20 Apple Watch Tips and Tricks You Didn't Know Existed

Apple released the Apple Watch in 2015, about eight years after the first iPhone.

The watch was originally designed as a smart companion to the iPhone and other apple products and had fitness in mind.

In the last six years however, the capabilities and features of the Apple Watch have improved drastically.

Here are 20 Apple Watch tips and tricks you (maybe) didn't know about...

1. Monitor Your Heart Rate

Apple Watch heart rate
The Apple Watch allows users to monitor their heart rates easily Jill Ann Spaulding / Contributor/Getty Images

The Apple Watch comes with an in-built heart rate monitor app, so you can see when your heart rate is abnormally high or low.

If you open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, you can set program your Apple Watch to send you alerts when you hit these markers.

2. Find Your iPhone

How often have you absent-mindedly put your phone down and forgotten where? It's often an anxiety-inducing experience, especially if you aren't sure whether it's on the sofa or on the bus.

If you press the "ping" button on the Apple Watch, your phone will make a sound that you can follow the sound, allowing you to easily find your phone if it's within earshot.

3. Track Your Workouts

Apple Watch activity
The watch gives you notifications when you hit your activity goals Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

There are many ways that the Apple Watch tracks your health and fitness. One method is "activity rings," which show your daily activity and send you notifications and awards if you reach certain levels of activity.

The watch also allows you to track your favourite workouts and set yourself goals.

4. Monitor Loud Noises

One app on the Apple Watch can send you notifications if there is noise around you that might be loud enough to damage your hearing.

Just open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and tap the Noise button. You can set a threshold for the noise (e.g. 90 decibels) and a time limit for hearing noise at that volume (e.g. 3 minutes a day).

5. Monitor Hand Washing Time

The past 18-months has made everyone aware of the importance of properly washing their hands. It can be difficult, however, to remember to wash your hands for the recommended amount of time (20 seconds).

The Apple Watch automatically detects when you're washing your hands and gives you a count down to ensure you are washing them for long enough.

6. Listen to Music

The Apple Watch gives you remote control over all of your Apple devices, so you can control the music on your phone or laptop all from your wrist.

You can also stream songs from Apple Music and Apple Podcasts to your Apple Watch.

7. Call Emergency Services

Apple Watch
The Apple Watch lets you easily call emergency services Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Apple Watch uses motion sensors to detect how active you are, allowing for its range of sporting features.

The watch also uses these features to sense if you have taken a hard fall. It then gives you can automatic option to call emergency services or to tell the watch you're okay.

Alternatively, if you're in danger and need to call emergency services quickly, just press and hold the side button on the watch.

8. Track Your Menstrual Cycle

The Cycle Tracking app on your Apple Watch allows you to track your menstrual cycle.

You can add information about your flow and record any symptoms you may have, like headaches and cramps. The app can then notify you when your next cycle or fertile window is due to start.

9. Give Yourself an ECG

Apple Watch ECG
The watch can give you an ECG at any point NOAH BERGER/Getty Images

An Electrocardiogram (ECG) is a test that records the strength and timing of electrical signals from your heart. An ECG can tell a doctor about your heart rhythm and help them look for any abnormalities.

The ECG app allows the user to take an ECG at any point, and takes 30 seconds to complete.

10. Monitor Blood Oxygen Levels

Your blood oxygen level is the amount of oxygen carried around by your blood at any one point. The app is not intended for medical use but can be a great insight into your general wellness.

Simply open the Blood Oxygen app and take a reading—again, it only takes 30 seconds. The app can also measure your blood oxygen levels throughout the day.

11. Use Apple Pay

Apple Watch Pay
You can pay for goods and services using your Apple Watch Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Many people use Apple Pay on their iPhones to avoid digging out a credit or debit card at the checkout.

Now, you don't even have to dig out your phone: You can pay for goods and services from your wrist, and complete payments using just your Apple Watch.

12. Safety Features for Senior Relatives

With Apple Watch features like fall detection and high and low heart-rate notifications, the watch can be a great way to make sure your elderly relatives are safe and healthy—even if they don't own an iPhone.

The watch also allows users to share their location, so you can know your loved ones are safe and well.

13. Monitor Sleep Time

With the Sleep app on the Apple Watch you can set personalized sleep schedules and goals.

You can set bedtime reminders and wake-up times, turn on "sleep mode," which mutes notifications, and set "Wind Down" shortcuts, which can give you prompts to listen to soothing music or open a meditation app.

14. Use a Compass

With the Compass app, users can see their bearings on the compass. The app also allows users to see their elevation above sea-level.

All you have to do is open up the compass app and hold the watch flat, then tap "add bearing."

15. Use Siri

Like the iPhone, you can call out to Siri and ask it to set reminders, play a song, or search Google. On the Apple Watch, you can do the same, and ask Siri to do most things.

Siri will even reply to some of your questions, just like on your phone.

16. Use Maps and Get Notified of Directions

Apple watch Maps
You can get directions through your Apple Watch Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The watch even gives you a little nudge when it's time to turn or change direction, so you'll spend less time being lost, and more time enjoying your destination.

17. Customise Your Watch Face

Apple Watch faces
You can customise the face of your Apple Watch Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

If you're someone who gets bored easily, this might be a feature for you. With the Apple Watch, you can easily change the face of your watch to suit your mood.

18. Set up Apple Watch for Family

The Family Setup feature means that your entire family can get Apple watches, even if they don't have an iPhone.

You can simply link their device to your iPhone. Parents can also set child-friendly features on their children's watches - you can approve who your children text or call, and you can restrict the features on the watch during school time.

19. Customise Brightness and Text Size

Some might be daunted at the prospect of a little phone on your wrist, especially if you find small text and smaller screens harder to manage.

On the watch, you can maximise the text size and brightness in the settings, to make the watch suitable for those who might want or need a larger text size.

20. Browse Your Photos

On your Apple Watch, photos that you have already marked as "favourites" are displayed on the screen.

You can also view thumbnails of all of your photos on the Photos app on the watch. You can also change the album that is automatically displayed in your settings.