15 Hidden Apple Watch Hacks You Didn’t Know About
You aren’t using your Apple Watch to the fullest if you don’t know about these expert-recommended hacks.
The benefits of an Apple Watch
The first time you held an iPhone in your hands, you were convinced nothing could ever top it. The accessibility! The connection! The ease of use! This was, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the best that technology had to offer.
And then, you got an Apple Watch. And suddenly, everything you loved about your iPhone was available to be worn around your wrist. Surely it couldn’t get any better than that! But guess what? You’ll love it even more once you learn these expert-recommended hacks. Apple lovers will also want to know these 10 hidden iPhone features you never knew about.
Courtesy Thomas Bradbury, GetSongkey
“First of all, every user should make sure they take advantage of the sleep tracking feature offered by the Apple Watch,” says Thomas Bradbury, technical director at GetSongKey. “Sleep is important, and this feature allows you to see how much you sleep, as well as assess your sleep quality.”
While you can get an analysis of how much time you spend in bed from your Bedtime tab in iOS 13, your apple watch won’t track how much you actually sleep or move throughout the night on its own. For that, Apple recommends using downloading one of the complementary sleep trackers within the Health app on your phone. If you’re anxious to get tracking, this simple trick can help you fall asleep in 60 seconds or less.
Clearing all notifications
Courtesy Samuel Rutter
“While some people never clean out their notifications, others obsessively swipe them away for a nice clean tray,” notes Damien Mason, technical expert at ProPrivacy. “The ordinary way to do this is to drag down with your finger from the top of the watch, but you’re sadly limited to dismissing them one by one.” But if you’re facing notification overload, Mason has a solution. “If you want to clear them all at once, simply force touch the notification tray by pressing harder on the screen.” If you’re the type who likes to keep your tech organized you’ll want to find out the 11 things productive people do on their smartphones.
Unlocking your Mac
Courtesy Samuel Rutter
“Apple is well-known for its inclusive ecosystem, rewarding customers that purchase multiple devices,” Mason explains. “You can actually unlock your Mac with your Apple Watch, just like you can with an iPhone.”
If you’d like to pair your Apple Watch and your Mac, you need to first make sure both meet the requirements. Next, on your Mac, go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General > then tick the checkbox “Allow Apple Watch to unlock your Mac.” “You can now feel like the protagonist in a spy novel when accessing your Mac device,” Mason says. Of course, he adds, “It’s advised that you keep your watch safe if you choose this method, as it can bypass the need for a password.” While you’re at it, learn the tricks to prevent getting hacked while you’re online.
Courtesy David Lynch, UpPhone
“Unlike other Apple devices, you have to manually turn on the ability to screenshot before you can actually take them,” informs David Lynch, content lead for Payette Forward, an Apple support website that helps millions of people fix problems with their iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches every month. “Taking screenshots is helpful if you want to show off your new Apple Watch Face to a friend, or if there’s something you’re unfamiliar with and you need help.”
To enable screenshots on your Apple Watch, on your iPhone open the Watch app > General >then turn on the switch for “Enable Screenshots.” Once screenshots have been enabled, you can take them on your Apple Watch by simultaneously pressing the side button and the Digital Crown. The display will flash and your Apple Watch will vibrate to indicate that a screenshot has been taken. Your Apple Watch screenshots will appear in the Photos app on your iPhone, Lynch shares. Avid photographers will want to know these easy ways to free up space on their phone.
Courtesy David Lynch, UpPhone
“Apple Watches are great for tracking exercise, even swimming,” Lynch says. But note that Apple Watches are water-resistant, not waterproof and there are steps you can take to help preserve your watch’s water resistance, which Apple notes diminishes over time. If you’re an avid swimmer, Apple has you covered, Lynch says. “Water Lock is automatically turned on when you select a swimming workout on your Apple Watch.” You’ll know it’s on when you see the icon of a blue drop of water at the top of your watch face.
If you want to turn it on manually—say you’re lounging in the pool versus doing laps or if you want to be extra careful when it’s raining or snowing—open the Control Center on your Apple Watch by swiping up from the bottom of the display of your home screen. “Then, tap the icon that looks like a drop of water.” Follow these tips to spring clean your smartphone.
Courtesy Marcus Prendergast
After your swim, it’s a smart idea to eject any water from your watch. “To do so, tap the icon of a blue water drop and turn the Digital Crown,” says Marcus Prendergast, cybersecurity of Belgravia Cybersecurity. “You’ll see a pulsating blue dot, then dancing blue raindrops on the screen as your device emits a few beeps before it notes that it’s ‘unlocked,’” he says. If it’s your phone that got dropped in water, try these tricks to save it.
Pairing your alarms
courtesy Andrew Darlow
This simple hack makes morning’s easier, swears Andrew Darlow, a New Jersey-based author, photographer, and inventor. “Just set an alarm on your paired iPhone, and when the alarm sounds, you will see the alarm notification on your watch, which allows you to either turn off or snooze the alarm.”
Using paired alarms, he knows he won’t miss a reminder, even if his phone isn’t nearby. This has been beneficial to me because it avoids the need for me to pull out my phone (or find it if I have it charging on a stand) so that I can turn off the alarm.” On the other hand, if you need extra help waking up, these smart alarm clocks can make you a morning person.
Courtesy Rebecca Lee Armstrong, HighSpeedInternet.com
“There are a ton of reasons to use walkie-talkie instead of calling or texting,” says Rebecca Lee Armstrong, tech and internet services writer at Highspeedinternet.com. “It’s a great alternative to texting during the winter because you don’t have to struggle to text wearing gloves or take off your gloves to text.” Another benefit is that the Walkie-Talkie app doesn’t have range limitations like traditional walkie talkies—you can use it wherever you have an internet connection. And, as an added bonus, “After you open the channel of communication, it stays open for continued messaging—super useful if you’re trying to meet up with someone in a crowded place,” Armstrong says.
Setting up walkie-talkie mode is simple, too. “The Walkie-Talkie app comes loaded on your Apple Watch home screen,” Armstrong explains. “It’s the yellow icon with a black walkie talkie symbol (it looks vaguely like a black and yellow version of the Instagram logo). Tap that, choose one of your contacts, and hold the on-screen button to talk.” Find out how to get better cell phone reception in your home.
Grill a better burger
Courtesy Joe Wilson, Volare Systems
There are a few gadgets that work with your Apple Watch and one that Joe Wilson, owner of Volare Systems, a custom software development company in Denver, loves is the Weber Bluetooth thermometer. “Via the iPhone app, you select the type of food you are grilling and it warns you as you get close to the preset done temperature. But the real help is that the Apple Watch also shows the temperatures of the thermometers and you get the same alert on it when your food is almost done.” Discover the 12 hidden smartphone codes you should start using ASAP.