The combination of the Apple Watch Series 6 and WatchOS 8 software is powerful. The last generation Apple Watch comes with a variety of useful features that can help in your daily life — if you know how to use them. We offer a list of our favorite tips and tricks for getting the most out of the Series 6 in conjunction with WatchOS 8.
- Zoom in and out using the Digital Crown
- Ring your iPhone
- Use your watch as a camera remote
- Use the always-on display more effectively
- Activate Siri with wrist motion
- Track blood oxygen levels
- Use the improved altimeter
- Control universal volume with the Digital Crown
- Theater mode controls screen brightness
- Wash your hands with confidence
The Apple Watch Series 6 lets you zoom in or zoom out to have a closer look at the contents of your watch face. To use it, open Settings and scroll down to Accessibility. Tap to open it, and you’ll see the Zoom control, which is off by default. Toggle the switch on to launch Zoom and then double-tap on the screen using two fingers to enable size adjustments with the Digital Crown. You can also use the settings to specify the maximum amount of zoom you want. To zoom out, double-tap on the screen using two fingers and it will return the screen to normal viewing.
Where, oh where, is your iPhone? If it’s in silent mode and you’ve misplaced it, you can use your Apple Watch Series 6 to ping it. Open the Control Center on your watch and tap on the iPhone button. Your iPhone will then make a loud dinging sound — even if it is silent mode — signaling precisely where it is located.
Open the Camera Remote app on your Apple Watch 6 to automatically launch the Camera app on your iPhone. Then tap the shutter button on your watch or use the timer to snap a picture.
The Apple Watch Series 6 has an always-on display, which allows it to show useful alerts and data without the need to activate or unlock. With Series 6, the always-on display is much brighter than previous models and incorporates direct control capabilities. You can tap for basic features — complications, notification center, and Control Center without unlocking the watch.
Do you give Siri commands via the Apple Watch? The Series 6 has a super-handy intuitive feature for this — simply lift your wrist at any time and say your Siri command — no need to say “Hey Siri” first. The wrist motion automatically lets Siri know it’s all right to start listening, without unlocking the watch, so you can give immediate commands or ask quick questions.
For the Series 6, Apple redesigned the way it measures certain health indicators and added the ability to measure your blood oxygen levels (or Sp02 data). You can find this option in the Health app under Respiratory information, or you can visit the dedicated Blood Oxygen app within the WatchOS. Your Watch also monitors background blood oxygen levels several times a day, which allows you to check how much oxygen your body is getting over time. While this shouldn’t be used to diagnose any specific condition, it can offer insight into overall respiratory health, which your doctor may be interested in checking, alongside other testing.
Apple redesigned the altimeter in the Series 6 to track your elevation and provide real-time elevation changes via a more powerful, accurate sensor. The tool is much more useful to hikers, climbers, skiers, and even surveyors for tracking real-time elevation changes, even if it’s just a foot or two of difference.
Digital Crown is the fancy name for the large rotating dial on the side of the watch that you use to go to the home screen. On the Series 6, any time you are in Now Playing mode for any kind of audio, you can twist the crown to control the volume.
If you are ever in a location where you need to lower the light or noise from your Apple Watch, the Control Panel now includes a Theater Mode option that enables your watch’s silent mode. Activate it to keep the screen dark regardless of alerts or notifications. If your Apple Watch suddenly starts making noise or disrupting a meeting, just cover it with your palm. The Watch will sense this and automatically stop this action, leaving you to carry on in peace.
Hand washing has become a critical health protector, and the Apple Watch Series 6, combined with the WatchOS 8, can play an important role. It uses the array of sensors to detect when you are washing your hands — listening for running water and hand movements, for example — that initiate a hidden 20-second timer for your handwashing action. If you stop before the 20 seconds are up, the watch sends a quick vibration to signal you to keep going. The 20-second goal is a guideline both the WHO and the CDC agree on.
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