7 Killer Apple Watch Tricks You Probably Didn’t Know

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.


The Apple Watch introduced a fundamentally new way of interacting with a smartwatch. This means there are a whole lot of new tricks to learn about, of course.

The latest software version, watchOS 4, brought a lot of new features 12 Hidden Apple Watch Features New Users Must Try 12 Hidden Apple Watch Features New Users Must Try Got an Apple Watch and not sure where to start? Let us help you make the most of it with these 12 essential tips and features. Read More to the Apple Watch. While we have extensively covered the headline features in watchOS 4, there are a few little-known Apple Watch tricks that aren’t apparent at the first glance. Here’s the scoop you have to know.

1. Set an Image From Gallery as Custom Watch Face

Apple Watch Face

Unlike Android Wear, watchOS doesn’t let you set custom third-party watch faces. If you’re bored with Apple’s existing collection, you can set a picture from your Camera Roll as a watch face.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Launch the Photos app on your iPhone.
  2. Open the particular picture you want to set.
  3. Tap the Share icon and select Create Watch Face.
  4. You can select the Photos Watch Face, or if you’re on the fancier side, select Kaleidoscope Watch face.
  5. Tap Add.

Your Watch should now rock the custom picture on its face.

Set Custom Apple Watch Face

If you don’t see the change reflected, you need to manually update the watch face. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Force Touch on the watch face.
  2. Swipe all the way to the left until you find your custom picture.
  3. Select your custom picture.

2. Save Music Locally to the Apple Watch

apple watch tricks and tips

Listening to music while you’re hitting the gym or heading out for a run can be exhilarating. But having to carry around your iPhone during such intense activities isn’t convenient.

Fortunately, you can sync music from your iPhone to your Apple Watch. The music is stored locally on your Watch, so you can leave your iPhone behind.

Here’s how to sync music:

  1. Launch the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Select Music.
  3. Tap Add Music and select the playlists you would like to sync.

Note that the sync begins only when you place the Watch on its charger. The wireless transfer seems a little slow, so it might take a while for the sync to complete.

Apple Watch Sync Music

Once it’s done, here’s how you can play music locally on your Apple Watch:

  1. Launch the Music app on your Apple Watch.
  2. Force Touch on your Watch and tap Source > Apple Watch.
  3. Pair your Apple Watch with your AirPods or any other good AirPods alternative 5 Cheap AirPods Alternatives: Affordable True Wireless Earbuds 5 Cheap AirPods Alternatives: Affordable True Wireless Earbuds Apple's AirPods are popular but expensive. Need cheap AirPods alternatives? Here are the best affordable true wireless headphones. Read More .

After pairing, simply select your Bluetooth headset, and you’ll be ready to hear music directly from your Apple Watch. If you have problems, have a look at our Apple Watch pairing guide 5 Fixes to Try If Your Apple Watch Won't Pair 5 Fixes to Try If Your Apple Watch Won't Pair If your Apple Watch won't pair with your iPhone, here are a few fixes which could help you resolve the issue. Read More .

3. Use Apple Watch to Locate Your Misplaced iPhone

Apple Watch Locate iPhone

This is one of the most useful Apple Watch tricks — especially if you regularly misplace your iPhone right in the house. If you’re anything like me, this has happened quite a few times. Apple Watch can help you locate your paired iPhone.

Simply swipe up on your Apple Watch to open the Control Center. Tap the ping icon. Your iPhone should make a loud sound to help you locate it. You can also long press the ping icon and your iPhone’s LED will flash briefly to help you locate it in the dark.

Note that you need to long-press the ping icon, not Force Touch it. This trick also works when your iPhone is on silent mode.

4. Eject Water From Apple Watch After a Swim

Apple Watch Series 2 and Series 3 have a water resistance rating of 50 meters, which means you can wear them while swimming. However, water can get inside the speaker or the microphone port, leading to temporarily muffling or less accurate barometer altitude measurements.

