10 Apple Watch tips & tricks to unlock features + enhance the experience

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2. Decide Which Glances Are Useful. Once you’ve decided which apps you want to install and which aren’t worth getting in the way, take a stroll through your Apple Watch glances and decide which of these are beneficial and which ones slow you down.

Glances are the little information cards and control panels that appear when you swipe up from your Apple Watch face. They’re organized linearly through paginated screens so swiping through several to find the one you want can be a lot of work when convenience is the name of the game.

I’m currently using 7 glances with the most frequently accessed up front: Settings, Now Playing, Weather, Battery, Activity, Calendar, and Heartbeat. By default glances for Maps, Stocks, and World Clock are also included, but these aren’t useful to me personally.

You can further customize glances by adding third-party app glances including ones for many of my best app recommendations. To manage glances, use the Watch app on your iPhone to select Glances from the My Watch tab then tap Edit in the top right corner. From here you can add, remove, and rearrange your glances. Note that the Settings glance is required, although you can place it at the bottom if you want to avoid it.


3. Change Wake Screen On Tap Duration. Apple Watch keeps its screen off most of the time in order to preserve battery life, but that can limit its use as a real watch replacement in some situations which I noted in my initial review in May. The first major software update for Apple Watch, watchOS 2, added a new setting that lets you fix this problem.

By default, Apple Watch stays lit for 15 seconds when you raise your wrist or tap the display (which I didn’t know worked for my first week of testing). You can change that duration to 70 seconds, which smartly gets you just over 1 minute of screen-on time before you need to interact again. With either option, Apple Watch will dim again when you lower your wrist.

On the Watch app for iPhone, change this from the My Watch tab under General > Wake Screen > On Tap: Wake for 70 Seconds. This small setting has eased a lot of frustration for me without any noticeable hit on battery life.

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