With the recent update to watchOS 2, Apple added a new feature called Time Travel, which lets you turn back (or forward) time to display certain information from a different date and time.

It works with complications on the watch face, like weather, calendar events, sunrise and sunset, stocks, and more. Depending on what you have displayed on your watch face, you'll see different information.

Understanding Time Travel can be a bit confusing for some, so we'll explain it more in detail, with some highlights on what different watch faces can do.

Apple Watch Time Travel Main
Before using Time Travel, be sure to set your complications the way you want them. Now that Apple allows third-party complications, the options are even better.

This feature works best with such watch faces as Utility, Modular, Simple, Color, and Chronograph because those faces have the most customizable complication options.

Once you've set up your watch face with the complications you like, all you have to do to activate Time Travel is rotate the digital crown. Scrolling up will move time forward, and scrolling down will move time backward. When you are done, simply tap the screen to return to the current time.

Apple Watch Time Travel 2
An example of moving forward in Time Travel mode with the Modular watch face might look something like this:

Move time forward three hours. Your calendar changes to show you an event that takes place three hours from now and shows the temperature is predicted to have increased five degrees. Move time forward 10 hours. The temperature drops by 15 degrees. The date changes, and the time of sunrise and sunset changes to reflect the new day.

It's all rather useful, relative to information that is important to you. For example, if you want to know whether it will rain tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. when you have a meeting at a coffee shop downtown, you can scroll forward in time to see what the weather predictions look like.

With Time Travel, you can generally look forward through the remainder of the current day and all of the following day. Looking backward into the past with most watch faces, you can view events and data from earlier in the current day and from all of the previous day, giving a total of a 72-hour window to scroll through. You can exit Time Travel mode and return to the current time at any point by simply pressing the Digital Crown.

Some complications like weather only function when looking forward in time, while others like stocks (unfortunately) only work when looking backward.

Third-party app developers in general seem to still be figuring out the best ways to use complications, although some popular developers have already updated their apps to support complications and in some cases Time Travel. Popular categories include weather apps like Dark Sky and The Weather Channel, health apps like Lifesum, and travel time prediction apps like ETA. You can manage which third-party apps with complications are available to use through the Complications section settings in the Watch app on your iPhone.

Watch Faces Not Compatible With Time Travel

A few of the watch faces don't work with Time Travel. So, if you are using one of the below-listed faces, you wont be able to see the feature.

  • Motion
  • XX-Large
  • Timelapse
  • Photo Album
  • Photo
  • Live Photo

Special Watch Face Features

Some watch faces have additional Time Travel features that provide interesting and unique visual changes.

Astronomy

Apple Watch Time Travel 3
In the Astronomy watch face, you can switch between views of earth, the moon, and the solar system. With Time Travel, you can move through time, watching the sun rise and set above the Earth. You can also see the phases of the moon, and even find out the next time it will be full. With the solar system displayed, you can watch the planets rotate day-by-day for years in the future or past.

Solar

Apple Watch Time Travel 4
The Solar watch face provides a graph of the sun's position in the sky, limited to the current day. Based on your current location, as well as the time of day, the sun moves along a curve. With Time Travel, you can visually identify dawn, dusk, twilight, and the day's zenith at any time before or after your current.

With Time Travel mode on Apple Watch, you can quickly see what the day has in store for you without even having to open up an app or ask Siri for guidance.

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

Top Rated Comments

RandomIan Avatar
79 months ago
All this aside, whatever person thought it a good idea to call a feature a "Complication" was an idiot. I don't want to use any kind of mobile device and have the word "Complication" ANYWHERE in the user interface. I'm not 50 or 60, I'm a 23 year old with a strong background in computer science and I don't want that word on my device.
You do realize that the term "Complication" in the watch world is anything else on the timepiece that displays something other then the time. This term has been around for quite awhile and wasn't a feature that Apple decided to name.

Chances are you have been staring at complications on your watch for quite some time.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
oneMadRssn Avatar
79 months ago
ONE POINT TWENTY ONE JIGGAWATTS!

WHAT'S A JIGGAWATT?




EDIT: This article would have been really well-timed if posted on October 21, 2015. The actual future day.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dayv Avatar
79 months ago
You do realize that the term "Complication" in the watch world is anything else on the timepiece that displays something other then the time. This term has been around for quite awhile and wasn't a feature that Apple decided to name.

