The Apple Watch Series 5 is a performing device that keeps you connected and delivers a wide range of features, including activity tracking. If you’re new to using an Apple Watch, it might take a while to explore all the features and customize your watch.
We’ve put together some useful tips and tricks to help you dive in and explore some features and settings you might not know about to get the most out of your new watch.
Turn off the always-on display
Apple Watch Series 5 offers a new always-on display so that you can see your Watch face without having to move or interact with your wrist. However, if you’d prefer the watch to turn the display off when not in use, you can do so with a quick setting change. On your Apple Watch, begin by pressing the Digital Crown to bring you to the app view, then select the Settings app. Scroll down and select the Display & Brightness Option, then tap on the Always On setting to alter it.
Find your lost iPhone
Misplaced your iPhone and have no idea where it might be located? As long as your phone is nearby, you can ping it from your Apple Watch — causing your smartphone to set off a high-pitched sound until you can locate it. To use the feature, swipe up while on the Apple Watch face to access the Control Center. Next, tap on the smartphone icon to cause your iPhone to begin pinging for your attention.
Mute alerts with your palm
Receiving an incoming phone call, or simply want your Apple Watch Series 5 display to immediately shut off? Merely tap your palm over the screen of your Apple Watch to quickly silence it and turn off the screen.
Set up message responses
If you’ve received or sent a message from your Apple Watch, you’ve likely noticed that a list of preformed messages are available to tap and post quickly. What you may not know is that you can add your custom messages to that list. To add custom text replies to your Apple Watch, begin by opening the Watch app on your iPhone. Scroll down and select the Messages app option, and then select the Default Replies menu. From here, you can add custom replies to your Watch with ease.
Unlock your Mac with Apple Watch
If you own a Mac built mid-2013 or later, and it is running macOS High Sierra, you can have your Mac automatically unlock when it detects you are nearby and wearing your Apple Watch. To enable the function, on your Mac, open System Preferences. Next, select the Security & Privacy option, then the General tab. Finally, check the Allow Apple Watch to unlock your Mac checkbox to enable the feature.
Customize the app dock
Clicking the side button on your Apple Watch Series 5 will open the app dock and, by default, show you a list of your most recent apps. What you may not know is that you can customize what is shown in your dock — either your most recent apps or your favorite apps. To change what is displayed, open the Watch app on your iPhone. Next, select the Dock option. Here, you can pick whether to show Recents or Favorites. If Favorites is chosen, you can tap the Edit button in the upper right-hand corner to then add or remove which apps you wish to display.
Eject water after swimming
Apple Watch Series 5 is water-resistant up to 50 meters, but after taking a dip, you’ll still want to use the Watch’s eject function to remove water from the internal speaker. Before jumping in for a swim, swipe up on your Apple Watch face to access the Control Center. Next, tap the water eject button — its icon is a droplet of water. Then, once out of the water, rotate the Digital Crown as instructed to clear out any water — you may hear beeps during this process.
Wake to the last app used
If you find yourself lifting your wrist and expecting to see a specific Apple Watch app on your screen, but are instead greeted with the watch face, you may wish to adjust the length of time the watch keeps the last used app on-screen. From your Apple Watch, click the Digital Crown to bring you to your app view, then select Settings. Next, navigate to the General option and select Wake Screen. Lastly, scroll down and choose the amount of time you wish your most recently used app to display: Always, Within 1 Hour, Within 2 Minutes, or Never.
Manage watch notifications
Feeling bombarded by notifications on your Apple Watch? Not all notifications that you want to receive on your phone require a buzz from your wrist. To change which apps can send notifications to your Apple Watch, begin by opening the Watch app on your iPhone. Next, select the Notifications option. Scroll down to your list of apps, and use the toggle switches to determine which notifications will be passed on to your Apple Watch.
Clear all notifications quickly
Picked up your watch to find that a massive list of notifications has amassed? Instead of clearing each individual notification, use this process to clear them at all once. Begin by swiping down from the top of the watch screen to open the Notification Center. Next, force-touch the center of the display by pressing down with a bit more force than usual. Finally, tap the X button to clear all notifications with a single click.
Use theater mode
There is nothing worse than someone’s smartphone or smartwatch going off during a movie, and luckily the folks in Cupertino seem to understand that idea. You can easily put your watch into theater mode, silencing it and turning off the auto-wake screen when you need it. To activate theater mode, swipe up from the bottom of the screen while on your watch face. Next, select the theater mode button (represented by two theatrical masks). Now, your watch will only turn on its display when you click one of the side buttons. Repeat the steps above to disable the feature.
Take an ECG on-the-go
An ECG, or electrocardiogram, is a test that looks at the timing and strength of the electrical signals that cause your heart to beat. Apple Watch can perform this test using the watch’s built-in app, which can determine situations such as typical sinus rhythms and atypical atrial fibrillation. To learn how to achieve this test and what the results mean, we recommend checking out our guide on ECG testing on Apple Watch.
Hide watch apps from sight
Do you not want to see a specific app on your wrist? If there is a particular app that you don’t wish to see on your Apple Watch, you can easily hide it within the Watch app. Begin by opening the Watch app on your iPhone, then scroll down to the app you no longer wish to have visible and tap on it. Finally, toggle the switch for Show App on Apple Watch to hide or unhide it with ease.
Take a screenshot
Screenshots of your Apple Watch screen can be taken, but they must first be enabled. On your iPhone, open the Watch app, then scroll down to the General option. Scroll down again until you locate the Enable Screenshots toggle and ensure it is green. Now, to take a screenshot on your Apple Watch, press the Digital Crown and side button at the same time. Your screen will flash to indicate that the operation was successful.
Feel for directions
If you’ve been using your Apple Watch for directions, you may have noticed that the watch will tap you when it is time to make a turn. However, what you may not have realized is that the buzz pattern changes depending on the turn that you need to make. When approaching a right turn, your watch will steadily tap your wrist, but when approaching a left turn, the watch will tap your wrist twice, pause, and repeat the pattern. Additionally, once you arrive at your location, you will receive a long single vibration.
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