11 Top Tips to Make Good Use of Your Apple Watch

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Whether you just picked up your Apple Watch or it has been on your wrist for months, it can do a whole lot more than you know. Here are some of the best tips and tricks for the Apple Watch you probably did not know about.

1. Unlock Your Mac

Undoubtedly one of the coolest features with the Apple Watch is the ability to unlock your Mac. Starting with macOS Sierra, Apple added a feature that enables you to unlock your Mac when you get near enough with your watch. As long as you have a mid-2013 or newer Mac (running Sierra 10.12 or later) and a watch running watchOS 3 or later, you’re in good shape.

Top Tips Apple Watch Unlock Your Mac

The final requirement is to make sure both the Apple Watch and Mac are synced to the same iCloud account. On your Mac, head to “System Preferences -> Security & Privacy -> General.” Make sure there is a checkmark by the box that says: “Use your Apple Watch to unlock apps and your Mac.” Now when you are within a few feet of your login screen, macOS will instantly unlock.

2. Take a Screenshot

Top Tips Apple Watch Screenshot

Not nearly as exciting as unlocking your Mac, the ability to take a screenshot can come in handy at some point. To do this on the Apple Watch, push the Digital Crown and the action button at the same time. Once you have captured a photo, it is immediately saved to the camera roll on your iPhone.

3. Hold a Call

Top Tips Apple Watch Answer Your Iphone

This is one of the most underappreciated tips on the Apple Watch. Say you are wearing your watch but are not near your phone. When an incoming call comes in, tap on “Answer on iPhone,” and the call is then placed on hold until you take it off hold on your iPhone. The person on the other side of the line hears a short repeated sound until you pick up.

4. View the Time

Top Tips Apple Watch Digital Crown

Let’s say you are in a movie theater and you want to view the time without waking up the whole watch. Instead of raising your wrist, slowly twist the Digital Crown clockwise (upward) and the screen brightens just enough to view the time. It’s the perfect for seeing the time without ruining the movie for anyone behind you.

5. Monitor Noise Levels

Top Tips Apple Watch Decibel Level

The release of watchOS 6 on the Apple Watch Series 4 or newer introduced an important new feature. Ambient sound level monitoring is an interesting tool on the watch that lets you monitor the sound levels around you. Are you somewhere that is too loud for more than three minutes? The Apple Watch will let you know your hearing can be at risk. You even have the option of adding sound monitoring as a complication to some Apple Watch faces so you can quickly see the decibel level.

6. You Have Fallen – Help

Top Tips Apple Watch Fallen Help

One of the best and most underappreciated safety features of the Apple Watch on the series 4 or later is detecting when you fall. When the watch detects a fall followed by no movement, it will automatically call emergency services and any emergency contacts. To enable this feature, head to the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and go to “My Watch -> Emergency SOS -> Fall Detection.”

7. Eject Water

There is a good chance most Apple Watch Series 2 owners and later have no idea this feature exists. After you have gone swimming or worn your Apple Watch in the bath or shower, you can eject any water that gets inside the watch.

Top Tips Apple Watch Eject Water

To do this, swipe up from the main home screen into Control Center. Look for the water droplet icon and tap on it. Then, twist the Digital Crown and start ejecting water. While the Apple Watch may be water-resistant, it’s not waterPROOF, so this is an important step to ensure the longevity of your investment.

8. Theater Mode

One of the best additions to the Apple Watch is theater mode. Like its name, this feature is best used for movies but certainly has use cases outside of the theater.

Top Tips Apple Watch Theater Mode

Swipe up from the bottom of the watch and touch the drama/comedy symbol to activate theater mode. Once enabled, your watch will not turn on unless you tap it. It also stops the watch from ringing from a call while activated.

9. Left-Handers Unite

Apple Watch is best set up for individuals who wear their watches on the left wrist. That’s bad news for left-handed individuals as it places the crown in an awkward position. Fortunately, Apple thinks of everything.

Top Tips Apple Watch Left Hand

Open up the Apple Watch app on the iPhone and head to “General -> Watch Orientation” and choose the preferred wrist and Digital Crown orientation. Now it’s perfect for left-handers. Problem solved.

10. Ping Your iPhone

At one point or another in time, everyone has forgotten where they placed their iPhone. Hopefully, the next time this happens, you are wearing your Apple Watch.

Top Tips Apple Watch Ping Iphone

Swipe up from the bottom and you will see a bell-like icon. Tap on it and your iPhone will make a loud audible chime that will continue to play until you locate the device. Once you find the watch, deactivate the bell.

On a side note, if you have lost your Apple Watch, you can make use of the Find My app to locate it.

11. Change the Home Screen

Did you know the Apple Watch has not one but two possible ways to show off installed apps? While the grid view gets all of the attention and is enabled by default, list view is just as good.

Top Tips Apple Watch App Layout

To activate list view, jump back into the Watch app on the iPhone and select “App Layout”. When list view is activated, you can scroll through the installed apps with the Digital Crown.

There are plenty of things you can do with your Apple Watch, like starting a workout, and the above tips are just the beginning. With watchOS 7 promised in 2020, Apple is sure to introduce even more exciting new features. Did we miss anything? Sound off in the comments below with your favorite Apple Watch feature.

David Joz
David Joz

David is a freelance tech writer with over 15 years of experience in the tech industry. He loves all things Nintendo.

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