Apple Watch how-to

How to flip your Apple Watch for surprise benefits

By

Turn that crown upside down!
Turn that crown upside down!
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

The Apple Watch is designed with the Digital Crown in the same place as where traditional watches have their own crown to set the time. It’s a design choice that helps us think of this new tiny computer on our wrist as something comfortable and familiar.

But there’s no reason the Digital Crown should remain on the right, as it defaults to if you’re wearing your Apple Watch on your left wrist.

In fact, flipping it around can make things on your Apple Watch even better. Check it out.

How to keep your Apple Watch display on longer in watchOS 2

By

Chances are you'll see quite a few more of these in the coming years.
Don't go anywhere, Apple Watch -- we're not finished yet.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Here’s another tip that’s snuck into watchOS 2: Did you know that you can keep your Apple Watch awake longer now while you’re using it?

Apple hasn’t mentioned this feature much, if at all; we couldn’t even find it on the details screen when we upgraded. But it’s a great addition to the firmware that will save you a little frustration and a lot of wrist-flipping.

Here’s how to do it.

How to fix weak taptic feedback on Apple Watch

By

Apple Watch how-to taptic feedback
Here's how to put the tap back into "taptic."
Photo: Apple

Taptic feedback on the Apple Watch felt a little weird at first, but we’ve come to love its gentle nudges to let us know something is going on. But some Cult of Mac staffers have noticed that after time, the taptic feedback has started to feel not so … tappy anymore.

If you’re having this problem, here are a couple quick and easy ways you can try to put the pep back on your wrist.

Weird Digital Crown fix will make you fear for your Apple Watch

By

Yikes! Water and electronics still freak me out.
Yikes! Water and electronics still freak me out.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

My Apple Watch is getting a little crufty. I wear it every day, including when I sweat a lot — like during a run, for example.

Recently, the Digital Crown started to get a little tough to turn. It took extra effort to spin the darn thing, and I wasn’t able to rotate it smoothly anymore.

Luckily, Apple had me covered — but I wasn’t prepared for what I had to do to get this Digital Crown fix to work.

Size matters: How to increase text size on Apple Watch

By

So much easier to see.
So much easier to see.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

As I get older, I find myself having to get a little closer to my iPhone and Apple Watch to see what it says. It’s a trade-off for still being alive at my advanced age.

If you’re having a hard time seeing the text on your Apple Watch, too, you might consider increasing the font size for apps that use Dynamic Text.

Here’s how.

How to set default Apple Pay cards on iPhone and Apple Watch

By

iPhone continues to rock across the globe.
Set your Apple Pay default credit card for your Apple Watch on your iPhone.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

If you have more than one credit card, chances are you’ll want to put them all into Apple Pay so you can use any of them when the mood strikes, or your card balance dictates.

If you’ve got an Apple Watch, you’ll need to add them to the Watch via a separate process than the way you added them to the iPhone.

Once you’ve added more than one card, though, you might want to change the default Apple Pay card. Here’s how to do just that.

How to take a screenshot on your Apple Watch

By

Apple Watch Sport green
These are the buttons you're looking for.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

So, you’ve got your Apple Watch and you want to show off that cool new watch face customization, or the screen of one of the games you’re playing.

Sure, you could take a picture of your Apple Watch on your wrist with your iPhone, but that’s sorta silly. Plus your arm might be super-hairy and someone will make fun of you.

Here’s how to just take an Apple Watch screenshot so you can show off and yet still remain tease-free.

Apple Watch stuck on update? Here’s how to fix it

By

Fix things if your update gets stuck.
Here's how to fix things if your Apple Watch update gets stuck.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

If you’re trying to update your Apple Watch software to the latest version, you might get stuck. Some users are reporting that the update starts and then just seems to hang there, like a diver never quite ready to take the plunge.

If your update is hanging without any error message, the fix might be simpler than you thought.

How to restart Apple Watch when things go wrong

By

You might need to force it to restart.
You might need to force it to restart.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

The Apple Watch on your wrist is a miniature computer. As such, it might get wonky from time to time. It might freeze, apps might not load all the way or it might just get slow — especially if you haven’t downloaded today’s Apple Watch software upgrade, which brings various performance enhancements and bug fixes.

When your watch is getting wonky, it’s good to know how to force a restart, powering your Apple Watch down and back up again to reset its internal workings. Here’s how.

How to get your Apple Watch to leave you alone

By

Activate do not disturb and silence your Apple Watch right from your wrist.
Activate Do Not Disturb and silence your Apple Watch right from your wrist.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

If you’ve spent any time with an Apple Watch, you might have noticed that it notifies you quite a bit. There’s the ubiquitous Stand Up commands, notifications from Messages, Calendar and the like, and then all the third-party apps that send you taps all day long.

