8 Apple Watch tips and tricks to keep you productive and healthy

  • An Apple Watch Ultra with a tan, yellow, and gray strap against a white background

    Apple Watch Ultra

    The Apple Watch Ultra is a big beast of a smartwatch, and one of the best buys you can make if you’re bought into the Apple ecosystem and you want the biggest watch they make. Even if you’re not a fitness freak, there’s plenty to love about this beautiful, bright smartwatch.

  • Google Pixel Watch

    Google Pixel Watch

    We’ve waited for Google to make a watch for over a decade, and the Google Pixel Watch has finally arrived. The first Android smartwatch with Fitbit health tracking, the Pixel Watch aims to help you stay fit or get fit easily, while Wear OS 3.5 brings us Google’s vision for a wearable UI and exclusive Wear OS apps for Google services like Google Home.


matching with Android devices, the Watch is still a powerful accessory for your life. And we have ways to make it even better for beginners.

If you’re getting a new Watch or use yours regularly, review our best Apple Watch tips to fix small problems, add valuable features, and customize the Watch just how you want it.

1. Pick your favorite WatchOS face

Compass watch face showing on Apple Watch Ultra model on wood table.

Press the Digital Crown button until the Watch face shows up, then swipe right, where you’ll see an Add button. Select the Add button and then browse the Apple Watch face options using the Digital Crown. There are a ton of choices, and you have the option to set your Watch face as a photo using the Face Gallery option on your Apple Watch app. For the latest options, make sure you have at least iOS 16.

2. Cover to mute

Your Apple Watch can chime or vibrate to keep you updated on texts, notifications, phone calls, and more, along with associated icons. But even in quieter settings, this can become an annoyance in places like business meetings or theaters.

That’s why you should open the My Watch app, go to Sounds & Haptics, and turn on the ability to Cover to Mute. Then, when your Apple Watch starts acting up, cover it with your palm for a few seconds, and it will shut off.

3. Increase the text size

The Apple Watch display gets bigger by increments, but it’s still small. If you struggle to see the text and details on your Apple Watch, go to Settings and tap Brightness & Text Size. Then, switch to a larger text, bold all text, and make the Watch immediately brighter to solve visual issues.

Three Apple Watch apps showing activity, heart rate, and calls.

4. Set activity goals

You can optimize your Apple Watch by setting up Activity Goals, and it’s easy to get started. Visit the brightly-ringed Activity app and set daily goals for your health, including calories burned through movement, time standing and moving around, and more.

If the Apple Watch bands are too loose for good fitness readouts, you can choose from many other bands on Amazon and similar sites.

5. Start tracking your sleep

Tracking sleep isn’t for everyone (you have to keep the Apple Watch on, for one thing), but if you want to get some sleep data, visit the Health app and enable Sleep Mode. That includes setting a goal for how much sleep you want and a rough bedtime/wake-up time to help the Watch. The latest versions of the Apple Watch can track restlessness, heart rate, and sleep cycles like REM. Plus, it can act as a quiet alarm if you need to get up at a certain time and you’re away from other alarms.

6. Save battery power the fast way

Battery life can be a concern for a small device like the Apple Watch, especially if you’re using it with AirPods or the always-on display. If your battery is running low, there are a few tricks you can use to improve it. Swipe up on your Watch display and bring up the Control Panel, which is useful for quickly managing your connections. You’ll see a bubble in the control center with a percentage on it. This is your battery settings. Select the bubble, and it goes to a close-up view with an option to enable the Low Power Mode.

Enable the Low Power Mode, and you can either leave it on or turn it on for a certain amount of time, like a day or two. The Apple Watch limits the measurements it takes and how it uses apps to help you save as much power as possible.

The Flash pro plus charging s22 ultra and Apple Watch.

7. Set a focus

If you don’t have an iPhone, you may not have set any Focus yet (and if you do, now is still a good time). Swipe up on your Apple Watch and long press on the little moon icon to get started with a Focus. You can choose options like focusing for one hour, until the evening, or until you leave your current location (like your work or a conference). When focused, your Watch limits notifications and sends automated messages that say you’re busy when people contact you. If you have another Apple iOS or iPadOS device, you can customize your focus in different ways depending on the information you want to get through.

8. Sign in to your Apple Pay

Connect your Apple Pay account if you have one with the Apple Watch app, and link to your important payment options and passes. The Apple Watch provides amazing shortcuts when paying for something or working with compatibility ticket and transportation systems, but you need to connect everything.

What about Android functionality?

The Apple Watch isn’t designed to work with Android phones the way it is with iPhones, and hidden features can’t change that. Because of this, we suggest having an iPad, Mac, or other Apple device around so that you can adjust the Watch app and track important details easily. If you want to go further, we have a guide on how to add an Apple Watch to Android, but it requires a previous iPhone and results in lost functionality, so it’s not a choice for everyone.

For the most part, pairing Apple Watch with an Android isn’t a great idea. If you use an Android phone, there are plenty of incredible WearOS smartwatches available. The Google Pixel Watch is a solid choice for most people, although Samsung’s lineup of smartwatches is pretty incredible too.

Keep an eye on new Apple Watch features

If you’re an Apple user but haven’t jumped on the smartwatch bandwagon yet, you may want to wait until we know more details about the upcoming Apple Watch Series 9. Rumors are that it will be able to track your blood sugar along with other impressive new capabilities. Or, if you want to save money, you can look for an earlier Apple Watch Series without losing too much functionality, or look at the Apple Watch SE models. On the other hand, upgrading to an Apple Watch Ultra could add more possibilities. Just make sure you update to the latest WatchOS to get all available features.