Breathe as part of the watchOS 3 release. This app reminds you to take a deep breath if it detects that you are stressed. You can also adjust the settings of the Breathe app under Watch app on the iPhone > My Watch > Breathe

4.) Change Settings For On Screen Wake

On Screen Wake settingsApple

You can set up your Apple Watch so that it wakes the screen when you raise your wrist. And you can set your Apple Watch so that it shows the last app while in session, within 2 minutes of last use, within 1 hour of last use or always when you raise your wrist. These settings can be adjusted under the Watch app on your iPhone > My Watch > General > Wake Screen.

5.) Control Center Settings

Apple Watch Control CenterScreenshot: Amit Chowdhry

When you swipe up from the bottom of the Apple Watch, you will be able to control several features through the Control Center. The Control Center includes the battery indicator (tap for power reserve), Airplane Mode activation (useful while traveling), Cinema Mode (prevents the screen from lighting up unless you tap it), silent mode, Do Not Disturb, Bluetooth, AirPlay, a flashlight and a ping button to find your iPhone.

If you have the Series 2 or Series 3 Apple Watch, then you will also notice a water lock feature indicated by a droplet. The water lock feature turns off the touchscreen so moving water does not activate the device.

6.) Determine Your Heartrate

Heartrate glanceScreenshot: Amit Chowdhry

Every 10 minutes, your Apple Watch reads your heart rate and sends that data to the Health app on your iPhone. To see your heartrate, slide up Glances and tap on the heartrate Glance.

7.) Mickey And Minnie Mouse Reads The Time

Mickey tells the timeScreenshot: Amit Chowdhry

Two of the most popular Apple Watch Faces are Mickey and Minnie Mouse. When you have those Watch Faces selected, you can tap on the display to hear their voices read out the time. You will have to ensure that the ‘Tap to Speak Time’ feature is enabled under the Watch app on your iPhone > My Watch > Sounds & Haptics

8.) Personalize The App Dock

Apple Watch app dockScreenshot: Amit Chowdhry

By default, the dock of your Apple Watch shows the most recent apps when you push down on the side button. However, you can set the app dock to show your favorite apps. This can be adjusted under the Watch app on your iPhone > My Watch > Dock > Favorites. Up to ten apps can be set as favorites in this section.

9.) Force Restarting The Apple Watch

Force restart Apple WatchPhoto: Apple

In order to restart your Apple Watch, you will need to press and hold the side button and the Digital Crown for at least ten seconds. Then release the Digital Crown and side button when you see the Apple logo appear on the display.

10.) Sharing Your Activity With Contacts

Sharing Activity on Apple WatchScreenshot: Amit Chowdhry

Did you know that you can share your fitness activity with your contacts? This provides a fun way to encourage your friends or set up competitions. This feature is not turned on by default and you have to invite the specific friends that you want to share the activity with.

You can set this up by opening the Activity app on the Apple Watch and tap on the Sharing tab at the bottom. From there, tap on the plus sign at the top-right and add your Contacts who also have an Apple Watch.

11.) Switch The App Layout From Grid View To List View

Grid View and List ViewScreenshot: Amit Chowdhry

Personally, I’m not a big fan of the honeycomb view of apps that Apple uses by default for the Apple Watch. Fortunately, you can adjust this so that it shows the Apple Watch apps in a list view or a grid view.

This feature can be activated by pushing down on the center of the display where it shows your Apple Watch apps. From there you should be able to change between the “Grid View” and the “List View.” Note: your Apple Watch must be running on watchOS 4 for this feature to work.

12.) Prevent The Face From Changing

My FacesScreenshot: Amit Chowdhry

Often times, I accidentally change the Apple Watch face when I push down on the display without realizing it. And some users have reported that the Apple Watch Face changes while they take a shower. You can prevent this from happening by activating the Water Lock feature from the Control Center so that the water from your shower does not cause this problem. 

Or you can remove the Watch Faces that you do not use from the Watch app > My Watch > tap on Edit where it says My Faces. And then tap on the delete button next to the faces you do not want to accidentally select and tap on "Done." If you want to restore any of these faces, you can add them again under Face Gallery.

13.) Setting Up Custom Replies

Default replies on Apple WatchScreenshot: Amit Chowdhry

Many people use their Apple Watch for sending text messages. And there is a way to set up custom replies if you want to send someone a preloaded response such as “I’ll call you back in 5 minutes.” You can set up custom replies by going to the Watch app on your iPhone > My Watch > Messages > Default Replies. Then scroll to the bottom of the menu and tap on “Add reply.”

