12 Hidden Apple Watch Features You Must Try

By | April 11, 2022

Apple Watch is your iPhone’s best friend. It lets you manage notifications, receive calls, and even use some apps without touching your iPhone. Health and fitness features will help you stay in shape. But there’s more to the Apple Watch than the Activity app, Notification Center

Indeed, your Apple Watch is full of features. And as a new user, you may not know all about it. To get the most out of your Apple Watch, check out the list of hidden Apple Watch features below.

Use Dock as App Launcher

The Dock is Apple Watch’s best-kept secret, and appears when you press the Side button. However, the naming is confusing; The Dock’s standard behavior is to show your recent apps, similar to the iPhone’s App Switcher.

But in everyday use, you may never actually use this feature. Luckily, there’s a hidden setting in the Watch app that will turn the Dock into a very useful app launcher.

Open the Watch app, select the Dock, and switch from Recent to Favorites. Now add some of the apps you use most to the Favorites list below.

The average Apple Watch user typically switches between apps like Workouts, Music, Messages, and Podcasts. Now you can simply press the Side button from anywhere, scroll through the list, and tap on the app preview to launch it.

Try Silent Mode

The beauty of wearing an Apple Watch is how it helps you detach yourself from your iPhone. With it, you don’t have to pick up your iPhone every time you receive a message or call. Instead, you can leave the phone in silent mode for a long time.

However, by default, Apple Watch makes a sound whenever you receive a notification. This can get annoying pretty quickly, especially when the Taptic Watch’s engine is so good. But you can stay still with a few taps.

From the watch face, swipe up to open Control Center and tap the bell icon to activate Silent Mode. Now, your Apple Watch will gently tap your wrist when you get a notification, and won’t turn on the screen until you lift your wrist.

Raise to Speak to Siri

If you’re using an Apple Watch Series 3 running watchOS 5 or higher, you don’t need to press the Digital Crown to talk to Siri. Just lift your wrist to bring Apple Watch to your face, and start talking. Siri will immediately start copying and processing your commands.

Funnily enough, it’s the most reliable way to interact with Siri on Apple Watch. This works much better than holding the Digital Crown.

Manage Notifications Mindfully

If you use your Apple Watch all the time, you should take the time to clear the notifications you get. Otherwise, wearing an Apple Watch will quickly become overwhelming.

watchOS 5 gives you the option to disable notifications from the Notification Center. Swipe left on the notification, tap the menu button, and choose Turn Off Apple Watch. You can also select the Deliver Quietly option to disable sound and vibration for app notifications.

However, the most efficient way to do this is to use the Watch app on your phone. Go to Notifications and swipe to Mirror iPhone Alerts from the section. From here, disable apps that you don’t want to see notifications from on your wrist. Don’t forget to take control of your iOS notifications too.

Customize Your Favorite Workout

When you start using the Workout app on a regular basis, you’ll eventually want to customize the workout screen. For example, you might want to add the current step to a walking workout.

Open the Watch app, go to Workout > Workout View, and select a workout. Tap on Edit to add, remove, and rearrange metrics to suit your needs.

Manage Watch Faces

Three is the magic number for customizable watch faces. You have to prepare a trio of different watch faces for different times, moods or occasions. Simply swipe horizontally from one end of the screen to the other to flip through all available watch faces.

If you activate too many watch faces, it’s time to remove or rearrange them. You can do this on the Watch itself, but it’s much easier to do it in the Watch app.
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From the My Watch tab, tap the Edit button next to the My Faces section. To remove the watch face, tap the red button; use the handle button on the right to rearrange the faces. And to customize the watch face, tap on it from the My Faces section.

Scribble to Reply to Texts

When you get a notification on your Apple Watch, tap on it and select Reply to send a quick response. You’ll see a plethora of options here: tap the mic button to specify a reply, or you can choose an emoji or a canned response.

But one feature you may not know about is the scribble tool. Tap the A icon by hand and you will open the doodle pad. Draw a letter here, and it will display as the text above.

You can’t type long messages like this. But it’s great for typing a word or two of replies, something that’s not available in the canned response list.

Use Theater Mode

Apple Watch has a tendency to turn on at the worst times. When you’re playing games or sitting in the movies, you don’t want your Apple Watch to distract you visually or soundly.

During this time, swipe up from Control Center and tap the Theater Mode button. This will keep your Watch from turning on unless you tap the screen or press the Digital Crown. It also enables Silent Mode to suppress audio alerts.

Control Center Customization

There are quite a few controls in the Control Center. Luckily, watchOS 5 lets you customize the layout so you can bring your most used controls on top.

Swipe to the bottom of Control Center and tap the Edit button. After that, tap and hold the button to reset.

Access Notifications and Control Center From Anywhere

One of the biggest frustrations with using Apple Watch is that you could previously only access Notification Center or Control Center from the watch face. But now, watchOS 5 lets you access notifications from anywhere on the screen.

Tap and hold for a fraction of a second on the top or bottom edge of the screen until you see an overview, then drag. You can now access notifications no matter where your app is.

Sync Music with Your Apple Watch

If you take your Apple Watch with you when you run or walk, you may want to leave your iPhone behind, especially if you have a cellular Apple Watch.

As an Apple Music subscriber, you can stream music from your Apple Watch over a cellular connection any time you want. But these are often unreliable and drain the battery.

Instead, you can sync your favorite albums or run playlists to your Apple Watch for offline use. Open the Watch app, select Music, and tap Add more. Choose a playlist or album, and wait while it syncs to your Apple Watch. The next time you open the Music app, you’ll see the newly synced album or playlist in the list.

Transfer Calls to iPhone

Answering speed dials on Apple Watch is fairly easy. But sometimes speed calls turn into long conversations, and you might want to switch to iPhone for better clarity.

Call switching between your Apple Watch and iPhone is pretty smooth (if you turn on the Handoff feature). When you receive a call from your Apple Watch, pick up your phone and tap the green icon at the top. This will automatically launch the phone app and divert calls to the iPhone.

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