Apple Watch is a fantastic gadget. I am sure you are aware of the standard features it offers. But since you invested a significant amount in it, isn’t it logical to learn about some cool secrets to use it like a pro? Let us get straight in and show you over 40 handy tips and tricks of the Apple Watch!
Note: The tips here are focused on models running on watchOS 7 (Apple Watch Series 6, SE, 5, 4, 3). But several of them also work on watchOS 6 and earlier.
- Have Apple Watch announce the time
- Get chimes every 15, 30, or 60 minutes
- Customize the Dock to show favorite apps
- Customize the watch face
- Enable or disable the Always On display on the Apple Watch
- Be creative when editing app layout
- Change app view from grid to list
- Increase text size to read comfortably
- Eject water from the Apple Watch
- Quit apps on the Apple Watch
- Disable unnecessary app notifications
- Use Siri smartly on the Apple Watch
- Take screenshots of the Apple Watch screen
- Unlock Mac with the Apple Watch
- Use the Apple Watch for creative photography
- Use the Apple Watch for transit
- Set a timer so that you do not forget things
- Show two time zones simultaneously
- Have custom messages set for quick replies
- Quickly mute an incoming call
- Quickly switch between the last two apps
- Set your clock a few minutes ahead
- Use Apple Fitness+ on the Apple Watch
- Cycle tracking on the Apple Watch
- Measure blood oxygen
- Use EGC on the Apple Watch
- Enable handwashing feature (important)
- Use sleep tracking on the Apple Watch
- Have Apple Watch automatically call emergency services and numbers when you fall
- Use Digital Crown to view the time slyly
- Nightstand Mode on your Apple Watch
- Use the Apple Watch for directions
- Use the Apple Watch as a flashlight. Yes. Flashlight!
- Transfer calls between the iPhone and Apple Watch
- Send dictated text reply always as audio
- Visit websites using your Apple Watch! Yes!
- Check AirPods battery status from the Watch
- Use the Apple Watch to play sound on the iPhone to locate it
- See exact battery percentage while charging
- Know the ambient noise levels
Customize your Apple Watch
1. Have Apple Watch announce the time
Wake up your watch screen and press with two fingers on the watch face. It will announce the time. In case it does not:
- Open Settings and tap Clock.
- Enable Speak Time.
Note: Alternatively, you may also choose to use a haptic version of the time.
2. Get chimes every few minutes
Want your Apple Watch (when not in silent mode) to make a sound every 15, 30, or 60 minutes? If yes, here is how to do that.
- Open Settings on your Apple Watch.
- Tap Accessibility.
- Tap Chimes.
- Enable the switch for Chimes.
- Next, tap Schedule to choose an interval. Tap Sounds to choose the desired tone.
3. Customize the Dock to show favorite apps
When you press the side button of the Apple Watch, the Dock shows the ten most recently accessed apps. But you can have it display up to ten favorite apps instead. To do this:
- Open the Watch app on the paired iPhone.
- From the My Watch tab, tap Dock.
- Under DOCK ORDERING, choose Favorites.
- Next, tap Edit to add apps to FAVORITES. You may also rearrange them if desired.
4. Customize the watch face
Apple Watch has endless possibilities when it comes to customizing the watch face. You can add helpful complications, change colors, share your watch face with others, and more.
You can also make watch face using personal photos! The pictures of your kids, parents, pets, spouse, or anything that you would like will be on your Apple Watch screen! It is effortless. Just follow the steps shown here and make the watch face beautiful and personal.
5. Enable or disable the Always On display on the Apple Watch
If you have Apple Watch Series 5 or later, you can choose to use the ‘Always On’ feature. (It is enabled by default.) But if you prefer a bit more battery life, you can choose to turn off the Always On display feature.
- Press the Digital Crown to see all the apps. Tap on Settings.
- Scroll down and tap on Display & Brightness.
- Tap on Always On.
- Disable the toggle for Always On.
6. Be creative when editing app layout
You see a bubble of apps when you press the Digital Crown. But did you know that you can move and rearrange these app icons just the way you like?
- Press the Digital Crown to see the app icons.
- Press and hold on to one icon until all icons start jiggling.
- Touch and drag the desired app to a new place.
You can also use the Watch app on the iPhone to create patterns like a Christmas tree with the app icons!
7. Change app view from grid to list
Feel it challenging to find the apps quickly from the app bubble? Worry not; you can easily switch from this view to the list view, where all your watch apps will be listed alphabetically.
- Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch.
- Tap App View.
- Select List View.
8. Increase text size to read comfortably
The Apple Watch screen is tiny, and if you have difficulty reading the text on it, here’s how to adjust the text size. Once you do that, it will become comfortable to figure out the contents of the watch display.
- Launch the Apple Watch Settings app.
- Tap Display & Brightness.
- Scroll down and tap Text Size.
- Rotate the Digital Crown or tap Aa to change the text size.
- Go back or press any physical watch button to save the changes.
Using Apple Watch
9. Eject water from the Apple Watch
Your Apple Watch is waterproof, but you should force eject the water from its grills after a swim or rain.
