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Take control of your Apple Watch with these 30 essential tips and tricks

The Apple Watch is one of the most personal wearables on the planet. Aside from being the bestselling smartwatch available, it features a host of unique communication methods, an attractive design, and a host of third-party apps. However, navigating and making use of its many features is easier said than done, and muting notifications and setting custom responses is only the beginning. How about using Apple Pay, setting your own pictures as your wallpaper, or transferring music? Below, we’ve compiled a list of tips for carrying out the aforementioned actions, as well as others.

More: The 16 best Apple Watch straps you can buy right now

Switch and edit watch faces, Control Center, Scribble, Tapback, App Dock

How to switch between faces


Switching watch faces is as easy as switching between screens on your iPhone. Simply swipe left and right. Each watch face is different, so a good way to enhance the way you use the watch is to set up different faces to accomplish different tasks. When you swipe, make sure you start the swipe from the curved edge of the screen and not from the middle.

How to edit your watch face


To edit a watch face, press firmly on the screen, which Apple calls a Force Touch. Swipe through the host of options and tap Customize on the face you want to edit. Swipe again to select features, and then change them with the crown. If you don’t want to fiddle with complications on a small screen, however, you can use the Watch app on your iPhone to accomplish the same task. On the Watch app you will find a Watch Face Gallery, where you can pick and create your own watch faces. There is a section called My Faces that shows all the faces you’ve picked, and this is where you can customize the faces, change the order of the faces, and remove them entirely. Once done, the changes will immediately sync with your Apple Watch.

How to get to Control Center


Yes, the Apple Watch has a control center, just like the iPhone. You can get to it by swiping up, just like on the iPhone. This is useful because it will grant you access to things such as airplane mode and Do Not Disturb mode, and allow you to switch the watch to vibrate. If you have an Apple Watch Series 2, you can also activate a feature that will eject water from the watch.

How to reply to messages with Scribble


A quick “OK” or “I’ll call you back” isn’t always enough. Thankfully, a new feature in WatchOS 3 lets you reply to a message by writing on the screen. When you reply to a message, choose Scribble and write each letter on the space provided. You will do this by writing with your finger, one letter at a time, one on top of each other. The software will read each letter and type the sentence on your behalf. The software will keep up with you, too, so you don’t need to wait for it to type the letter for you to move on to the next one. Just go ahead and keep writing what you want to write and the software will type it for you. It’s that simple.

How to Tapback in iMessage


One of the new features introduced with iOS 10 was the ability to tap on a message and quickly reply with a thumbs up or a heart. It works exactly the same way on the Apple Watch. Instead of replying with an “OK” or another word, you can acknowledge someone’s message by liking it, or sending a heart. The Tapback emojis will pop up if you long press on a speech bubble, much in the same way they do in iOS.

How to access the application dock


In WatchOS 3, the side button below the crown activates the dock housing all of your favorite applications. It’s just like the dock in MacOS, or the taskbar on Windows, where you pin your most-used apps. The caveat here is that you can only pin 10 apps to your watch at any given time. If you tap the side button when using an app, it will show the last app you used, and it will ask you if you want to add it to your dock. If you already have 10, then you’ll need to replace one of your apps. You can also swipe up to remove an app from the dock, and you can do all of this with the Watch app on your iPhone, if it’s easier for you.

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