Chances are you have been staring at complications on your watch for quite some time.
It's like these people don't care about horology at all!
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iPhysicist Avatar
79 months ago
All this aside, whatever person thought it a good idea to call a feature a "Complication" was an idiot. I don't want to use any kind of mobile device and have the word "Complication" ANYWHERE in the user interface. I'm not 50 or 60, I'm a 23 year old with a strong background in computer science and I don't want that word on my device.
The word complication and its origin can be looked up on Wikipedia. You've got more to learn young Padawan.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BSben Avatar
79 months ago
These watches are still a total waste of time until Apple adds GPS and a sim card.
If that was your best comedy attempt, I will not book tickets for your stand up comedy shows.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
airtag in hand

Apple Enhancing AirTags Anti-Stalking Measures With Android App and Shorter Sound Intervals

Thursday June 3, 2021 11:10 am PDT by
Apple is enhancing AirTags security to prevent stalking using the Bluetooth devices, Apple told CNET today. Apple is already sending out over-the-air updates to AirTags that will shorten the amount of time before an unknown AirTag alerts you if it is in your possession. At the current time, AirTags play a sound after three days of being away from their owner. After the update, AirTags will...
maxresdefault

Here's How Apple's New iPhone to iPhone Data Migration Feature Works in iOS 12.4

Tuesday July 23, 2019 1:20 pm PDT by
Apple this week released iOS 12.4, the newest version of iOS 12 available for iPhones and iPads. One of the new features in iOS 12.4 is an updated data migration option that uses device to device transfers rather than relying on iCloud. Apple didn't provide much information on the new data migration feature, so we thought we'd check it out in our latest YouTube video. Subscribe to the ...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
macos catalina legacy system extension alert

Apple Begins Warning Users That 'Legacy System Extensions' Won't Work With a Future Version of macOS

Wednesday March 25, 2020 9:53 am PDT by
Apple has shared a new support document that indicates kernel extensions — which it calls "legacy system extensions" — will not be compatible with a future version of macOS because they "aren't as secure or reliable as modern alternatives."System extensions are a category of software that works in the background to extend the functionality of your Mac. Some apps install kernel extensions, which...
os x mountain lion macs 16x9 2

Apple Makes OS X Lion and Mountain Lion Free to Download

Wednesday June 30, 2021 12:19 pm PDT by
Apple recently dropped the $19.99 fee for OS X Lion and Mountain Lion, making the older Mac updates free to download, reports Macworld. Apple has kept OS X 10.7 Lion and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion available for customers who have machines limited to the older software, but until recently, Apple was charging $19.99 to get download codes for the updates. As of last week, these updates no...
airtag precision finding

AirTag Includes U1 Chip for 'Precision Finding' Feature

Tuesday April 20, 2021 12:11 pm PDT by
Apple's long-awaited AirTag was finally unveiled today, and as expected, the small circle-shaped accessories can be attached to items like wallets, keys, and more to allow them to be tracked in the Find My app. As was rumored ahead of release, each AirTag is equipped with a U1 chip, and on devices that also have U1 chips, there's a Precision Finding feature. U1 Ultra Wideband chips are...
iOS 15 General Feature Yellow

Everything New in iOS 15 Beta 6: SharePlay Disabled, Safari Redesigned and More

Tuesday August 17, 2021 2:12 pm PDT by
Apple released the sixth beta of iOS 15 just a week after the fifth beta, but the new update brings some of the most significant tweaks that we've seen to iOS 15 during the beta testing period. Safari Redesign Apple in iOS 15 beta 6 has added a toggle to move the Safari address bar to the top of the interface, which returns Safari to an iOS 14-like design and mitigates all of the Safari...
m1 macbook air

Kuo: Mini-LED MacBook Air Coming in Mid-2022

Thursday July 22, 2021 7:48 pm PDT by
Apple will release a new version of the MacBook Air around the middle of 2022, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in note to investors seen by MacRumors. The upcoming MacBook Air will feature a 13.3-inch mini-LED display, which would make it the second Mac to gain mini-LED technology after the 2021 MacBook Pro, which is rumored to include a mini-LED display and is expected to launch later ...
2016 macbook pro flexgate b

Apple Faces Another Class-Action MacBook Pro ‘Flexgate’ Lawsuit

Thursday August 20, 2020 6:43 am PDT by
Another class-action complaint has been lodged against Apple, which claims that the company was aware of a MacBook Pro design flaw that caused some devices to have backlight display issues (via Apple Insider). The so-called "flexgate" problem was present in some MacBook Pro models manufactured between 2016 and 2017. The problem appears as dark patches along the bottom of the MacBook Pro's...