17 tips and tricks to master Apple Watch and watchOS 3

Take back control

14) Relearn actions

Now Apple has made the Side button useful, some previous actions don’t work. If you want screen grabs, you’ll need to turn them on in the General section of the Apple Watch app’s My Watch tab. And force-quitting apps is now different: hold the side button until you see the power off screen, let go and then press the Digital Crown until the app disappears.

15) Get help

In the Watch app’s My Watch tab, go to General > Emergency SOS. Here, you can define up to three SOS contacts, and set whether holding the Side button automatically calls emergency services. With these things all set, you can hold the Side button for several seconds to call for help (your Apple Watch loudly beeps a countdown), simultaneously firing text messages at your contacts.

16) Better messages

Messages on Apple Watch are now a whole lot smarter. You still have your customised default responses when you scroll down a bit, but also in-context single-prod replies. You can additionally long-press on a message to send a Tapback symbol like a thumbs-up.

But the big new thing is Scribble, which you use to write replies manually, one letter at a time (with the Digital Crown being used to adjust the most recent word). It’s surprisingly effective (and works within many apps beyond Messages), even if it gave us a terrifying flashback to using an Apple Newton.

17) Find all of the things

Using your Apple Watch, you can – as on the iPhone – use Find My Friends to digitally stalk people you know. You can also trace your kit. In Control Center, tap the phone button to ‘ping’ your paired iPhone, which will temporarily pretend it’s a sonar in a war movie.

Can’t find your Apple Watch? No problem: fire up Find my iPhone on your iPhone, tap Apple Watch in the device list, and assuming it’s found and nearby, tap Actions and Play Sound until you discover where it’s lurking.