Seven Useful Tips Every Apple Watch Owner Should Know

There are lots of hidden shortcuts and features that have gone under the radar in watchOS, the operating system that runs on the Apple Watch.

In our latest video over on YouTube, we've rounded up some Apple Watch tips and tricks that every Apple Watch owner should know. You may already be aware of some of these tips, but there's likely to be a few new things here for MacRumors readers.

  • Get to Control Center/Notifications Quickly - Swiping down on the Apple Watch's screen opens Notifications while swiping up opens up the Control Center, which everyone knows. But you can also quickly get to Control Center or your Notifications when using an app by pressing at the edge of the screen, holding for a second, and then dragging upwards or downwards.
  • Locate a Missing iPhone - In the Control Center, if you press on the icon that looks like an iPhone, it will cause your ‌iPhone‌ to play a sound so you can find it if it's gone missing. If you long press on the button, it will also light up the flash, making it even easier to find a misplaced ‌iPhone‌.
  • Use Apple Watch as a TV Remote - If you've lost your Apple TV Remote, no worries. The Apple Watch works as a replacement if you download the Apple TV Remote app on your ‌iPhone‌. It's easier than using an ‌iPhone‌ because the watch is always right on your wrist.
  • Change Your App Layout - App grids look pretty on the Apple Watch, but can make it difficult when you just want to get to an app quickly. If you long press on the Apple Watch Home screen with the grid view open, you can swap over to a list view that lists all of the apps on your Apple Watch in alphabetical order. Scroll through them with a swipe or with the Digital Crown to find what you're seeking.
  • Unlock Your Mac With Apple Watch - If you have a mid-2013 or newer Mac you can set your Apple Watch to unlock it automatically, which means you don't need to enter your password. It's super handy and can be enabled in your Mac's settings under Security & Privacy. The Apple Watch needs to be unlocked for this to work and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth need to be enabled, as does two-factor authentication. Apple has a full list of requirements.
  • Scribble Predictive Text - The Scribble feature in Messages lets you spell out words on your Apple Watch, but it can be a hassle to write out long messages. If you spell out a few letters of a word, though, you can turn the Digital Crown to get some text predictions to speed things up.
  • Turn Off Audio Controls - When you play audio on your ‌iPhone‌, your Apple Watch defaults to offering up music controls front and center, which can be annoying if you want to do other things on your Apple Watch. You can turn off this feature in the Settings app by going to General > Wake Screen > and disabling "Auto-Launch Audio Apps."

Know of other useful Apple Watch tips that we didn't share in today's article? Let us know in the comments and we might include them in future tips and tricks coverage.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 7
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
Related Forum: Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

jim001 Avatar
41 months ago
My favorite tip not listed there is that you can use your nose to interact with your watch when your hands are full/messy.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Cmd-Z Avatar
41 months ago
My favorite, 'Flashlight' from Control Center has come in handy on more than one occasion when trying to unlock a door in a dark area.

2nd favorite is using the Camera remote while slipping the iPhone camera into a hard to reach area, allowing you to view things you couldn't otherwise see.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Abazigal Avatar
41 months ago
Thanks MR, I really dislike the honeycomb mode. The list mode is much better.
Here’s how I arrange the apps on my Apple Watch. Takes a bit of time, but I found it worth it for me.

Basically, my 6 most commonly used apps in the middle. Communication apps on the right, exercise / fitness apps on the left, social apps on the top, and productivity apps on the bottom.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Unity451 Avatar
41 months ago
My favorite tip not listed there is that you can use your nose to interact with your watch when your hands are full/messy.
Truth. #powerusertip
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
otozuz Avatar
41 months ago
Nice article and video. I wasn't aware of 2-3 tips!
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Swimrlad Avatar
41 months ago
Is the feature to access control center in an app exclusive to watchos 5 and up? Can’t do it on my series 0
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 14 Pro Screen Refresh Rate Upgrade Could Allow for Always-On Display

Tuesday May 24, 2022 7:23 am PDT by
Last year's iPhone 13 Pro models were the first of Apple's smartphones to come with 120Hz ProMotion displays, and while the two iPhone 14 Pro models will continue to feature the technology, their screens could well boast expanded refresh rate variability this time round. To bring ProMotion displays to the ‌iPhone 13 Pro models‌, Apple adopted LTPO panel technology with variable refresh...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Renders Highlight Multiple Design Changes

Wednesday May 25, 2022 8:56 am PDT by
Leaker Jon Prosser today shared ostensibly accurate renders of the iPhone 14 Pro, providing the most accurate look yet at what the device could look like when it launches later this year. In the latest video on YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser revealed renders of the iPhone 14 Pro made by Apple concept graphic designer Ian Zelbo, highlighting a range of specific design changes...
iPhone 14 Purple Lineup Feature

Will the iPhone 14 Be a Disappointment?

Saturday May 21, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
With around four months to go before Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 14 lineup, the overwhelming majority of rumors related to the new devices so far have focused on the iPhone 14 Pro, rather than the standard iPhone 14 – leading to questions about how different the iPhone 14 will actually be from its predecessor, the iPhone 13. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are expected...
iPhone 13 Face ID

'High-End' iPhone 14 Front-Facing Camera to Cost Apple Three Times More

Monday May 23, 2022 7:05 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 will feature a more expensive "high-end" front-facing camera with autofocus, partly made in South Korea for the first time, ET News reports. Apple reportedly ousted a Chinese candidate to choose LG Innotek, a South Korean company, to supply the iPhone 14's front-facing camera alongside Japan's Sharp. The company is said to have originally planned to switch to LG for the iPhone...
apple wwdc 2022

Apple Shares WWDC 2022 Schedule, Keynote to Take Place June 6 at 10:00 a.m PT

Tuesday May 24, 2022 9:06 am PDT by
Apple today confirmed that the keynote event for the Worldwide Developers Conference will begin at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on June 6, the first day of WWDC. The keynote will be an online-only event, though a select number of developers have been invited to the Apple Park campus for a viewing event. In addition to confirming the keynote date and time, Apple has shared the full WWDC 2022...
2022 Apple Watch Pride Edition Bands

Apple Announces 2022 Pride Edition Watch Bands and Watch Face

Tuesday May 24, 2022 6:24 am PDT by
Apple today announced new Pride bands for the Apple Watch, with new Pride Edition Sport Loop and Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop options available. The new Pride Edition bands are available to order today for $49 on Apple.com and in the Apple Store app, and will be available at Apple Store locations starting May 26. The Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop is also coming soon to Nike.com. This...