If you chose to have your Apple Watch mirror your iPhone’s Do Not Disturb schedule, at least it will stop bugging you during those hours, but what if you just need to stop the notifications right now on your Apple Watch?

Here’s how to do just that.

Banish storage-hogging apps from your Apple Watch

By

Apple Watch
Which apps take up the most space on your wrist?
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

My Apple Watch says I’ve used 1 GB of storage space, with 5.2 GB left over and available.

As those two numbers reverse, I’ll start looking at which apps are taking up the most storage on my wrist, then eliminating the ones that take up too much space.

Here’s an easy way to figure out which storage-hogging apps need to go.

Apple Watch’s Digital Touch has more colors than you know

By

Getting to this screen is key. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
Getting to this screen is key. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

When you hit your Apple Watch’s side button, just under the Digital Crown, you get a list of the contacts you‘ve marked as Favorites in order to send your heartbeat or taps to them via Digital Touch, or folks you want to text with using your new Apple wrist gadget.

There are seven different presets for color coding those contacts, too, which default to red, blue, green, yellow, orange, white and purple.

Did you know that you could customize the colors of each of these seven slots? Here’s how.

How to make your Apple Watch wake up where you left off

By

This might suit your needs much better than a simple timepiece. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
This might suit your needs much better than a simple timepiece. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

When you make your Apple Watch wake up, either by raising your wrist or tapping the watch face itself, it will show you the watch face you’ve chosen. That’s what a watch does, right?

However, Apple Watch is much more than a timepiece, with tons of apps that you use to make your life a bit easier and cooler, right? It would be great if you could wake the watch to the last app you were using.

Here’s how to get your Apple Watch to show you that most recent app when you lift your wrist.

How to use Handoff with Apple Watch

By

An unfortunately named tech for Apple devices, that's what. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
An unfortunately named tech for Apple devices, that's what. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

There are some things your Apple Watch just cannot (or should not) do, like sending emails or searching the web.

You can still ask Siri to do these things, but she’ll ask you to take your request elsewhere — namely, to your iPhone. Here’s how Handoff works with Apple Watch.

ICYMI: Essential Apple Watch tips

By

A ton of tips for your wrist! Photo: Stephen Smith
A ton of tips for your wrist! Photo: Stephen Smith

This week, we focus on four non-obvious yet essential tips and tricks for using that fancy new Apple Watch on your wrist. Rob plays a new Apple Watch game, calling Lifeline the best game he’s played on his wrist, while Leander takes a speedy trip around the block on Stromer’s amazing electric bike. Luke digs into an Apple patent for a magical new Apple TV remote, and Buster checks in on how the Apple Watch will likely prevent heart attacks in the future.

All that and much, much more in the weekly installment of Cult of Mac Magazine!

Make Apple Watch calendar work for your wrist

By

You've got options. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
You've got options. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

The default calendar view on Apple Watch is a list of the upcoming events for the current day. If you tap on the Today link in the upper left of the screen, you can see the whole month at a glance, which lets you tap on any day to see that day’s list of events.

But what if you want it to look less like a list and more like a calendar on your iPhone or Mac?

Luckily, there’s a simple way to do just that.

Dismiss all your Apple Watch notifications at once

By

Get rid of the whole list at one time. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
Get rid of the whole list at one time. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Notifications are the mainstay of Apple Watch (or any smartwatch, for that matter). Chances are you’ll get a ton of them, as most of the iPhone notifications will transfer over to your Apple Watch after you pair the two devices.

Typically, you swipe a notification left and then tap the X button when you want to dismiss a notification, or you tap through to the notification itself and then tap “Dismiss.”

But what happens when you have a slew of notifications and you’re just not interested in swipe-tapping them one at a time to go away?

Add custom replies to Apple Watch, seem less robotic

By

Don't be such a square when you reply. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
Don't be such a square when you reply. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Messaging is one of the best use cases for Apple Watch – you get a message, you dictate a reply, you get on with your day.

Apple has included several pre-written responses for you to use when you’re just too busy to dictate a response (or don’t want to talk into your watch). They’re pretty awful, though, ranging from the terse (“OK”) to the fairly robotic (“Sorry, I can’t talk right now”). None of them really quite fit the way we talk, do they?

Happily, Apple lets you change these canned responses to better reflect your personality and style. Here’s how to do so.

How to clear credit card info from a stolen Apple Watch

By

Apple Watch back
Let's hope you never have to worry about theft. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

So, you just got that shiny new Apple Watch. It’s amazing, right?

So amazing that someone may try to steal it from you. Sure, that sucks, but it could happen.

Here’s how to clear the credit card info from the stolen device if you no longer have physical possession of your Apple Watch.