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How-tos

10 best features on your new Apple Watch

You have a world of possibilities on your wrist with your Apple Watch. Sure, you can use it to make calls or send texts, but it can do so, so much more. It’s a wearable computer that’s meant to help make your life easier, after all.

You might be surprised to find out how your iPhone and Apple Watch can integrate. Tap or click here for some of the coolest ways both your iPhone and Apple Watch can work together.

Whether you’ve just purchased a new Apple Watch or thinking about getting one, you should brush up on all of the awesome ways you can use it to communicate, be productive and otherwise live your best life.

1. Cut down on notifications

Credit: Apple

If you’re being inundated with more notifications than you can handle, you can discreetly turn off notifications with the Apple Watch’s Cover to Mute function.

To help silence dings or haptics when you need to do so quickly or without lighting up a room with your watch, you can simply hold your hand or the base of your palm over your Apple Watch for 3 seconds.

Your watch will enter Silent Mode and will no longer push notifications with noise. Instead, you’ll get a quick tap on the wrist to notify you that you’ve successfully silenced updates and notifications. This will only work after you receive a notification, so don’t worry about accidentally doing this when you need to receive them.

To turn it off when you no longer need this mode activated, swipe up on your watch, then head to Settings. Tap the red bell to turn on your notifications once more.

2. Communicate with other Apple Watches

Credit: Apple

Your Apple Watch is great for making calls and sending texts, but it can also be used as a Walkie-Talkie with those who also have an Apple Watch. This is a good replacement for having to stand around making calls when you’re on the move. Both parties will need watchOS 5.3 or later to use the feature and will need the FaceTime app set up to use it.

Open your Walkie-Talkie app and tap a friend you’ve added. Touch and hold the talk button and speak to your friend. Your Walkie-Talkie app will say “connecting,” and your friend can hear you and respond.

Your watches will send push notifications when you interact with a friend, receiving alerts when there’s a request to speak. It’s just like using a real walkie-talkie, but you can communicate just about anywhere you have a signal.

3. Find your iPhone

If you’re the type of person who leaves your phone everywhere and wonders where it is later, your Apple Watch may end up as something of a lifesaver. As long as you have the Find My iPhone function turned on with your iPhone, you can use the watch to find it.

First, press your watch’s Digital Crown to go home. Then swipe up. You’ll see whether your phone is connected to your watch by way of a green “connected” banner with a green iPhone. Look for the “Find iPhone” button in the bottom left corner of the screen. Tap it and wait for a moment.

You’ll hear beeping coming from your iPhone. Continue to tap the button to ping your phone until you find it. Tap and hold the button for a flash of LED light instead to help you find your phone sooner.

4. Take a screenshot

If you use your Apple Watch a lot and like to save special moments or information from apps, you might decide to take a screenshot. It is a straightforward process.

To take a screenshot, press down on the Digital Crown and the side button on your watch simultaneously. You’ll see the watch screen flash, much like your phone does when you take a screenshot. The image will be saved in your Photos app on the watch. From there, you can share it the same way you would with an iPhone.

5. Clear notifications with one push

Credit: Apple

Do you receive tons of notifications on your Apple Watch? It can be cumbersome to go through and clear each one if you don’t have your iPhone handy. Luckily, there’s a quick and easy way to get rid of all those pesky notifications if you want a nice, clean Home Screen.

Go to your Home Screen and swipe down. Scroll down to get to the end of your notifications list. You’ll then see a “Clear All” button appear at the top of the screen. Tap it, and all of your notifications will disappear. That’s it!

6. Use it as a camera remote

Credit: Apple

How often have you wished you had a photo timer on your iPhone that you could use remotely? Forget the selfie stick. You can use your Apple Watch as a remote to do just that. If you want to put your iPhone somewhere stationary and use your watch to snap a picture, you can. All you need is for your phone to be within Bluetooth range.

Ask Siri to “take a picture” or open the Camera Remote app on your Apple Watch to get started. Frame the shot the best you can with your Apple Watch, and take the image by pressing the Shutter button. Your photo will be stored on your iPhone, where you can share or manipulate it later. Say goodbye to frustrating selfie shoots!

7. Eject water (Series 2 and later)

It happens to the best of us: You got water in your Apple Watch somehow. Never fear, you don’t have to worry about damaging your device again with the Apple Watch feature Water Lock.

How to turn on Water Lock:

  • Touch and hold the bottom of the display when your watch face or an app is visible. Wait for Control Center to show, then swipe up. You can open Control Center from any screen.
  • Tap the Water Lock button. The Water Lock icon appears at the top of the watch face.

Water Lock also turns on automatically when you begin a water-based workout, such as swimming or surfing.

To turn off Water Lock and eject water:

  • Turn the Digital Crown on the side of your Apple Watch until the display says Unlocked. You can rotate the Digital Crown in either direction.
  • A series of tones plays to clear any water that remains in the speaker, and then you can use your display as usual.

8. Quick responses to messages

Credit: Apple

Sometimes, you’re just not in the position to draft a lengthy text message on your Apple Watch. Though the device includes great voice recognition and Siri does a great job of sending replies, you might not have time to say what you want, or you want to send a quick reply.

You can do just that with your Apple Watch. You can reply via Tapback, which lets you send an emoticon or reaction to a message to indicate your response like a thumbs-up, exclamation point, heart, or “haha” text. To do this, double-tap a message in a conversation and select the reply you want to send.

You can also reply with several pre-set messages by tapping the “reply” icon and choosing from a list of text you wish to send. You can add these replies of your own from your iPhone.

9. Transfer a call to your iPhone

Credit: Apple

If you’re on a call and not using FaceTime audio, you can switch from your Apple Watch to your iPhone, adjust call volume, enter numbers using the keypad and switch the call to another audio device.

Here’s how:

  • Switch a call from your Apple Watch to your iPhone – While talking on your Apple Watch, unlock your iPhone, then tap the green button or bar at the top of the screen.
  • Adjust call volume – Turn the Digital Crown. Tap to mute your end of the call (if you’re listening on a conference call, for example).
  • Enter additional digits during a call – Tap the three dots in the lower right part of your Apple Watch screen > tap Keypad then tap the digits.
  • Switch the call to an audio device – Tap the three dots in the lower right part of your Apple Watch screen, then choose a device.

10. Siri translations

Credit: Apple

Siri is great for plenty of different hands-free features on your Apple Watch. Just like with your iPhone, you can raise your watch to your mouth to ask Siri questions. One such thing she can help with is instant translations for foreign languages.

Activate Siri either by saying “Hey Siri,” using your Raise to Speak feature on your watch, tapping the Siri button, or holding the Digital Crown until you see a speech indicator. Ask Siri to translate your desired text, and she’ll do so right then and there.

Now that you’ve gone through all of our awesome Apple Watch features, you should feel empowered to use it for more than just your everyday call functions. You can incorporate it in every part of your day, or at least give it more of a spotlight when you do go to use it. Have fun, and be sure to try out a few new apps! Tap or click here to see the 12 must-have apps for your Apple Watch.

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