The smartphone era is here. That means as a society we’ve seen so much improvement in the last two decades that we are now living our lives in small screens. This is one of the great things to happen with the advent of the Internet. Connectivity means the world is ready for anything, and one of that is smartwatches.
In the past decade, we’ve seen the revolution of digital watches into smartwatches. Apple may not be the one to start the opening of the proverbial chapter, but when it launched its version of a smartwatch, the world definitely tuned in. Now in its fifth iteration, the Apple Watch is still the watch to beat.
There’s still no other smartwatch in the market today that can do what Apple Watch does. Its integration with other Apple devices is second to none, and the burgeoning Watch App Store, which houses dedicated Watch apps, is unrivaled. And the sales reflect it. At least 90% of smartwatch revenues are Apple Watch purchases. So if you have an Apple Watch, here are some of the best-hidden tricks for you to master it:
This feature is unfortunately only available for Series 5 watches. It’s one of those nifty additions by Apple that just works- like the iconic slide to unlock the screen of the iPhone. The always-on display uses a dimmed display always to update you of the time; your activity rings, and other notifications.
In Series 5 watches, it is on by default. The technology works by tracking your movements – when your wrist is down, or not in your line of sight, the display blacks out. When you raise it or when you tap your Apple Watch’s screen, it automatically lights up. It’s a small feature, but a revolutionary one that makes Apple one of the best automatic watches in the world right now.
Want your watch to preserve what you’ve been doing before you got distracted? You can do just that by setting your watch to Onscreen Raise under Wake Screen. You have the option to Show Last, Within 2 MInutes of Last Use to an hour, and Always. Now, if you raise your Apple Watch, you’d be greeted not by the time, but by the app you’ve last used.
To be able to complete this trick, you’ll need to go to your iPhone’s Apple Watch app settings. From there, make sure to navigate to the My Watch option, then Installed on Apple Watch. This section will show you all the apps that are currently installed in your smartwatch. If you want to hide the app in your watch, but still have the app on standby, tap the app you want to delete then toggle the Off switch button.
The Watch app will still live on your iPhone, but it won’t show on your Apple Watch. This is perfect when you want to revisit an app for a later date. Examples of apps you can dispose of through this method are banking, lifestyle, even game watch apps.
With security a crucial factor in all of our online dealings nowadays, it’s good to know that you have the power to lock and unlock your devices through your other devices. You can bypass the password input window on your Mac through your Apple Watch by going to the System Preferences of your Mac, then Security and Privacy, then General Tab. From there, you can set up Auto-Lock features.
This feature is only available to mid-2013 Macs and newer, so if you’re still rocking the 2011 models, it’s time for an upgrade. Trust us when we say that using your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac is simpler than putting in your password. It’s one of the best things in the Apple ecosystem – integration.
What’s a good smartwatch without music, huh? With an Apple Watch, you can have several playlists stored. This is pretty nifty when you’re going for a run, and you don’t want to bring your phone. Although music streaming comes automatically in Apple Watches that has cellular support, you can still manually add MP3’s for backup.
The best part of this? You don’t have to be an Apple Music subscriber to be able to listen to music from your watch. Spotify has a standalone Watch app, so you can readily transfer your playlists in there. Make sure always to have your Bluetooth headphones handy.
Notifications in the Apple ecosystem has been one of its struggles for the past few years. In Mac, it’s pretty organized considering what you can and can’t access. On the iPhone, it’s improved. On the Apple Watch though, it can still be a thing of frustration. Thankfully, there’s a Clear All Notifications option from the Notifications pane. Just swipe down from the top of your screen and long press until the option appears.
Apple’s trusty assistant is present in the Apple Watch as well. This time around with the improvements on WatchOS, you can opt-out of saying “Hey, Siri” and instead just activate the wrist-raise option to conjure the assistant.
Siri’s functionalities have also improved. Machine learning is at play with your Apple Watch learning if you’re in a workout and will tell Siri to highlight information that will be relevant to you. Case in point, the calories burned while you’re on the treadmill.
Screenshots are a fun way of letting people know what you’re up to. If you want to share your stats after a workout, you can do so by pushing the digital crown and action button at the same time. A screenshot will be automatically saved to the camera roll of your iPhone. You have to set this setting, though. Go to General, then toggle Enable Screenshot.
Use these tricks to make your life better with your Apple Watch. To increase the lifespan of your device, make sure to use it every day. Don’t overcharge. If you notice something is off with your watch, don’t hesitate to have it serviced. According to Apple, a brand new Apple Watch should work effectively for a few years, give or take.