How to use Apple’s 6 cool new watchOS 6 tools

How to use voice memos, the App Store, split the bill, website access, speak time and the new Noise app in Apple's watchOS 6...

Apple, WWDC, WWDC 2019, watch, Apple Watch, watchOS 6, smartwatch, how to

Apple has not made a public beta available for Apple Watch, and some of its features (such as Find My) may still be in development, but the recently-announced watchOS upgrade includes some useful features for enterprise professionals.

How to record a voice memo

The watch now has a built-in voice memo app. This is useful when you need to quickly note some thoughts or when you may need to record a meeting. It’s dead easy to use:

  • Ask Siri to open Voice Memos,
  • Tap the big red button to record,
  • Tap it again when you’re done.

The saved memo will be made available in Voice Memos across all your devices. This can be rather useful if you subsequently choose to use to transcribe your words.

Once you have created a recording you can rename, delete and review it.

How to find and download apps

You can find and install apps independently of an iPhone in watchOS 6, which has its own dedicated App Store for the first time on the device. The easiest way to access the Apple Watch App Store is to ask Siri to open the App Store. You can then search for apps by name and also check trending apps in your location. When you find an app you need just tap Get, after which you’ll be asked for your passcode.

watch os 6 ind apps Apple

Apple running on watchOS 6 won't need an iPhone to install.

How to use the Calculator’s split bill and tip calculator functions

Apple has placed a calculator app inside Apple Watch for the first time. This does what a calculator does, and also has a couple of tools that may be useful to business travellers, Split Bill and Tip Calculator.

  • To calculate a tip, open the app and enter the total bill cost.
  • Now tap TIP in the top-right corner.
  • In the next page you’ll see the (default) 20% tip, which you can lower or raise.
  • You’ll also see a People field, usually set to one you can change this to as many people are paying for the meal by turning your Digital Crown.
  • As you add people, you’ll see the total per person (including tip) appear underneath the bill + tip total.

You can turn the Tip button into a percentage button (and vica versa) by pressing the display while in Calculator mode until a new control appears.

How to visit a website

You can also visit websites using the mini browser on your Apple Watch. One way to test this is to ask Siri to visit a specific site and the page will load on screen, complete with tappable links.

How to Tap to Speak Time

Until watchOS 6, the only watch faces that could speak the time came from Disney in the form of Mickey and Minnie mouse. To make them speak the time all you had to do was tap the character at the centre of the display with two fingers. Now you can do this in any watch face.

apple watchos 6 noise Apple

Apple's Noise app may help protect your hearing...

How to use the Noise app

You don’t need to do anything to use the new Noise app, which runs in the background to monitor ambient noise levels. If the decibels of noise reach or exceed 90-decibels the watch will warn you, which is very useful if you work in noisy environments (such as live event production or construction) and need to know when to use ear protectors.

Noise works by taking periodic sound volume readings in the background. You receive a warning if the sound levels for three minutes hits 90-decibels. You will feel a tap on your wrist and see a warning window on your device.

You can also check noise levels manually: Use Siri to open the Noise app and you will see its decibel meter moving dynamically in real time.

Apple has said it does not record or save your audio for use by Noise app.

Apple also revealed the following changes:

These aren’t the only changes/improvements in watchOS 6, which also offers a much-improved Now Playing screen and the highly useful Cycle app which helps women track their periods.

Here are some of the other improvements Apple revealed at WWDC:

  • Accessibility settings on watch
  • Chance of rain complication
  • Smart guidance in maps
  • Shuffle workout playlist
  • Current elevation metric in workouts
  • Use Stopwatch during workouts
  • A new monochrome watch face
  • Apple Podcasts stations
  • Spoken Navigation in Maps
  • Shared lists in Reminders
  • Wind complication
  • Dynamic smart replies
  • Shazam with Siri
  • Account login on watch
  • Reorder faces on watch
  • Cellular connectivity complication
  • Redesigned Walkie-Talkie
  • Workout summary on watch
  • Tap to speak time
  • For you in Apple Music
  • Mute Mail threads
  • Automatic software updates
  • Now Playing App with dynamic media controls
  • Siri support for Find Friends
  • Shortcuts for Siri watch face
  • Siri web search results

watchOS 6 will likely ship when Apple publishes iOS 13 this fall.

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Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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