Just when you think you know everything there is to know about your Apple Watch, (having spent countless hours playing with it), you tend to consider yourself almost a “Professional”.
When people ask you how to do something on their Apple Watch, you are almost too happy to oblige. After all, you have certified yourself as an adjunctive Apple Professor ready to serve mankind.
There just *may* be, however, a thing or two about the Apple Watch that even you were not aware of, tips that you could definitely add to your arsenal of knowledge as an Adjunct Apple Watch Professor. I too, learned a thing or two in developing this compilation of things that I didn’t know my Apple Watch could do.
Whenever you find yourself scribbling on screen to complete a word, if you find that the word is lengthy, simply scribble out 2 or 3 letters, and then rotate the crown. In doing so, you will find that it will offer you word completion suggestions.
For those of us who don’t write or understand half of the chat-speak language (You know, LOL, ROFLOL, IDK, etc.), you will want to write in full sentences so as to clearly communicate like normal people. Utilizing this tip will come in really handy when you are trying to type long words, or even words that you do not know how to spell.
Ping The Flash On Your iPhone
You probably already know that you can ping your phone so that it will make a noise you can hear in order to locate it. But did you know that you can force the camera flash on your phone to pulsate so that it is easy to locate in a dark room, (provided the flash is unobstructed).
To do this, simply swipe up from the bottom of the screen and you will be brought to the Control Center. As you may already know, if you just tap the Ping icon, it will force your iPhone to make a sound. However, if you long press on the Ping button in Control Center, it will make the camera on your iPhone pulsate. There is no need to deep press the icon, just long press on it, and the flash on your camera will flash until you lift your finger from the Ping icon.
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How To Disable The Auto Launch Audio App
When you are listing to music on your Apple Watch, by default, when you raise your wrist to view the watch, it will display the song being played. This in itself is a very nice feature . . . unless you JUST got your new Apple Watch today, as it can be annoying when you want to explore all that your brand new Apple Watch has to offer while playing your favorite music.
Sure you can get tap out of the song being played, but if you just want to disable the song being played from displaying every time you lift your wrist to play with your watch, just go to SETTINGS > GENERAL > WAKE SCREEN and then toggle the Auto launch Audio app Switch.
Now, while listening to your favorite tunes, when you lift your wrist to play with this new beautiful computer strapped to your wrist, you won’t have to bother with the song being displayed every time you raise your wrist.
Calendar App View
If you force touch into the Calendar App on your Apple Watch, you automatically get 3 calendar views to choose from. You can get LIST, DAY or TODAY. The view that you choose will determine just how efficient you are become in your day-to-day tasks when administering your calendar.
I love that Apple offers the user a choice in how they approach their calendar. Some will swear by one view, and others will swear by another. Determining which view works best for you is a personal choice. Nice touch, Apple.
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How to Check the Battery Percentage
You already know that you can check the battery percentage of your Apple Watch from your phone, but did you know that you can check the battery percentage of your iPhone from your Apple Watch?
How can you do this? Simply ask Siri: “Hey Siri, how much battery life do I have left on my iPhone?”, and Siri will happily comply. Or with the release of WatchOS 5, simply raise your wrist and ask, “How much battery life do I have left on my iPhone?”.
That’s right, with the release of WatchOS 5 there is no need to say, “Hey Siri”, anymore. I almost feel dumb for not knowing this one.
When Did This Text Message Arrive?
When reviewing a given text message, you may want to know when you received that text message. Sure you could check your phone to find out, but wouldn’t it be more convenient to find out from your Apple Watch?
To find out, all you have to do is slowly swipe left from the right hand side of the screen. When you do, it will display the time that the message was received, . . . . just like you do on the the iPhone. I really feel dumb for not already knowing this one.
Apple’s signature synchronicity between its devices comes into play with watchOS 3 and macOS Sierra. You can now use your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac (read our complete tutorial at this link), no password necessary.
How to Unlock Your Mac with your Apple Watch
If you own a Mac, this feature is just over-the-top. You will need to be running WatchOS 3 or later as well as MacOS Sierra (or later), to get this to work. You will actually be able to unlock your Mac by simply wearing your Apple Watch when waking up your computer, all without using a password. Talk about cool!
There is a great step-by-step tutorial on how to do this, found at MacWorld.co.uk.
How to take screenshots on an Apple Watch
Yes, you can take screenshots on your Apple Watch. Though it used to be really easy to do, by simply pressing the side button and the digital crown in at the same time, people found that they were accidentally taking screenshots when they did not want to. Apple has now made it a little more difficult to use this feature.
These days, it is not available by default. You have to toggle a setting to enable this feature, as it is now disabled by default. The steps are real simple though. Simply go to your paired iPhone and open the Watch app. In the “My Watch” tab at the bottom left, scroll down and tap GENERAL. Now, scroll down once again and tap the slider next to the Enable Screenshots setting, and toggle it so that it turns green. That’s all there is to it.
Now when you press the side button and digital crown at the same time, holding it for a second, it will take a snapshot of the screen currently displaying on your Apple Watch.
Why would you want to do this? Well, there is the cool factor, but practically speaking, you might want to use this feature if you wanted to send the screenshot to someone via text or email. The screenshot you take, however, will not be found on your watch, but rather in the Photos app on your paired iPhone.
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Share Your Location from Your Apple Watch
Let’s be honest. There are some things that are just easier to do from your Apple Watch than from your iPhone. Let me paint a picture for you so that you can really appreciate this feature.
If you have ever been to an airport and are hoping to meet up with friends or business acquaintances, the “Find My Friends” feature that the iPhone offers is really nice, even practical. However, sending the invite to every person in your party, and then entering the confirmation code is just not convenient at all. Especially when you are pulling your luggage behind you with a carry-on bag over your shoulder and your jacket wedged into the luggage handle because it’s hotter than you had planned.
If, however, you are wearing your Apple Watch, simply open up the Messages app on your Apple Watch, select the thread to reply to, and force touch the screen and select ‘Send Location’. This will send your current location out to everyone in that particular texting thread. Everyone in that thread can then load your location from their iPhone within the Messages app to track your location.
This feature can really benefit your family. The anticipation of your arrival will mean the world to your wife and kids as they pull up to your terminal to pick you up, or if they are waiting for you to arrive home, they can follow your taxi / Uber from the airport. There is nothing like a spouse or parent coming home from a business trip.
One Final Note
The goal of any Apple product is make it function intuitively. Apple engineers do not want to you to have to ask yourself, “How do I . . . “ for anything. They know that subconsciously you are saying, “Don’t make me think”. And Apple delivers on that.
When you want to do something on the Apple Watch that you don’t know how to do, try doing what feels “natural”, (like swiping left in the Messages app to find the time the message was sent), and you just might be surprised to find that the engineers at Apple anticipate your needs.