The Apple Watch has obvious standout features, including the ability to make and receive phone calls, get directions and monitor your movement. Generally, it lets you manage notifications, and even use some apps without touching your iPhone. The health and fitness features will help you stay in shape. Beyond these basic abilities, Apple packed other small but interesting features in the Watch that are worth looking at. Actually, the Apple Watch is your iPhone’s best friend. There is a lot more to the Apple Watch than the Activity app, Notification Center, and watch faces. In this article we are going to talk about a few of the Apple Watch hidden features that make the wearable even more powerful.
Apple Watch Hidden Features
Indeed, your Apple Watch is filled with features. And as a new user, you might not know about all of them. To get the most out of Apple Watch, check out our list of Apple Watch hidden features below.
1. Take Screenshots
If you want to show someone what an app looks like on your Apple Watch you can easily take a screenshot on the watch. You can do it by holding down the side button on the watch and tapping the digital crown. By doing that, the screen will flash and you hear a shutter sound. Screenshot images are saved to the Photos folder inside your iPhone’s Photos app where you can access them later on or tap the Share button and text the screenshot to a friend.
2. Use Dock as an App Launcher
The Dock is the Apple Watch’s best-kept secret, and shows up when you press the Side button. However, the naming is confusing; the Dock’s default behavior is to show your most recent apps, similar to the iPhone’s App Switcher.
But in daily use, you might never actually use this feature. Thankfully, there is a hidden setting in the Watch app that will turn the Dock into an incredibly useful app launcher.
Open the Watch app, select Dock, and switch from Recents to Favorites. Now add a couple of your most-used apps to the Favorites list.
An average Apple Watch user typically shuffles between a couple of apps like Workouts, Music, Messages, and Podcasts. Now you can just press the Side button from anywhere, scroll through the list, and tap on the app preview to launch it.
3. Find Your iPhone with Your Watch
You can use your Apple Watch to track your iPhone down, when you have misplaced your iPhone. Just swipe up on your Apple Watch display to display the control panel screen. Tap on the iPhone icon to have your phone make a dinging noise. This feature requires you to be in Bluetooth range of your phone, so it’s not going to do you any good if you left your phone at the bar down the street, but it can make it easy to pinpoint where your iPhone is in your living room if it found its way under the sofa.
4. Share Your Location via Messages
It is simple to show your location on Apple Watch through the messages app. When you are texting with someone on the Watch, you only need to press and hold on the screen to get a send location button.
Tap that button to instantly to send the person you are chatting with a pin with your current coordinates. That makes it super easy for the person to navigate to your exact location, be it a restaurant or a patch of grass at a large outdoor concert.
5. Try Silent Mode
The beauty of wearing an Apple Watch is how it helps you detach from your iPhone. With it, you don’t need to pick up your iPhone every time you get a message or a call. Instead, you can just leave your phone on silent mode for long periods of time.
However, by default, the Apple Watch makes a sound every time you get a notification. This can get annoying fairly quickly, especially when the Watch’s Taptic engine is so good. But you can keep it quiet with a few taps.
From the watch face, swipe up to reveal the Control Center and tap the bell icon to turn on Silent Mode. Now, your Apple Watch will gently tap you on the wrist when you get a notification, and won’t light up the screen until you pick up your wrist.
6. “Raise to Speak to Siri” Is One of Apple Watch Hidden Features
If you are using an Apple Watch Series 3 running watchOS 5 or above, there’s no need to press the Digital Crown to talk to Siri. Simply raise your wrist to bring the Apple Watch close to your face, and start speaking. Siri will instantly start transcribing and processing your command.
Funnily enough, this is the most reliable way to interact with Siri on the Apple Watch. It works much better than holding the Digital Crown.
7. Sync Music to Your Apple Watch
If you take your Apple Watch with you on runs or walks, you might want to leave your iPhone behind, especially if you have got the cellular Apple Watch.
As an Apple Music subscriber, you can stream music from your Apple Watch over a cellular connection anytime you want. But this is often unreliable and a huge drain on the battery.
Instead, you can sync your favorite albums or running playlists to your Apple Watch for offline use. Open the Watch app, select Music, and tap Add more. Select a playlist or album, and wait while it syncs to your Apple Watch. Next time you open the Music app, you will see the newly synced album or playlist in the list.
8. Customize Your Favorite Workouts
When you start using the Workouts app regularly, you’ll end up wanting to customize the workouts screen. For example, you might want to add the current pace to the walking workout.
Open the Watch app, go to Workouts > Workout View, and select the workout. Tap on Editto add, remove, and rearrange the metrics to suit your needs.
9. One of Apple Watch Hidden Features Is “Manage Watch Faces”
Three is the magic number for manageable watch faces. You should set up a trio of different watch faces for different times of day, moods, or occasions. Just swipe horizontally from one edge of the screen to another to flip through all available watch faces.
If you’ve got too many watch faces enabled, it’s time to delete or rearrange them. You can do this on the Watch itself, but it’s much easier to do it in the Watch app.
From the My Watch tab, tap on the Edit button next to My Faces section. To delete a watch face, tap the red button; use the handle button on the right to rearrange the faces. And to customize a watch face, tap on it from the My Faces section.
10. Scribble to Reply to Texts
When you get a notification on your Apple Watch, tap on it and select Reply to send a quick response. You will see a plethora of options here: tap on the mic button to dictate a reply, or you can choose an emoji or canned response.
But one of the features you might not know about is the scribble tool. Tap on the A icon with the hand and you will open a scribble pad. Draw letters here, and they’ll show up as text on top.
You can’t really type out long messages like this. But it’s great for typing one or two-word replies, something that isn’t available in the list of canned responses.
11. Use Theater Mode
The Apple Watch has a tendency to light up at the worst times. When you are playing a game or sitting in the movie theater, you don’t want your Apple Watch to disturb you visually or audibly.
During these times, swipe up from the Control Center and tap on the Theater Mode button. This will keep your Watch from lighting up unless you tap the screen or press the Digital Crown. It also enables Silent Mode to suppress audio alerts.
12. “Customize Control Center” Is One of the Other Apple Watch Hidden Features
There are quite a lot of controls in the Control Center. Thankfully, watchOS 5 lets you customize the layout so you can bring your most-used controls on the top.
Swipe to the bottom of the Control Center and tap the Edit button. After that, tap and hold the buttons to rearrange them.
13. Access Notifications and Control Center From Anywhere
One of the biggest frustrations of using an Apple Watch was that you could previously only access the Notification Center or Control Center from the watch face. But now, watchOS 5 lets you access notifications from anywhere on the screen.
Tap and hold for a split second on either the top or bottom edge of the screen till you see an overview, then pull. You can now access notifications no matter which app you are in.
14. “Transfer a Call to iPhone” Is One of the Other Apple Watch Hidden Features
Answering quick calls on the Apple Watch is quite handy. But sometimes quick calls turn into long conversations, and you might want to switch to your iPhone for better clarity.
Switching calls between your Apple Watch and iPhone is quite seamless (if you have the Handoff feature enabled). When you have got a call going on the Apple Watch, pick up your phone and tap on the green icon on the top. This will automatically launch the phone app and switch the call to the iPhone.
The Bottom Line
Hopefully these hidden features help you make the most of your new Apple Watch. You will be amazed at how much it can do!
As you might know, health and fitness are the two best features of Apple Watch. But the default Workouts app can only get you so far. This is where third-party Apple Watch fitness apps are essential. You can do everything from workout tracking, yoga practice, and marathon training, to calorie counting, all from your wrist!