- Bring up the Control Center. From the watch face, swipe up from the bottom of the screen. If you are inside any other screen (except the Home screen), swipe up from the bottom of the screen.
- Scroll down and tap the droplet icon.
- The watch will ask you to turn the Digital Crown. Do that. You will hear a sound when the process begins.
10. Quit apps on the Apple Watch
Have a non-responsive app or feel that an unnecessary app is draining your watch’s battery? Follow the below steps to quickly force quit apps on the Apple Watch.
- Press the side button (one below the round Digital Crown) to see open apps.
- Swipe right to left on an app card.
- Tap on the red close button.
Productivity tips for Apple Watch Users
11. Disable unnecessary app notifications
Apple Watch lets you view app notifications on your wrist. But you must never let all apps bombard you with notifications. This will unnecessarily waste your time and also watch battery life. Here’s how you can disable stock app notifications on your Apple Watch;
- Go to the Watch app on your iPhone.
- Tap the My Watch tab from the bottom menu → go to Notifications.
- Tap the app you want to disable notifications for.
- Hit the Off option.
12. Use Siri smartly on the Apple Watch
You know that you can press the Digital Crown or say ‘Hey Siri’ to summon the voice assistant on your Apple Watch. But did you know that there is a third method where you only have to lift your wrist to your mouth and say the query? Just turn on the Raise to Speak option to activate it.
This is useful when you just want to use Siri on Apple Watch and not accidentally trigger the same on your HomePod, or other ‘Hey Siri’ enabled devices nearby like your iPhone, iPad, Mac.
13. Take screenshots of the Apple Watch screen
Wish to capture what is on your tiny Apple Watch screen? Press the Digital Crown and the side button to take a screenshot. The image will be saved to Photos on the paired iPhone. By default, this is off.
So, open the Settings app on your watch, tap on General → Screenshots → enable it.
14. Unlock Mac with the Apple Watch
If you own a Mac and Apple Watch, the process of unlocking your computer gets effortless. All you have to do is go near the Mac while you are wearing the watch. Sure, there are some essentials to satisfy beforehand. Similarly, you can also approve payments and password authentications via your Apple Watch if your Mac is on macOS Catalina or later.
15. Use the Apple Watch for creative photography
Have a group picture to take? Or just want to take your picture from afar? Place the iPhone appropriately and use the Apple Watch as the live viewfinder and camera shutter button remote!
- Go to the Home screen on your watch.
- Tap the Camera icon.
Note – Tap open camera if the iPhone’s camera app is closed.
- You can see the preview of what your iPhone is about to capture.
- Tap the shutter button to click.
16. Use the Apple Watch for transit
You can use your Apple Watch in multiple countries to pay in-stores or online via Apple Pay. You also have the convenient options to pay for metro, train, and bus rides using just your Apple Watch!
17. Set a timer so that you do not forget things
When you are cooking, doing laundry, or engaged in any such activity, setting a quick timer straight on the Apple Watch is a godsend. For this, summon Siri on your wearable and ask it to ‘Set a timer for 10 minutes.‘
18. Show two time zones simultaneously
On Apple Watch Series 4 and later, you can use the GMT watch face that lets you keep track of two time zones. The inside one shows the local time, and the outer ring has the city time chosen by you.
For this, open the Watch app on the iPhone and tap Face Gallery. From under New in watchOS, tap on GMT and ADD it to the watch.
To choose the second time zone clock, rotate the Digital Crown when on the GMT watch face. Now, select a pre-listed city and tap the checkmark icon.
Or, to add a city of your choice, go to the World Clock section of the iPhone Clock app. Now add the city here. After that, it will appear in the list of cities added to the GMT watch face.
19. Have custom messages set for quick replies
- Open the Watch app on the paired iPhone.
- From the My Watch tab, scroll down and tap Messages.
- Tap Default Replies.
- Edit one of the responses by adding your custom quick reply. Or, tap Add reply.
- Now, you can use these quick texts while replying to messages from your Apple Watch.
20. Quickly mute an incoming call
When you receive a call, place your hands on the Apple Watch for 3 seconds to silent the tone. If this does not work, open the Settings app on your Apple Watch, tap on Sound & Haptics, and make sure the toggle for Cover to Mute is enabled.
21. Quickly switch between the last two apps
Swiftly double press the Digital Crown to switch between two recent apps.
22. Set your clock a few minutes ahead
On my regular watch, I always loved setting it 5 minutes ahead. I do the same on the Apple Watch. It helps with time management. When you set your clock ahead, the alarms, notifications, and other time-based settings remain unchanged. Only the reading on the watch face is ahead. Neat!
- Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch.
- Tap Clock.
- Tap +0 min and increase it by 1 to 59 minutes, as desired.
- Finally, tap Set.
Health and Safety
Apple Watch is primarily a fitness device that encourages you to stay healthy, motivated, and safe. Thus, we have dedicated posts for the tips mentioned below.
23. Use Apple Fitness+ on the Apple Watch
In December 2020, Apple announced a new service called Fitness+. There are videos and instructions for several exercises by accomplished trainers. You can learn all about it here.