14.) Switch The Watch Orientation

Watch Orientation on Apple WatchScreenshot: Amit Chowdhry

You can switch the orientation of your Apple Watch to indicate if you are wearing it on your right wrist or left wrist. This can be adjusted through the Watch app on your iPhone > My Watch > General > Watch OrientationAnd you can specify whether the Digital Crown is on the left side or the right side, which lets the Apple Watch “know when to wake the display and how to orient it.”

15.) Taking Screenshots

Apple Watch ScreenshotsScreenshot: Amit Chowdhry

In order to take a screenshot with your Apple Watch, simply press the Side button and push down the Digital Crown at the same time. The screenshot taken on the Apple Watch will appear in the Photos app of your iPhone that is paired with the device. Note: You will need to make sure that screenshots are enabled by going to the Watch app on your iPhone > My Watch > General > Enable Screenshots.

16.) Time Travel

Time Travel on Apple WatchScreenshot: Amit Chowdhry

When you are using a Watch Face with a calendar complication like Modular and Utility, you can fast-forward or rewind time to see future and past calendar events, the weather and other notifications. This feature — which is known as Time Travel — is activated by twisting the Digital Crown while viewing the home screen of the Apple Watch. To activate Time Travel, you will have to go to the Watch app on your iPhone > My Watch > Clock > Time Travel.

17.) Unlocking Your Mac With The Watch

Allow Apple Watch to unlock your MacScreenshot: Amit Chowdhry

You can use your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac without entering a password. To set this up on the Mac, go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General > Allow your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac.

Note: You can also unlock your Watch using your iPhone by going to the Watch app on your iPhone > My Watch > Passcode > Unlock with iPhone.

18.) Utilizing Apple Pay

Apple Pay on Apple WatchScreenshot: Amit Chowdhry

You can connect your Apple Watch to your Apple Pay account. This way you can make purchases by simply tapping your Apple Watch on an NFC reader.

To set this up, go to the Watch app on your iPhone > My Watch > Wallet & Apple Pay. Then add the cards that you want to connect to Apple Pay on your Apple Watch.

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The Apple Watch line of smartwatches were designed with fitness tracking and health monitoring features. And it can also be used for controlling music, making phone calls and paying for goods.

As Apple Watch devices have hundreds of useful features, a number of them are not as obvious. Here are 18 Apple features that you should know about:

1.) Adjust The Haptic Feedback Strength

Haptic StrengthScreenshot: Amit Chowdhry

Under the display of the Apple Watch is a Taptic Engine, which provides subtle haptic feedback on your wrist when it receives a notification. You can adjust the strength of the haptic feedback by going to the Watch app on the iPhone > My Watch > Sounds & Haptics > Haptic Strength.

2.) Adjust The Text Size

Apple Watch – Text SizeScreenshot: Amit Chowdhry

If the font size is too big or too small for you on the Apple Watch, then you can adjust it. This is set up by going to the Watch app on the iPhone > My Watch > Brightness & Text Size.

3.) Breathe App

Breathe appScreenshot: Amit Chowdhry

Apple added an app to the Apple Watch called Breathe as part of the watchOS 3 release. This app reminds you to take a deep breath if it detects that you are stressed. You can also adjust the settings of the Breathe app under Watch app on the iPhone > My Watch > Breathe

4.) Change Settings For On Screen Wake

On Screen Wake settingsApple

You can set up your Apple Watch so that it wakes the screen when you raise your wrist. And you can set your Apple Watch so that it shows the last app while in session, within 2 minutes of last use, within 1 hour of last use or always when you raise your wrist. These settings can be adjusted under the Watch app on your iPhone > My Watch > General > Wake Screen.

5.) Control Center Settings

Apple Watch Control CenterScreenshot: Amit Chowdhry

When you swipe up from the bottom of the Apple Watch, you will be able to control several features through the Control Center. The Control Center includes the battery indicator (tap for power reserve), Airplane Mode activation (useful while traveling), Cinema Mode (prevents the screen from lighting up unless you tap it), silent mode, Do Not Disturb, Bluetooth, AirPlay, a flashlight and a ping button to find your iPhone.

If you have the Series 2 or Series 3 Apple Watch, then you will also notice a water lock feature indicated by a droplet. The water lock feature turns off the touchscreen so moving water does not activate the device.

6.) Determine Your Heartrate

Heartrate glanceScreenshot: Amit Chowdhry

Every 10 minutes, your Apple Watch reads your heart rate and sends that data to the Health app on your iPhone. To see your heartrate, slide up Glances and tap on the heartrate Glance.

7.) Mickey And Minnie Mouse Reads The Time

Mickey tells the timeScreenshot: Amit Chowdhry

Two of the most popular Apple Watch Faces are Mickey and Minnie Mouse. When you have those Watch Faces selected, you can tap on the display to hear their voices read out the time. You will have to ensure that the ‘Tap to Speak Time’ feature is enabled under the Watch app on your iPhone > My Watch > Sounds & Haptics

8.) Personalize The App Dock

Apple Watch app dockScreenshot: Amit Chowdhry

By default, the dock of your Apple Watch shows the most recent apps when you push down on the side button. However, you can set the app dock to show your favorite apps. This can be adjusted under the Watch app on your iPhone > My Watch > Dock > Favorites. Up to ten apps can be set as favorites in this section.

