11 Apple Watch talents you’ve probably never used

Get more from Apple Watch

Apple, Apple Watch, iOS, iOS 9, Watches 2, mobile apps
Credit: Apple

Apple Watch (starts at $349 direct; check Amazon price) seems set to be a big seller this season, so you may as well learn what to do with it.

Ping

You use Glances already? When you do you might even have taken a look at the Settings item. When you need help finding your iPhone head into Settings and tap the big phone icon at the bottom of the screen – now listen out for your iPhone.

Alarm

Best used with Sleep++ and really only suited to those with battery life to spare, the alarm function on Apple Watch wakes you with a gentle tap on the wrist rather than making a racket. Better yet, you can set the alarm using Siri. “Hey Siri, wake me in three hours.”

Also read: 11 must-have Apple Watch apps

Create your own responses

Frustrated by the default responses? You can craft your own default replies for incoming messages – it’s easy, just follow these instructions.

Maps

To get more from Maps on Apple Watch when using them to get around town, just remember these three things:

  1. Left: two tap-taps played three times
  2. Right: 12 steady taps
  3. Long vibration: You’ve arrived

Those haptic cues are how the smartwatch helps you get around town without needing to look at the map.

Get found

Trying to hook up with family or friends? Sharing your location is easy with the watch. Open a message from them in Messages app and Force Touch the display, then choose ‘Share Location’ from the menu that appears.

Hold that call

A call comes in and you check your Watch. You know you want to talk to this person but want to use your iPhone to make it. Suddenly anxious you grapple through all your pockets to find your phone and the call drops. It needn’t be this way – just use the Answer on iPhone button at the bottom of the incoming call screen (turn the Digital Crown a little and you’ll see it). The person calling will hear a repeated sound while you search for your phone. Stay cool.

Handoff

You asked Siri to send an email for you. Now, unless you happen to be using one of these excellent apps, Siri likely explained it couldn’t do this for you and told you, “Just use Handoff”. To do this just grab your phone soon after making your Siri request and and swipe up on the Siri (mic) icon in the lower left corner of the iPhone screen.

Also read: 10 great Apple Watch OS 2-compatible apps you’ll use

Dictate

If you’ve used the mic to return messages then you’ll be familiar with being asked if you want to send your dictated words as audio or text. If you generally prefer to use one or the other you can get rid of this request in Apple Watch Settings on your iPhone (in Messages>Audio Messages). There you can choose to Always use on or the other.

Call in late

If you are using Maps to get to a destination that you have a number for then you can use this little-known feature: Force Touch on the Maps app when being led to a place and you can choose to Call Destination to let them know you’re running a little late.

VIP

Get a lot of email? You can limit it so your watch only alerts you when messages from important folk come in. On your iPhone in Apple Watch settings select Mail>Custom>VIPs. Now you’ve lost the cruft but can stay in touch with who matters.

Shazam

Music recognition app Shazam isn’t installed on Apple Watch by default, but has a little-known talent: Launch the app and Force Touch it to invoke the ‘Start Auto Shazam’ feature. From now on the app will identify any songs you hear as you go through your day and gather them in a playlist. It eats battery power, but it seems a good thing to do if you’re at a music event.

Screenshot

Bonus extra: to get a screenshot just press the side button and the digital crown at the same time.

Google+? If you use social media and happen to be a Google+ user, why not join AppleHolic's Kool Aid Corner community and join the conversation as we pursue the spirit of the New Model Apple?

Got a story?Drop me a line via Twitter or in comments below and let me know. I'd like it if you chose to follow me.

To express your thoughts on Computerworld content, visit Computerworld's Facebook page, LinkedIn page and Twitter stream.
Windows 10 annoyances and solutions
Shop Tech Products at Amazon
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.