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7 hidden Apple Watch features you should know
So, you’ve bitten the bullet and got yourself an Apple Watch. By now, you’ve almost certainly got your new gadget synced and set-up, and you’ve probably had a good look through the app store as well (if not, here are five to start with). As Apple Watch grows in popularity, you’ll soon have an arsenal of apps to rival your smartphone, which can help you make the most of both devices – or at least, that’s the idea.
But what about the native Apple Watch features that aren’t so obvious? Features like the iPhone’s torchlight, that probably wasn’t the reason you bought the device, but did help out that time you lost your keys under the sofa. We’ve rounded up some key tips and tricks to help you master your smartwatch.
The 7 hidden Apple Watch features you should know:
1. Power Reserve mode
Your new Apple Watch will last for up to two days, which is great, except that’s the only the case if you’re only using it to check the time. As Tech Radar notes, the battery life when using other functions is considerably shorter – just 18 hours of ‘normal use’ and around 3 hours if you’re taking calls.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to make use of Power Reserve Mode. Apple built this function into its smartwatch so that even if your phone runs out of battery, you’ll still have a workable watch. What’s really useful, though, is that you can also turn this on manually, so when you’re not likely to need apps and notifications you don’t have to drain your watch’s power by running them. To activate, just press and hold the side button and slide left on ‘Power Reserve Mode’.
2. Rearrange your apps
The combination of the Apple Watch’s small screen and our fat, fumbling fingers means that it’s very easy to tap the wrong app. Like with the iPhone and iPad, the watch won’t let you delete the native apps you never use, but you can rearrange them to make it easier on yourself. To do this, just open the ‘Watch’ app on your smartphone, tap ‘My Watch’ and then select ‘App Layout’ to sort them however you prefer.
3. Find your phone
We’re always misplacing our technology, so the good thing about the Apple Watch is that it’s usually strapped to our wrist. It’ll also help you find your iPhone if you lose it by sending a ‘ping’ between devices, commanding your smartphone to make a noise so you can easily track it down. Next time your iPhone foes missing, then, just swipe up to activate Glances, tap ‘Settings’, and then hit ‘Ping’.
4. Don’t be disturbed
While having texts, tweets and notifications popping up on your wrist might be handy, there are times when you’d prefer to be more discreet. In the cinema, for instance, or a business meeting. Thankfully, there’s an easy way to keep both your watch and your smartphone quiet by turning on ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode. This can be found within ‘My Watch’ in the Watch app on your iPhone, just select ‘Do Not Disturb’ and make sure to toggle ‘Mirror IPhone’ so it works across both gadgets.
5. Navigate with the Taptic engine
Apple Watch notifications don’t just come as beeps and alerts, they’ll also vibrate on your wrist to communicate certain information. Perhaps the most useful application of this is navigation, as the watch’s Taptic Engine provides a nudge when you need to turn to save you staring down at your watch looking lost. Just assign a route using the maps app and let Apple Watch guide you to your destination.
6. May the Force Touch be with you
Most Apple Watch features are obvious, they’re right there on the screen in front of you waiting to be explored. But much of what you see on the surface also has additional functions that can be accessed via a ‘force touch’ – a slightly harder press of the watch’s screen that is registered by sensors inside the device. Useful Apple Watch features you can access in this way include sharing location, clearing notifications and flagging messages in your inbox – so remember, don’t take everything on surface level.
7. Take a screenshot
Finally, the more you mess around with your shiny new gadget, the more you’ll discover that you want to share and show-off to friends. Why not take a picture then, it’ll last longer – just press the side button and the digital crown together at any time to capture a screenshot.