How to use the Apple Watch Camera Remote app

Apple Watch viewfinder for iPhone
(Image credit: Future)

Even if you know how to use the Apple Watch, there are cool tricks and hidden features you might not have tried before. For example, did you know that if you wrap your Apple Watch around your iPhone, it can transform into a selfie viewfinder?

Sure, the iPhone has plenty capable front-facing cameras — I love the bokeh effect of taking selfies in portrait mode. But the rear cameras of the iPhone 13 Pro Max make it the best camera phone you can buy, so you might try snapping with the display facing away from you from time-to-time.

Except staying in-frame can be a challenge. That’s when owning an Apple Watch could help. You can take your Apple Watch off your wrist and attach it around your iPhone to see a small preview of the shot. I’ll admit this hack looks a little ridiculous, but it totally works and makes for some high-quality selfies.

We demonstrated the setup in action on TikTok, which you might have seen if you follow Tom’s Guide on TikTok already:


♬ misery 4 u - Nick

All of the best Apple Watch models from the Apple Watch 7 to the Apple Watch SE support this feature. You’ll be making use of the built-in Camera Remote app, so there’s no need to download anything else — you’ll just need your Apple Watch and your paired iPhone.

That said, for this trick to work you’ll need one of the best Apple Watch bands that can secure around your iPhone. I used Apple’s Solo Loop, but most bands with a secure closure should work. 

How to use the Apple Watch as a viewfinder for your iPhone with Camera Remote

1. Strap your Apple Watch to your iPhone so that the Apple Watch is facing towards you and the iPhone display is facing away from you.

Apple Watch camera app

(Image credit: Future)

2. Open the Camera Remote app on your Apple Watch. 

3. Adjust the settings for flash, live photo and HDR if needed. 

Apple Watch camera selfie

(Image credit: Future)

4. Frame yourself using the Apple Watch as a viewfinder. 

5. Tap the capture button on your Apple Watch to snap your selfie.

This feature also works if your iPhone is mounted in one of the best iPhone tripods or you’re using one of the best ring lights for phones. The Camera Remote was intended to help you take photos without needing to touch your iPhone, but this hack gives you another option for capturing top-notch selfies.

Have you tried this iPhone camera tip that makes sharing photos so much easier? Also, check out our guide on how to save camera settings on iPhone if you're fed up with losing your set-up every time. If you'd like more Apple Watch tips, make sure you read how to eject water from an Apple Watch.

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.