9.) Force Restarting The Apple Watch

Force restart Apple WatchPhoto: Apple

In order to restart your Apple Watch, you will need to press and hold the side button and the Digital Crown for at least ten seconds. Then release the Digital Crown and side button when you see the Apple logo appear on the display.

10.) Sharing Your Activity With Contacts

Sharing Activity on Apple WatchScreenshot: Amit Chowdhry

Did you know that you can share your fitness activity with your contacts? This provides a fun way to encourage your friends or set up competitions. This feature is not turned on by default and you have to invite the specific friends that you want to share the activity with.

You can set this up by opening the Activity app on the Apple Watch and tap on the Sharing tab at the bottom. From there, tap on the plus sign at the top-right and add your Contacts who also have an Apple Watch.

11.) Switch The App Layout From Grid View To List View

Grid View and List ViewScreenshot: Amit Chowdhry

Personally, I’m not a big fan of the honeycomb view of apps that Apple uses by default for the Apple Watch. Fortunately, you can adjust this so that it shows the Apple Watch apps in a list view or a grid view.

This feature can be activated by pushing down on the center of the display where it shows your Apple Watch apps. From there you should be able to change between the “Grid View” and the “List View.” Note: your Apple Watch must be running on watchOS 4 for this feature to work.

12.) Prevent The Face From Changing

My FacesScreenshot: Amit Chowdhry

Often times, I accidentally change the Apple Watch face when I push down on the display without realizing it. And some users have reported that the Apple Watch Face changes while they take a shower. You can prevent this from happening by activating the Water Lock feature from the Control Center so that the water from your shower does not cause this problem. 

Or you can remove the Watch Faces that you do not use from the Watch app > My Watch > tap on Edit where it says My Faces. And then tap on the delete button next to the faces you do not want to accidentally select and tap on “Done.” If you want to restore any of these faces, you can add them again under Face Gallery.

13.) Setting Up Custom Replies

Default replies on Apple WatchScreenshot: Amit Chowdhry

Many people use their Apple Watch for sending text messages. And there is a way to set up custom replies if you want to send someone a preloaded response such as “I’ll call you back in 5 minutes.” You can set up custom replies by going to the Watch app on your iPhone > My Watch > Messages > Default Replies. Then scroll to the bottom of the menu and tap on “Add reply.”

14.) Switch The Watch Orientation

Watch Orientation on Apple WatchScreenshot: Amit Chowdhry

You can switch the orientation of your Apple Watch to indicate if you are wearing it on your right wrist or left wrist. This can be adjusted through the Watch app on your iPhone > My Watch > General > Watch OrientationAnd you can specify whether the Digital Crown is on the left side or the right side, which lets the Apple Watch “know when to wake the display and how to orient it.”

15.) Taking Screenshots

Apple Watch ScreenshotsScreenshot: Amit Chowdhry

In order to take a screenshot with your Apple Watch, simply press the Side button and push down the Digital Crown at the same time. The screenshot taken on the Apple Watch will appear in the Photos app of your iPhone that is paired with the device. Note: You will need to make sure that screenshots are enabled by going to the Watch app on your iPhone > My Watch > General > Enable Screenshots.

16.) Time Travel

Time Travel on Apple WatchScreenshot: Amit Chowdhry

When you are using a Watch Face with a calendar complication like Modular and Utility, you can fast-forward or rewind time to see future and past calendar events, the weather and other notifications. This feature — which is known as Time Travel — is activated by twisting the Digital Crown while viewing the home screen of the Apple Watch. To activate Time Travel, you will have to go to the Watch app on your iPhone > My Watch > Clock > Time Travel.

17.) Unlocking Your Mac With The Watch

Allow Apple Watch to unlock your MacScreenshot: Amit Chowdhry

You can use your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac without entering a password. To set this up on the Mac, go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General > Allow your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac.

Note: You can also unlock your Watch using your iPhone by going to the Watch app on your iPhone > My Watch > Passcode > Unlock with iPhone.

18.) Utilizing Apple Pay

Apple Pay on Apple WatchScreenshot: Amit Chowdhry

You can connect your Apple Watch to your Apple Pay account. This way you can make purchases by simply tapping your Apple Watch on an NFC reader.

To set this up, go to the Watch app on your iPhone > My Watch > Wallet & Apple Pay. Then add the cards that you want to connect to Apple Pay on your Apple Watch.