Thankfully, Apple Watch Series 2 and newer comes with a Water Lock feature that locks your screen automatically when you start a swimming workout. When you’re done, unlock the screen by spinning the Digital Crown. The screen will unlock and your watch will force water out of the speaker.

You can also eject the water manually. To do so, swipe up to access the Control Center on your Apple Watch. Tap the water droplet icon to initiate the process.

If you’re wondering how to clean your wearable without causing damage to it, check out these tips for cleaning your Apple Watch safely How to Clean Your Apple Watch Safely and Efficiently in 4 Steps How to Clean Your Apple Watch Safely and Efficiently in 4 Steps Is your Apple Watch grimy and stinky? It's time to give it a proper washing. Here's a guide on how to clean your Apple Watch. Read More .

5. Take Photos With Your Apple Watch

Apple Watch Take Photos

The Apple Watch doesn’t come with a dedicated camera, but it can act as a remote for your iPhone’s camera. This remote capture feature is particularly useful if your iPhone is mounted on a tripod afar. It can be also helpful if you want to take large group selfies and make sure everyone fits within the frame.

Here’s how to use your Apple Watch as a remote shutter for your iPhone’s camera:

  1. First, open the Camera app on your iPhone.
  2. Now, open the Camera app on your Apple Watch.
  3. Position the iPhone and frame it to get the perfect shot 10 iPhone Camera Tips for Better Professional-Looking Photos 10 iPhone Camera Tips for Better Professional-Looking Photos Apple is so proud of their cameras they proudly display "Shot on iPhone" images in their retail stores, but there's more to taking great smartphone pictures than first meets the eye. Read More .
  4. Tap the shutter button on your Watch to take a picture remotely.

You can view the pictures on the Photos app on your iPhone.

6. Set Your Apple Watch a Few Minutes Fast

Apple Watch Set Fast

If you use the old-school trick of setting your watch’s time a few minutes ahead so you can run ahead of schedule, Apple Watch has you covered.

Here’s how to set your Watch a few minutes fast:

  1. Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch.
  2. Tap Time.
  3. Here, you can choose to set the time up to 59 minutes ahead.
  4. Tap Set when you’re done.

Note that events and reminders will still notify you at the actual time, rather than this “fast time.”

7. Time Travel Lets You Cycle Through Various Events

Apple Watch Time Travel

The Time Travel feature lets you cycle through various events happening at different times. The exact kind of events depends on the Complication and watch face you’re using.

For instance, the Astronomy watch face lets you see the current phase of the moon. You can spin the digital crown to “time travel” and find out when there’s a full moon or new moon.

Note that only a select number of watch faces like Astronomy and Solar support this feature. Other watch faces like Modular and Utility support this feature, but it’s turned off by default. Here’s how to enable Time Travel:

  1. Launch Settings on your Apple Watch.
  2. Tap Clock.
  3. Toggle Time Travel on.

You can now scroll through your calendar’s events by spinning the Digital Crown.

More Tricks to Level Up Your Apple Watch Game

Hopefully, you’ve learned some new Apple Watch tricks and tips that aren’t fairly obvious.

Amidst all the eyeball-grabbing features like the ability to control smart home devices with Apple Watch, it can be easy to miss out on the small little-known tricks you can use your Apple Watch for Should You Get an Apple Watch? 6 Cool Things You Can Do With One Should You Get an Apple Watch? 6 Cool Things You Can Do With One Not sure whether to get an Apple Watch? Here are some of the many things you can do with an Apple Watch. Read More . Don’t forget about installing the best Apple Watch apps The Best Apple Watch Apps for Weather, Chats, Anime, and More The Best Apple Watch Apps for Weather, Chats, Anime, and More Looking for the best Apple Watch apps? Have a look at these apps for chat, calendars, fitness, and more that you must download. Read More too.

Explore more about: Apple Watch, WatchOS.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Enjoyed this article? Stay informed by joining our newsletter!

Enter your Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *