Use Your Apple Watch as a Remote Viewfinder and Shutter for Your iPhone Camera

apple watch camera feature Credit: Apple
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Did you know your Apple Watch isn’t just for health monitoring, calling, and texting? It can also serve as a remote shutter button for the iPhone camera.

This is a lesser-known feature, but it can give you quite a bit of flexibility in the way you take photos, allowing for more creativity. The Apple Watch can work as a viewfinder, control the flash and Live Photo options, turn the camera front or rear facing, and snap a picture. Here’s how it works.

camera remote

First, make sure your Apple Watch is paired with your iPhone. If you have an Apple Watch, pairing is typically done when you first set it up, so it’s probably ready to go. Find the Camera Remote app on your Apple Watch. It comes pre-installed.

Once you open the Camera Remote app on your watch, your iPhone’s camera will automatically turn on, even if your iPhone is locked and laying face down on a table. Give it a couple of seconds to start up, and your Apple Watch will show you what your iPhone camera sees.

apple watch shutter

You can zoom in and out by rotating the Digital Crown or tap on your Apple Watch screen to adjust the exposure based on that area. When you’re ready to take the photo, tap the shutter button on your Apple Watch. By default, there will be a three-second delay to give you enough time to lower your wrist and pose.

If you tap the three dots in the bottom right of your watch screen, you’ll find options to turn off the three-second delay, switch between the front and rear cameras, and adjust settings for the flash and Live Photos.

apple watch camera controls

You can also capture a QuickTake video recording by holding your finger down on the shutter button just like you can on the iPhone; keep holding your finger there to continue recording, and then release it when you’re done. As with QuickTake on the iPhone, these will be lower-quality 1440p clips, but you can also record full-quality videos (1080p or 4K, depending on your iPhone Camera settings) by switching to video mode in your iPhone’s camera app and then using the Apple Watch Camera Remote to control that with a standard start/stop recording button.

Operating your iPhone’s camera with your Apple Watch is perfect for group photos, especially if you use a stand or tripod. It also allows you to explore new angles and setups that would be tricky to manage while holding your phone. It’s also great for candid photos. Whether you’re a professional or amateur, the Apple Watch’s versatility adds a unique level of control to capturing images.

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