A hand setting up a time and Watch Face using the Digital Crown on Apple Watch

Maximize Your Apple Watch With These Hidden Features

The majority of Apple Watch users don't maximize the potential of their smartwatch.

About 81% of Apple Watch owners use it to check messages while around 70% utilize it for workout-related events. These are the main purposes of the Apple Watch. It makes interaction and tracking more convenient instead of constantly checking your iPhone from your pocket. But did you know that the Apple Watch has other interesting features? You can use it in more ways than you’ve probably imagined!


Use the Digital Crown for Quick Navigation

Remember the time you got distracted in the middle of doing something? Well, your Apple Watch has a convenient feature that lets you quickly go back to the last app you’re using. The Digital Crown allows you to go back to what you’re doing by double-clicking it. You don’t have to navigate through all the open apps on your device’s display every time. If you need to check a notification while doing something, like working out, this feature will help you do just that.


Hand Wash Timer

People became more conscious about their health when the pandemic happened. The Apple Watch’s Hand Wash Timer may seem basic, but it speaks a lot about Apple’s intention to promote healthier habits at a time the world needs it the most. The Apple Watch knows when you’re washing your hands. It automatically sets a 20-second timer to ensure that you wash them long enough.


Here’s how to turn on the Handwashing setting:


  1. Open Settings.
  2. Scroll down to Handwashing.
  3. Toggle it on.


Use the Compass App to Find your Car


Compass App in Apple Watch Ultra


Ever found yourself lost in finding your parked car? The upgraded Compass app now has the ability to find it by creating Compass Waypoints. This feature is available with WatchOS 9 for Apple Watch Series 6 and later, Apple Watch SE (1st Generation) and later, and Apple Watch Ultra.

If your car has CarPlay or Bluetooth, you don’t need to set anything up. Just pair your iPhone with your car via CarPlay or Bluetooth and your Apple Watch will automatically recognize when you’ve parked and disconnected. This will drop a waypoint to where your car is.


To use the Compass app:


  1. Launch the Compass app.
  2. Look for a blue waypoint on your Compass Dial.
  3. Turn Digital Crown to zoom in and out.
  4. Tap select to see a pointer that will guide you to your car.


Use Dock As An App Launcher


Apple Watch Dock to launch apps

By default, the dock will show you your most recent apps. But there is a much better use for it: your new go-to app launcher!


Here’s how to change the Dock to an app launcher:


  1. Open Watch app.
  2. Select Dock.
  3. Switch from Recents to Favorites.
  4. Add more if you want.

Now you can just click the side button and choose among your select few favorite apps. Neat!


Find Lost iPhone

With how fast-paced everything is, forgetting where you put your iPhone is pretty much normal at this point. The good news is, your Apple Watch is probably just there on your wrist no matter how busy you are. You can use it to find your iPhone in case you lose it. If you lose them both, well, it’s maybe time to clean your room.


Here’s how to find your iPhone using Apple Watch:


  1. Swipe up the bottom of your clock face.
  2. Tap the iPhone symbol.
  3. The iPhone will send out an audible ping if it’s on.


Automatic Workout Playlist

If working out is one of your reasons for getting the Apple Watch, you’ll love this hidden feature. Gone are the days of manually scrolling for that next hype song before you start a workout.
You can now choose a playlist to hype you up automatically.


To do this:


  1. Go to the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Go to Workout.
  3. Scroll down to Workout Playlist.
  4. Select your playlist.

Please take note that only playlists downloaded from Apple Music will work with this feature.


Add Favorite Timers


Timers Feature on Apple Watch

Another great feature if you work out, or if you’re a frequent Timer app user, is to Favorite them. You can now set up and favorite timers so they are one click away when you need them–one of the greatest additions to watchOS 9. While the recents feature is a thing, it’s only limited to a few timers and changes every time you set a new one.


Here’s the way to do it:


  1. Open Timer app.
  2. Swipe left on a recently used timer.
  3. Tap the Star icon.


Cover To Mute Notifications


With your busy schedule, sometimes you forget to set your Apple Watch to silent. If you suddenly received a notification while in the middle of an important meeting, just cover your Apple Watch with your hand for three seconds. However, this won’t affect other incoming alerts and notifications after that so make sure you put your watch into silent mode right away.


Here’s how to enable it:


  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click Sounds & Haptics.
  3. Enable Cover to Mute.


Bonus Hack:


Turn off Bluetooth when you’re updating your Apple Watch

This is not really a feature, but a bonus hack for you. You will be able to download data from iPhone to Apple Watch faster and easier if you turn off Bluetooth during the process and force it to transfer data using WiFi.


More to try, more to come!

If you’re part of the majority who are using the Apple Watch for notifications and tracking metrics, these hidden features will further level up your productivity. The sky's the limit for what the Apple Watch has in store in terms of features. Listed above are just our top picks. Take note that some of these features only work for watchOS 9, which means they’re only applicable to Apple Watch Series 4 and above, so if you haven’t upgraded yet, now is your chance!

Discover more amazing and hidden Apple Watch features when you visit Power Mac Center. Check out the latest Apple Watch price and all other series currently available.
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