watchOS 5 boasts quite a few impressive features including WebKit integration. Thanks to this new add-on, you can view web pages on Apple Watch. Before you start thinking of full-fledged browsing experience, let me tell you that it’s very limited in functionality and allows you to open web links only in Messages and Mail apps.
Do note that there is no standalone web browser in watchOS 5. Therefore you can access the Internet only in the restricted form on your Apple Watch. Times when your iPhone is lying in bed, and you wish to take a peek at the latest email, this feature can come in pretty handy. Let’s get started with this new add-on!
How to Browse the Internet on Apple Watch Running watchOS 5
Assuming, you have received a web link in the iMessage or Mail app. If you don’t have a web link on the watch, use your iPhone or another device to send the link of the website you want to access on your Apple Watch.
Step #1. When you receive a web link, tap on it. A web view will open up on the screen.
Next, you can take the help of Digital Crown to scroll through the website. You will also use your finger to navigate through the site.
Step #2. Once you have viewed the web page, tap on Close.
As mentioned above, the watchOS lacks a web browser like Safari to let you search the web. However, you can trick the operating system to search sites. Read on…
How to Search the Web on Apple Watch
Step #1. To get started, you need to use your iPhone (or another device) to send the link of google.com or other search engines to yourself.
In this test, I’m going to send google.com link to myself using iMessage.
Step #2. Now, open the Messages app on your Apple watch and tap on the link.
Step #3. Once Google Search loaded up, tap on the text field.
Next, you can either dictate the thing you want to search or scribble the text.
To dictate the command, tap on the tiny microphone button and then speak.
If you want to type the search, tap on the scribble icon. Then, scribble on the tiny area to write the word. Once you have written the search term, tap on the Done button at the top right corner.
Step #4. Up next, tap on the magnifying glass to search.
That’s how you can search the web on your watchOS device.
Use the Following WebKit Gestures to Browse the Web on Your Apple Watch:
- To scroll on a web page, you can use your finger or rotate the Digital Crown.
- To zoom, double tap on the screen. You need to double tap again to zoom out.
- To view the Back, Forward, Reload, and Reader Mode options, long press on the screen.
- To move forward or backward through different sites, you need to swipe left or right.
The watchOS uses Reader Mode to load web pages a bit faster. It keeps away ads, videos and many other things to ensure you have a clear view of the content.
I think it’s well thought out and designed to let you quickly glance through the content that matters to you–by keeping all the unnecessary things at bay.
Web browsing consumes a lot of battery on the watch. So, you should keep it in your mind to ensure you don’t have to charge the smartwatch too frequently.
How to Clear Website Data on Apple Watch
From time to time, you may want to get rid of the saved passwords and website cookies. watchOS lets you easily clear out the caches. To do so, head over to this post.
A Baby Step… But In the Right Direction
Agreed, the browsing web on the Apple Watch is quite limited. However, it does seem to be a step in the right direction. And from what I can see it’s the beginning of something really exciting. I think Apple is going to offer a full-fledged web browser experience on the watch in a few years time.
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