The Apple Watch has many new features on board, not just since watchOS 7. Some users do not exploit the full potential of the smartwatch or simply do not know anything about its possibilities. We present the 16 most important features that you may not be familiar with.
Live healthier with the Apple Watch
Washing hands with timer
The Apple Watch has recently been actively helping to curb the transmission of viruses and bacteria. With the update to watchOS 7, the watch now recognizes when you wash your hands and starts a 20-second timer. To do this, she uses the motion sensors, the microphone and machine learning to detect typical hand washing movements and noises. The function can even be expanded with a reminder to wash your hands. You can find the settings for this in the watch app on your iPhone.
WatchOS 7 also brings sleep tracking to the smartwatch. If you wear the watch at night, the integrated app analyzes your sleep. Statistics also show which sleep phases you went through and how you slept over the last few days. But that's not all, because Apple understands sleep tracking holistically. The sleep function also supports going to bed in the evening and waking up in the morning, for example with a good morning screen with all planned activities for the day.
The Apple Watch tells you how you slept last night. Image: © Andrey Popov / AdobeStock 2019
Fall detection on the wrist
The Apple Watch has supported fall detection since Series 4. However, the function is not activated by default. If you switch it on, the watch can detect falls and automatically call for help. You can find the settings for this in the Apple Watch app on the iPhone. Tap on the point "Emergency SOS" and switch on the option "Fall detection". Emergency contacts can also be set in the menu.
Unlock your Mac
Do you use a Mac in addition to your Apple Watch? Great, then you probably know how to unlock your Mac with the Apple Watch! If not, you can easily activate this function. To do this, make sure that both devices are signed in to the same iCloud account. You can check this in the settings of your Apple ID. Next, go to the Mac's system settings, select "Security" and the "General" tab. Here you tick the corresponding point. Your Mac should be running macOS Sierra 10.12 or higher for this.
If you wear the Apple Watch, your Mac will also unlock automatically. Picture:
Camera control á la Apple Watch
If you want to take photos from a distance with your iPhone, you can use your Apple Watch for the camera image and as a remote release. For this, the camera remote control is installed as standard on the smartwatch. The app starts the phone's camera, shows the current picture and offers various settings such as a timer. With the help of the Digital Crown you can also zoom in closer to an object. Then tap the shutter button to take a photo. The picture is saved on your iPhone in the Photos app.
Turn up the music!
You can change the volume of your AirPods either with your iPhone or with the Apple Watch. If you wear it on your wrist, you can see what you are hearing at a glance and you can turn the Digital Crown to adjust the volume. It couldn't be more convenient.
Lost cell phone? No problem!
Are you one of those people who like to misplace their iPhone? Fortunately, you can't lose your arm with your Apple Watch. And with the ping function, you never have to search the sofa again for your smartphone. To do this, swipe up from the bottom of your watch to open the control center. Tap on the mobile phone icon and your iPhone will ring briefly.
Easily ping your cell phone if you've misplaced it. Picture:
Call ping pong
You can take calls not only on your iPhone but also on the Apple Watch. You then call the person you are talking to using the integrated microphone and loudspeaker of the smartwatch. During the call, the call can be forwarded to your iPhone. To do this, simply tap on the green bar on the top left of the screen and continue making calls with the iPhone as normal.
Helpers in everyday life
The Apple Watch not only shines on your wrist, it also doubles as a small bedside clock. To do this, place it on the charging pad and turn it on its side. The watch now shows the time in full screen mode, as well as the date, the current charge level and the set alarm time. A few minutes before you wake up, the watch's display will also gradually become brighter. You can set this function in the watch app on the iPhone.
You can even put the Apple Watch in a classic Macintosh case. Image: © Twitter / designboom 2017
Enjoy music on the Apple Watch
Would you like to leave your cell phone at home during your morning jog, but still not miss out on music? Then you can also enjoy your favorite songs on the Apple Watch. You need a watch with cellular support, this is the only way the device can stream songs without an iPhone. Bluetooth headphones are also required. This function is currently only offered by the in-house music streaming app. Spotify users have so far left nothing. However, a corresponding function is to be retrofitted here soon.
The music volume can also be adjusted with the Apple Watch. Picture:
Every Apple Watch can take screenshots of its display. Similar to the iPhone, you press the Digital Crown and the side button at the same time. Screenshots are then saved in the recordings folder on your smartphone. You activate the function in the settings of the Apple Watch on the mobile phone under the tab "General".
Make apps show longer
By default, the Apple Watch shows a called app on the display for two minutes. After that, it will automatically return to the watch face. If you want to see appointments, trainings or other apps longer, you can configure this in the settings. The item "Activate display" can be found under the general watch settings. Here you can specify how much time should pass before the watch automatically returns to the dial. Alternatively, you can make an individual setting for each individual app.
Wear your watch the way you like it
As a right-handed person, you will probably be wearing the Apple Watch on your left wrist and the Digital Crown will point in the direction of your hand. However, you can also turn the controls of the Smartwatch around so that the crown is at the bottom left instead of the top right. A setup that is particularly suitable for left-handers. In the general settings of the Apple Watch on the iPhone, you can set your preferred wrist and the digital crown position.
Do you wear the Digital Crown on the left or on the right? It's your choice! Picture:
Where are you now?
Late again for a meeting with friends? You can send your live location directly via the Apple Watch so that your friends know when you are arriving. In the Apple Messages app you simply select a chat, scroll all the way down and select the option "Send location".
Navigation with a difference
With the Apple Watch you can also navigate through the city and that even with a very special feature. Because as soon as you set off, the smartwatch uses tones and taps to inform you about turns. A low note followed by a high note predicts a right turn and a high note followed by a low note means you need to turn left. When you are almost there, the smartwatch vibrates on your wrist. This function is only available for using the Apple Maps app.
Where should it go? The Apple Watch shows you the way. Image: © AdobeStock / Accessoires 2018
Set the clock
To be more punctual for appointments, many people simply set their own clock forward by a few minutes. The trick also works on the Apple Watch, but without having to change the system time. Instead, a setting offers the option of advancing the time display on the watch. You can find it directly on the Apple Watch in the watch adjustments. The set time only affects the display of the dial – the actual system time of the watch remains the same. All notifications continue to appear at the correct time.
- The Apple Watch not only supports you with its training recognition in a healthier life. Sleep tracking, fall detection and the timer for hand washing round off the health package perfectly.
- With the Apple Watch you expand your Apple ecosystem with another product that works in harmony with the Mac and the iPhone. Various functions of the watch open up completely new handling options.
- Small features help you in everyday life, even if it's just navigating to the nearest bakery without having to keep your cell phone on hand.