Apple Watch Tips, tricks and hacks


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Erin Lawrence

Did you recently buy your first Apple Watch (Series 3) and want to know what hidden tips and tricks there are? Or like many Apple Watch users, you may have had your watch for a while and want to see what features you may have been missing. For both new owners and long-time users, there’s probably something to learn.

Your Apple Watch Can Find Your Missing iPhone

If you can’t find your phone, save time looking by using your Apple Watch to ping your phone.

To use this feature, on your Apple Watch swipe up from the bottom > Press the iPhone Ringing icon. To also activate the phone’s flash, swipe up from the bottom > Press and HOLD the iPhone Ringing icon.

How to Track Apple Watch Battery Status on Your iPhone

apple watch tips batteryYou can also set up your iPhone so that it shows the battery level on your Apple Watch as a widget. This is useful since the Apple Watch is the same as any other electronic device and needs to be charged periodically.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Swipe right over the Home screen or Lock screen.
  2. Scroll to the bottom and tap Edit.
  3. To add a widget, tap . To remove a widget, tap . To reorder your widgets, touch and hold  next to the apps and drag them in the order that you want.
  4. To finish, tap Done.

The Watch battery level will be displayed on your notifications page when you swipe right from the home screen.

Use Siri on Your Apple Watch

This may not be a hidden trick for many people, but it is noteworthy since it is very useful. Many iPhone users utilize Siri for setting reminders, calendar events, setting timers, and many different tasks. To use Siri on your Apple Watch, hold down the Digital Crown, or say, “Hey Siri,” and Siri will be activated directly on your watch.

You Can Have a Bedside Watch-Clock With “Nightstand Mode”

One feature added in the WatchOS 2 update was “Nightstand Mode.” This mode turns your watch into a bedside clock while charging and is an excellent feature for users who do not wear their Apple Watch to sleep. Once Nightstand Mode is enabled on the Watch app, all you have to do is put the watch on the charging dock and turn the watch on its side. A green digital clock will appear on the screen, along with the date, and it will be horizontally oriented so there’s no twisting to read it.

To activate Nightstand Mode: Open the Watch app on your phone and press General > Nightstand Mode.

How to Unlock Mac Computer with Apple Watch

I love this feature and use it constantly because it’s just so seamless.

If you use a MacBook, you may never have to enter your computer’s password again, assuming you have your Apple Watch on your wrist. This feature, when enabled, allows people wearing their watches to wake up their MacBooks when they are in proximity to the laptop. The computer recognizes the watch is nearby and will automatically unlock.

To activate this feature, both devices need to be connected to the same Apple ID. 

Navigate to your Mac (mid-2013 or later running MacOS Sierra), open the System Preferences, and select General > Allow your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac.

Save Time With Custom Shortcut Replies

Of course, the Apple Watch does not have a keyboard, which can make text messaging a bit tedious at times. Built-in custom replies, however, are a great feature of the devices, but did you know you can make your own default replies?

On your iPhone, go to Watch app > Messages > Default Replies, and “Add Reply” which will allow you to set up custom replies.

Check the Time Without Illuminating the Watch Screen 

Are you ever in a situation where you want to check the time without fully illuminating the watch screen? Here is a quick and easy solution. First, go to the Watch app on your iPhone and enable the Wake Screen on Crown Up option by navigating to General > Wake Screen. After that, all you have to do is slowly turn the Digital Crown up, and the screen will slowly illuminate enough for you to see the watch tips how to

How to Organize Apple Watch Apps (Grid & List View)

Tired of the layout of apps on your Apple Watch? Of course, the watch will automatically begin adding apps in a Honeycomb layout for users. However, when you are ready to change where the apps are located, go to the Watch app on your iPhone and select “App Layout” to begin adjusting their positioning.

Dislike the “Honeycomb” layout? You can change to a “List View” of all the apps by doing the following: Press the Digital Crown once (small dial) > Force Touch the center of the screen > Select “Grid View” or “List View.”

How to set up Apple Watch SOS Mode

 & Emergency Contacts

This feature, which was added in WatchOS 3, has assisted and even saved many lives. When this feature is enabled, you can press and hold the Side Button on the watch to automatically call your local emergency number (911 in Canada and the United States).

If you want to enable this great feature, go to the Watch app on your iPhone and navigate to General > Emergency SOS.

By adding emergency contacts in the Health app, these contacts will also automatically be sent an alert and your GPS location.

This tip has been mentioned in multiple featured stories and articles about events that would have ended tragically if not for this fantastic life-saving feature from Apple.

These are only a handful of the best tips and tricks for the Apple Watch. There are many other hidden features that users do not know about, and we can expect many more to come with future updates from Apple.

What’s your top Apple Watch tip? Post it in comments for all of us to learn and try.


  1. Michael on July 24, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    I am think of buying a Apple Watch and I am looking at different information about

    • Erin L on July 24, 2018 at 2:35 pm

      What would you like to know, Michael?

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