The Apple Watch Series 5 and WatchOS 6 brought us long-awaited features like the always-on display and the first Apple Watch App Store, but also broadened its health scope with additions like period tracking, Health Trends, and the Noise app. We rounded up the best WatchOS 6 tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your Apple Watch.
How to turn off the always-on display (Apple Watch Series 5 only)
Apple’s latest Watch, the Series 5, introduced a long-awaited feature with the always-on display. Apple says the feature won’t impact battery life in any significant way and should still last a full day of use when enabled, thanks to a combination of software and hardware features, including the low-temperature polysilicon and oxide (LTPO) display.
The watch faces dynamically change in unique ways depending on the one you choose and how you customize it, so it’s a pretty welcome feature for most users. Of course, if you’d like to turn this off, it’s pretty simple to do so.
Open Settings> Display & Brightness and tap Always On, to toggle this feature on or off.
How to take a voice memo on your wrist
Along with the introduction of Apple Watch’s separate, on-device App Store, we also got a new app for the platform, but old for iOS. Voice Memos is now available for the Apple Watch and, as long as it’s installed on your phone and you’ve chosen to sync all your compatible phone apps with the Apple Watch during setup, then it should be installed right in your Watch’s app cluster. If not, you can simply head to the App Store on your Watch or on your phone, search up Voice Memo, and download like you would any other app.
Track your menstrual cycle
Apple’s WatchOS 6 finally adds period tracking to the Apple Watch, which helps users keep track of their cycles with predicted period timings and estimated fertility windows. You can also log important secondary symptoms like mood swings, nausea, and headaches which are important to keep track of for overall health and potential issues.
Setting this up requires you to take out your iPhone and open Apple’s Health app. Tap the Browse tab and open Cycle Tracking to get started.
How to use the Noise app to avoid loud environments
Auditory health is often an overlooked aspect of well-being, but one that the Apple Watch now can help you protect. Based on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guidelines, the Noise app will let you know when you’re in an environment that could potentially damage your hearing, if you so choose.
Setting this up is easy; in fact, the Apple Watch will send you a notification shortly after setup reminding you to enable and customize this feature. Otherwise, you can head right into the Apple Watch Settings, scroll down and click on Noise where you can choose to turn on Environmental Sound Measurements or set the thresholds you’d like Noise notifications for, all of which are based on the WHO’s recommendations for avoiding hearing damage.
How to turn on hourly chimes or vibrations (Taptic Time)
Remember when you could set digital watches (the ones that had calculator-like displays) to beep every hour? Well, your Apple Watch can do that now too, and if it’s on silent, don’t worry, it will just vibrate lightly. Even more useful is the Watch’s ability to tap out the time in Morse code (or other codes) or speak the time, as well.
An hourly tap can be useful to keep track of time but for those with accessibility needs, the option to have the time spoken or tapped out can be invaluable. To enable, head to Settings > Clock where you can toggle on Chimes, Speak Time, and Haptic Time.
How to use the new Trends tab to receive personalized fitness guidance
The Trends tab is a new feature of the latest WatchOS and iOS 13 collaboration. Focused on your health, specifically your achievements in the Move, Exercise, and Stand goals, this tab will not only show you how you’ve changed (for better or worse) over the last 90 days, but also give you tailored tips to do better when your trends are down. For instance, if your calorie burning is trending downward compared to your last 90 days, your Watch may tell you to “burn 30 more calories each day for seven days” to get back on goal. It’s not going to run you into the ground by building bigger and bigger goals as you progress, though. These tips only come when you’re not maintaining or trending upward on your goals.
Using this feature won’t require you to do anything on the Watch other than wear it for more than 180 days. Once enough data is gathered, you’ll start to receive tailored insights and a trend assessment to help guide you.