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26 Essential Apple Watch Tips And Tricks

A guide to the smartwatch's swipes, taps, and touches.

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1. Tapping the digital crown for home screen

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Basically, it's your new home button.

2. Force Touch vs. Tap

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Because the watch is pressure sensitive, it knows when you've tapped versus when you've pressed. A tap is obvious, just tap an item to select it. "Force Touch" is a long, firm press. In most apps, Force Touch unlocks hidden options. For example, Force Touch changes an emoji's color.

3. Raising your wrist to activate the watch

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This will activate the display and tell you the time. When you receive a notification, lifting your wrist will show you the notification instead of the time. If you raise your wrist and say "Hey Siri," you will activate Siri.

4. Scrolling with the digital crown to zoom and adjust

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Moving the crown allows you to navigate the homescreen and adjust certain elements, like the timer or your daily "Move" goal. You can also use the crown to zoom into maps and photos.

5. Swiping up for "Glances"

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Pretty straightforward, but swiping is how you'll get around most of the watch's apps. Swipe up from the watch face to see calendar events, weather, heart rate, location, and other bits of information (Apple calls this feature "Glances"). Tap one for more detailed info.

6. Swiping down for notifications

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Performing this action from the watch face will show you recent notifications.

7. Covering the watch face with your hand

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This will silence incoming phone calls.

8. Can't find your phone? Swipe up from the watch face to use the Ping Your Phone feature.

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9. For a better heartrate reading, tighten the watch band.

Too loose.
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Too loose.

Just right.

Just right.

10. If the vibrations aren't pronounced enough, go to Settings > Sounds & Haptics to turn on Prominent Haptic.

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11. Check your heartbeat by swiping up to expand Glances and swiping left to the heartbeat card.

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12. Take a screenshot by pressing the Digital Crown and side button at the same time.

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13. Press and hold the Digital Crown to activate Siri.

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14. Press and hold the watch face to change its design.

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15. Use the Remote App to control your Apple TV.

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16. Press down on the notifications red dot to clear them all.

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17. Swipe left on a notification to quickly clear it.

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18. Press and hold the Messages inbox to compose a new text.

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19. Double click the Digital Crown to jump to your most recently visited app.

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20. Call contacts by pressing the side button to see your address book or using Siri.

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Call contacts through "Friends"

Call contacts via Siri

21. To see more emoji options, scroll with the Digital Crown.

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22. To view a message notification, raise your wrist. To dismiss it, lower your wrist.

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23. To use Apple Pay, double click the side button and hold the face of the watch near the card reader.

24. Unlock your Apple Watch with your iPhone by going to the Apple Watch app > My Watch > Passcode > Unlock with iPhone.

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This will unlock your Apple Watch (while it's on your wrist) once you've unlocked your iPhone.

25. When scrolling through contacts, a small hand icon designates that person also has an Apple Watch.

26. Press and hold the side button to enable the battery-saving "Power Reserve" feature.

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Power Reserve shuts down everything but the clock watch face. To disable Power Reserve, you'll need to shut down and restart the watch.

Disclaimer: Apple provided an Apple Watch on loan for the purposes of review.