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7 tips to get the most out of your Apple Watch

Accept calls even when your iPhone is some distance away, and quickly send preset messages - these and more uses for the Apple Watch, and how to enable them.

June 01, 2021 / 01:10 PM IST
The upcoming Apple smartwatch for iPhone will share the same design language as other Apple products launched this year.

The upcoming Apple smartwatch for iPhone will share the same design language as other Apple products launched this year.

As per IDC, the wearable market in India witnessed a growth of 139.3%. The Apple Watch accounted for 51% market share in India for wearables in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2020. This clearly indicates the popularity of Apple’s smart wearable, even though the watch only works with iPhone and not with Android devices.

Here are some of the lesser-known tips and tricks to help you get the most from the Apple Watch:

1. Unlock iPhone with your mask on

The iPhone depends on its FaceID feature to unlock the device. However, if you are wearing a mask, the FaceID will not work as it won't be able to scan your face for authentication. Understanding how this has become a big problem for most iPhone users, Apple has pushed out a new feature using which you can unlock your phone with your Apple Watch. Instead of doing a FaceID scan, your iPhone would identify that you are wearing a mask and use your Watch to authenticate and unlock your iPhone. To enable the features, go to Settings > FaceID and enable "Unlock with Watch". Keep in mind that your iPhone needs to have at least iOS 14.5, and the Watch needs to have a passcode set up with wrist detection enabled.

2. Silence incoming calls quickly

The Apple Watch also notifies you of each incoming message, mail, call, etc., if you have sound enabled. However, you might not want your Watch to keep ringing for an incoming call in some situations. In such cases, you can cover the Apple Watch with your palm for 3 seconds, and it will mute the audio notification. You can enable this feature by going to the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and then go to My Watch > Sound & Haptics.

3. Share Watch faces easily

Found a cool new Apple Watch Face and want to share it with friends? With watchOS 7, Apple has enabled this feature on the Watch. Press and hold on to the display to view the available Watch faces and then tap on the share button below the watch face you want to share with friends. Next, select the option for New Message, and the Watch will give you the option to send the watch face to anyone as an iMessage.

4. Quickly reply to Messages

The Apple Watch lets you view messages from your iPhone, but it's not easy to reply to messages. Thankfully, the Watch gives you the option to send a quick reply via preset messages. By default, you get a few standard preset messages, but you can also customize and add your own preset messages. Open the Apple Watch app and head to Messages > Default Replies. Scroll down to the bottom of this section, and you will get the option to 'Add reply' – type and save the preset reply that you want to use regularly and save it.

5. Use advanced camera controls

The camera app on the Apple Watch is excellent to use as a remote viewfinder and shutter. However, the camera app on the Watch is not limited to just this functionality. You can also access advanced controls on the Apple Watch for the camera. Press and hold on to the watch face to bring up additional settings for the camera to control flash, HDR and Live photos. There is also a flip option to switch between the rear and front camera if required.

6. Improve notification vibration strength

If you prefer to wear your Apple Watch a bit loose, you might feel that the vibration intensity of notification is weak and fails to register. You can increase the vibration strength of the Watch for an incoming notification in this scenario with the Prominent Haptic feature. Open the watch app and go to Settings > Sound & Haptics to enable the Prominent Haptic feature.

7. Manage incoming calls better

The Apple Watch notifies you of incoming calls. Additionally, if you are in a situation where your iPhone is not nearby to accept the call, you can use the Apple Watch to accept the call and automatically put the caller on hold till you can access your phone. To enable this, swipe up on the watch screen when you see an incoming call – this will show you the button to "Answer on iPhone". When you tap on the button, the call will be accepted, and the caller will be put on hold till you press the green button on your iPhone to pick up the call.

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Karan Bajaj is a senior tech journalist based in Delhi