24. Cycle tracking on the Apple Watch
It can be troublesome to keep track of a woman’s monthly periods. Apple watch makes it convenient to do the same. Here’s how you can set up cycle tracking.
- Go to the Health App → Browse → Cycle Tracking option.
- Tap Get Started → enter all the details → tap Next or I’m not sure to continue.
- Tap Options and adjust the cycle length, if necessary.
25. Measure blood oxygen
With the latest Series 6, you can conveniently measure the oxygen level of your blood. The results are pretty accurate and help you understand your health well.
- Once you’ve set up the Blood Oxygen app on the Apple Watch, wear your watch.
- Open the Blood Oxygen app.
- For 15 seconds, keep your arm steady.
- See the results and tap done.
26. Use EGC on the Apple Watch
Electrocardiogram or EGC for short ‘records the timing and strength of the electrical signals that make the heartbeat.’ Head over to this post to learn how to use it on Apple Watch. and How to use Cardio Fitness on Apple Watch (Fitness guide)
27. Enable handwashing feature (important)
The handwashing timer automatically starts displaying on the Apple Watch screen when you begin to wash your hands. It recommends you to keep washing for at least 20 seconds (this is the time recommended by global health organizations.)
28. Use sleep tracking on the Apple Watch
Finally (with watchOS 7), you can use your Apple Watch for sleep tracking. If you are into this, here is how to do that.
29. Have Apple Watch automatically call emergency services and numbers when you fall
Apple Watch Series 4 and later support fall detection that helps you quickly connect with emergency services. After a fall, if you do not move, it will automatically call the emergency services. It will also send your location to your emergency contacts and let them know that you suffered a hard fall.
Other helpful Apple Watch tips
30. Use Digital Crown to view the time slyly
Let us assume you are in a meeting. You do not want to lift your wrist or tap to wake the screen to full brightness. In this case, slightly rotate the Digital Crown to see the time discreetly. Rotate it back to dim the display.
Note: This isn’t available when Always On feature is enabled.
31. Nightstand mode on your Apple Watch
At night you can place your Apple Watch on a table while it is plugged into charging, and it will display the current time & date and alarm. It may sound a bit simple, but it is a helpful feature to have when you wake up at night.
32. Use the Apple Watch for directions
The traveler, hiker, or biker in you will love this little feature. Apple Watch has the Compass app that lets you see direction straight on your wrist.
33. Use the Apple Watch as a flashlight. Yes. Flashlight!
- Swipe up from the bottom of the watch face screen to bring up the Control Center. From any other screen (except the Home Screen), touch and hold the bottom of the screen and swipe up.
- Tap the flashlight icon.
- Use one of the three modes for light or alerts.
- To turn off the flashlight, swipe down or press the Digital Crown or Side button.
34. Transfer calls between the iPhone and Apple Watch
When you get a call notification on your Apple Watch, you may pick it up from there and have a quick conversation. But, if you believe that it would be a long talk, you can easily switch the call from your watch to the paired iPhone.
35. Send dictated text reply always as audio
When you dictate a message reply, the watch gives you the transcribe option or ‘send it as audio.’ But if you wish to always send the dictated message as an audio message (or transcribed), you can set the desired option accordingly.
36. Visit websites using your Apple Watch! Yes!
I know the watch screen is tiny, and there is no Safari browser for the Apple Watch! But still, you can use it to browse the website if needed.
37. Check AirPods battery status from the Watch
The battery widget on the iPhone in iOS 14 is a fantastic addition. But in several instances, you may wish to check the battery status of the connected AirPods or even the iPhone straight from your wrist!
- Go to the Apple Watch Control Center.
- Tap the battery percentage.
- Here you will see additional details, including the battery status of AirPods or any other connected device.
38. Use the Apple Watch to play sound on the iPhone to locate it
Do not remember where you kept your iPhone? Is it on the sofa, bed, study table? Just bring up the Apple Watch Control Center and tap the phone icon. The iPhone will start beeping so that you can quickly locate it.
39. See the exact battery percentage while charging
When the Apple Watch is charging, it shows a small charging logo. When you tap it, you will see the exact battery percentage.
40. Know the ambient noise levels
The handy Noise app on your Apple Watch can tell you the ambient noise level. This can even warn you if the noise is continuously high, and thus, dangerous. Here’s all you need to know about using the Noise app.
Miscellaneous tips for the Apple Watch!
In addition to the above tips, we also have several other related posts that show you how to use your Apple Watch to the full potential. If interested, take a look at these as well!
- How to use Alexa on the Apple Watch
- Use Time Travel on the Apple Watch
- How to Use AirPlay from Your Wrist
- Steps to locate your car using the Apple Watch
- Change distance units on the Apple Watch
- Sync iPhone Photos to the Apple Watch
- Enable grayscale mode on the Apple Watch
- Set up the Apple Watch for left-handed use
- How to use Schooltime on the Apple Watch
Ready to Use the Apple Watch Like a Pro!
This was a long ride, but I hope it was helpful and you learned multiple new tips. What is/are your favorite(s) from the list above? Let us know in the comments down below.