How to Use the Apple Watch
Editor's note (June 14): To decide between the cheaper Apple Watch Series 3 ($279) and the pricier Series 4, check out our face-off. If you own an older Apple Watch, watchOS 6 will debut this fall with tons of new features to make your Series 1, 2, 3 and 4 even easier to use.
The Apple Watch may not have become as indispensable as your smartphone. But since Apple first took the wraps off its smartwatch in 2015, the Apple Watch has still managed to fill a need for many users, and the addition of cellular connectivity in the latest version makes this gadget even more useful. The key to making the Apple Watch an essential part of your life? Know how to get the most of it. We've got an in-depth guide to Apple's smartwatch, but let's start with some quick tips and tricks that make the Apple Watch even easier to use. —Dan Moren
Switching Between Apps
To jump back to your most recently used app, double-tap the Digital Crown.
Switching Watch Faces
You might want to set up multiple watch faces for multiple purposes — one with a minimal face for those times when you don't want a cluttered interface, the other with a more fun display. To switch back and forth, you can simply swipe to the left and right from the watch face.
Rearranging Applications in the Dock
WatchOS 4 overhauled the Dock, which gives you easy access to your most frequently used apps. But what if you want to change the order in which those apps appear?
• Open the Watch app on your iPhone and select Dock.
• Choose whether you want your Dock ordered by recently used apps or favorites.
• Tap Edit to choose your favorite apps. You can add up to 10 apps to your Dock, which is accessible by pressing the side button on the watch.
Muting an Incoming Call
When a call comes in in the middle of a meeting, just cover the Apple Watch with your hand to mute it.
Taking a Screenshot
To take a screenshot of your Apple Watch, first make sure that the feature is enabled in the Apple Watch app on your iPhone. Tap General from the Watch app's main screen, then scroll down and tap Enable Screenshots.
With the feature enabled, to take a screenshot, you press the Digital Crown and the Side Button at the same time (or hold the Digital Crown and then press the Side Button). Screenshots are stored in the Camera Roll on your iPhone.
Send a Friend Your Location
It's easy to let someone know where you are, using the Messages app on your Watch.
• Open a conversation in Messages.
• Force Touch the screen and tap Send Location.
Reading and Responding to Messages
To read a new message, raise your wrist after reading a notification. To dismiss the message, lower your arm.
Sending a New Text Message
Open the Apple Watch's Messages app. Its icon is identical to the one on your iPhone. Then Force Touch the screen and then tap New Message.
Here's how to get rid of an email directly from your watch.
• Open the Mail app on your Apple Watch.
• Swipe left on any email.
• Tap Trash to delete the message.
Clearing Your Notifications
Notifications piling up? Here's how to dismiss them.
• From the watch face, swipe down from the top of the screen to display your notifications.
• Force Touch the display, then tap Clear All.
Setting Focus and Exposure in the Camera App
The camera on your Apple Watch lets you use the watch as a remote for your iPhone camera. Launch the app, and tap anywhere on the preview image on your Watch to set the focus and exposure.
Ending or Pausing Your Workout
With a workout in progress, open the Workout app.
• Swipe right on the display.
• Tap End or Pause.
Deleting Apps from Your Apple Watch
Removing an app from your Apple Watch works much the same way it does on an iPhone.
• From the watch face or any app, press the Digital Crown to go to the Watch's home screen.
• Tap and hold any any app icon.
• Tap the small X that appears on any third-party app icon to remove the app from your Watch.
• Tap Delete App to confirm.
Changing Audio Sources
Here's how to control the device — your phone or your watch — from which you play music.
• In the Music app, Force Touch the display, then tap Source.
• Select iPhone to play music from your phone. Select Apple Watch to play music from your watch on a Bluetooth speaker or headphones.
Switching Views in Calendar
• Open the Calendar app, select a day, and then Force Touch the display.
• Select List to see a list of upcoming events or Up Next to see cards of upcoming events. Tap Today to jump to the current day in either view.
Have Mickey/Minnie Mouse Speak the Time
Among the Apple Watch's many faces are two different versions featuring either Mickey or Minnie Mouse. And they can pull off a little trick.
• Switch to the Mickey/Minnie Mouse watch face.
• Tap the screen and whichever character you have selected will announce the current time. (You can disable this under Sounds & Haptics in either the Watch's Settings app or the Watch app on your iPhone.)
To pull up Siri for voice commands, press and hold the Digital Crown. Alternatively, raise your wrist and say "Hey Siri."
Find Your Phone
Your phone is always a quick tap away when you're wearing an Apple Watch.
• From the watch face, swipe up on the display to bring up Control Center.
• Tap the Find Phone icon in the right. Your iPhone will play a sound.
Unpairing Your Apple Watch
If you're upgrading your iPhone, you'll want to make sure you unpair your Apple Watch.
• Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, and select your Apple Watch from the main menu.
• On the next screen, tap the "i" button next to your Watch.
• Tap Unpair Apple Watch. (Note that this will back up all settings from your Apple Watch onto your iPhone and then erase your Apple Watch.)
Call Emergency Services
Emergency SOS was added int 2016's watchOS 3 update.
• Press and hold the Apple Watch's Side Button; the power off menu will appear, but continue to hold the Side Button until the SOS countdown appears. (Alternatively, instead of holding the Side Button, you can just slide the Emergency SOS control on the power off menu.)
• At the end of the countdown, your local Emergency Services will be called. (Release the button before the end of the countdown to cancel the call.)
• After the call, your emergency contacts — as set in the Health app on your iPhone — will automatically be notified, and if Location Services on your Watch is off, it will be temporarily activated.