The Apple Watch is the most popular watch in the world — and for good reason. It’s packs a surprising amount of power and functionality into a small and wearable form factor. Because of that, the Apple Watch is capable of a lot more than you might think. As a result, there are plenty of hidden or less popular features and options that are extremely useful. Continue reading to learn about nine lesser-known Apple Watch tips and tricks that you should know.
Get Better Battery Life
When it comes to power-saving colors on an OLED display, the first thing that comes to mind may be black. But there are actually other more energy-efficient color options you can consider if you want to get the most battery life out of your Apple Watch.
For example, using greens and yellows can save a significant amount of battery compared to whites, blues or purples on OLED displays. How can you apply this in practice? Just take it into account if you use a watch face that allows for color customization.
Quickly Mute and Dim Your Watch
One of the more useful but hidden features of the Apple Watch is the ability to quickly dim its display. Just place your hand over the device quickly to get the display to go back to sleep (perfect for those times the display wakes up accidentally).
But this feature actually goes a step further than that. If you want to quickly mute your Apple Watch, just hold your hand over it for about three seconds — you should feel a haptic feedback when it’s been silenced. You can edit this in the Watch app, just go to My Watch > Sound & Haptics.
Clear All Notifications
Clearing out a bunch of alerts on the Apple Watch’s Notifications pane can be tedious. Luckily, there’s a handy but little-known option within that pane that takes advantage of Force Touch.
Just press firmly on any alert in the Notifications Pane. You should see an option to Clear All. Tap on that and all of your notifications will be gone in a single touch.
It’s also a good idea to try out Force Touch in basically any app you use – you may just find some hidden functionality you didn’t know about before.
Reverse Your Orientation
If you use an Apple Watch, you probably already know that you can set which wrist it’s oriented for. But beyond that, switching your Apple Watch orientation could have some benefits you may not expect. As pointed out by developer Craig Hockenberry, “reverse crown orientation” has some ergonomic benefits.
Basically, you’ll flip your Apple Watch around so that the Digital Crown is on the left side of the device (facing toward you). Then, you’ll go into Watch > General > Orientation to change the settings to match. Try it out – you may just find that you like the ergonomics of reverse crown orientation a lot better than Apple’s default mode.
See The Time (Discreetly)
The Apple Watch typically “wakes up” when you raise your wrist, bringing the display to full brightness and allowing you to check the time without tapping on anything. But Raise to Wake isn’t always the best option in some settings, but there is an alternative.
With your Apple Watch’s screen off, gently turn the Digital Crown upwards. You should slowly see the screen “wake up” — allowing you to check time and other information without blinding yourself late at night or when in a darker environment. This behavior is editable in General > Wake Screen > Wake Screen on Crown Up.
Eject Water After a Swim
Newer Apple Watches feature water resistance, meaning you can take your wearable swimming with you. But you may have noticed that the speaker grill can retain some water, which generally reduces audio quality. Fortunately, Apple has a baked-in fix.
As long as you have an Apple Watch Series 2, you can quickly eject water from your device’s speaker vent. Just swipe up from a Watch face to open Control Center. Then, find and tap on the little water drop icon. This will play a tone that will eject water from the speaker.
Resume Previous Activity
By default, the Apple Watch will display your watch face when you use Raise to Wake. For most people, that’s a decent option. But it can be annoying if you’d rather have the wearable show your most recently performed activity like Music playback.
There’s a setting for that. Just go to the Settings app on your Watch, tap General and Wake Screen. Then, select Previous Activity. Now, when you wake up your Apple Watch’s display, it’ll show you whatever you were doing on the Apple Watch before the screen turned off.
Use Maps on Your Watch Better
If you aren’t using Apple Maps on your Apple Watch, you should be. The feature, which uses haptic feedback to indicate which direction you should turn, works great for on-foot directions. But getting a route set up on your Watch can be finicky.
That’s why you should use your iPhone to set up a route instead. As long as you’re using Apple Maps on both devices, you can type in directions on your iPhone and get them synced to the Maps app on your Apple Watch.
Boost the Haptics
If you’re missing notifications on your Apple Watch because the haptics aren’t strong enough, check your bands. If the bands are too loose, then the “tap” your Watch will give you will be a lot weaker. But if the haptic still isn’t strong enough, you have a couple software settings.
Go to the Settings app on your Watch and select Sound & Haptics. You’ll find a slider that allows you to control the strength of the device’s haptic feedback. There’s also a “Prominent Haptic” option that will automatically boost the haptic feedback for common alerts.