header banner

Reddit lists nine of the most useful but overlooked features of the Apple Watch

A woman uses an Apple Watch to pay for her groceries

Credit: Viktoriia Hnatiuk - Shutterstock

If you’re only using your Apple Watch for notifications and fitness tracking, you’re missing out. The smartwatch can do so much more—and the fine folks at Reddit’s r/AppleWatch have highlighted many of the device’s most useful hidden and/or overlooked features. These aren’t party tricks: once you start using them, you’ll find it hard to live without them.

Use Apple Pay from your Watch

VIDEO: Apple Watch Series 9 Tips, Tricks & Hidden Features | YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST KNOW!!
Hayls World

Plenty of Redditors have mentioned using Apple Pay directly from the Watch. As you would your phone, you can hold your Apple Watch to the payment terminal at the grocery store or coffee shop, to scan your boarding pass for your next flight, or to pay for public transit tickets in certain cities. It should work anywhere that accepts Apple Pay.

Unlock your iPhone and Mac using the Apple Watch

VIDEO: Best New Features of Apple Watch Series 9! Did you know them all?

If you’re wearing your Apple Watch, you can set it to automatically unlock your iPhone and your Mac. This feature isn’t enabled by default, but if you take a couple minutes to set it up, unlocking your Apple devices becomes a breeze. (You can also use your Apple Watch to lock your iPhone quickly in an emergency.)

Get directions without looking at your wrist

VIDEO: 20 INCREDIBLE things Apple Watch can do Right Now!
Proper Honest Tech

When you’re using Apple Maps on the Apple Watch, you don’t have to keep looking at your wrist to figure out which way to go. It uses different vibrational cues for left and right turns, so whether you’re walking, cycling, or driving, the haptics can tell you how to get to your destination—once you’ve memorized what each feels like, of course.

Find your iPhone quickly

VIDEO: APPLE WATCH Tips, Tricks, and Hidden Features most people don't know
Mike O'Brien

You can easily ping your iPhone from the Apple Watch. This is how a Redditor found out that their cat had decided that the iPhone is a nice bed. To do it, just swipe upwards from the bottom of the Apple Watch’s screen and tap the iPhone icon to hear the chime.

If you tap and hold the button, your iPhone’s flashlight will also be activated. This is great for finding the iPhone in the dark, or when people with hearing difficulties are trying to use the feature.

Use Siri to set timers

VIDEO: Get the MOST Out of Apple Watch GUIDE 2023

When you’re cooking, you can use Siri to set a timer. This way your Apple Watch and the food can maintain a safe distance from each other.

Use your Apple Watch as a viewfinder for your iPhone camera

VIDEO: Top 10 HUGE Apple Watch Features in 10.2
Stephen Robles

Your Apple Watch can an excellent device to help capture a group photo with friends or family. Once your iPhone is in place and the camera is on, open the Camera Remote app on your Apple Watch. This will allow you to use the watch as a viewfinder for your iPhone’s camera—which means you can also use it to get a view into otherwise hard to see places (like when you’re searching for the lost remote under the couch).

Make the watch tell you the time out loud

VIDEO: How To Use The Apple Watch Series 9 - Beginners Guide Tutorial & Tips

If you tap and hold any watch face with two fingers, the Apple Watch will tell you the time out loud. This is an excellent feature for those with low vision, or if you’re using a watch face that’s hard to read under certain conditions. Note that it won’t work if the Apple Watch is in silent mode.

Skip past podcast ads

VIDEO: Apple Watch Ultra 2 & Series 9 - First Things To Do ( 25 Tips & Tricks )

The Apple Watch shows a neat Now Playing widget when you play audio on the iPhone with a 30 second forward button you can use to quickly skip ads when you’re listening to a podcast. Sadly, it can’t be used when you come across unskippable ads on YouTube, but in those instances, you can use the Digital Crown to quickly adjust the volume.

Identify songs quickly

Hayls World

When you hear a song but can’t identify it, ask Siri on the Apple Watch to do it for you. To launch this option faster, you can add a Shazam complication to the watch face.


Article information

Author: Veronica Carlson

Last Updated: 1703969281

Views: 459

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (39 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Veronica Carlson

Birthday: 1971-09-29

Address: 301 Curry Union, North Terrystad, RI 10917

Phone: +4372881927550292

Job: Article Writer

Hobby: Tennis, Horseback Riding, Cycling, Kite Flying, Web Development, Hiking, Raspberry Pi

Introduction: My name is Veronica Carlson, I am a valuable, treasured, audacious, honest, multicolored, striking, unreserved person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.