Just got a new Apple Watch? Here are five tricks you should try immediately

Apple Watch Series 9 review
(Image credit: Future)

I have recently bought an Apple Watch SE for my partner and with that excitement came my need to show off all the little tricks that I’ve discovered with my Series 7 since I got it years ago. Watches are handy little devices that only get better with a bit of… time. 

Now that my partner has been able to adjust to the new wearable around their wrist, here are the five small Apple Watch tips I recommended that I use almost every day that you may not know about yet. 

Easy time check

As long as your watch isn’t in Sleep Mode, you can simply place your two fingers on the watch face for Siri to call out the current time. This means you don’t even need to glance at your watch to find out what time it is. This is particularly good at night or when you're running and don’t want to slow down to manually check. 

If you have just recently bought an Apple Watch, this is a great muscle memory to develop, as it will save you a lot of time in the long run. It is worth noting that this doesn't work when your watch is in silent mode so keep that in mind when you check. 

Hand gestures

Apple Watch fitness Assistive Touch

(Image credit: iMore)

Originally introduced with the Series 4, hand gestures can be activated by clicking on ‘Assistive Touch’ in accessibility settings. Once this is on, you can clench your first twice to start navigating your watch, where you can move through menus with just a single hand. Though this is designed for people who may only have one arm to still use their watch, those who find themselves with their arms full will also get a lot of use out of it. 

Earlier this year, we spotted how great it is for walking a very active dog but it’s great for a parent or just someone who has found themselves holding something important. I don’t find myself using this often but I’m very grateful for  Assistive Touch when I need to use it. 

Mental Health Logging

The end of the year is the worst time of year for many, thanks, in part, to the dark and cold nights. Poor mental health isn’t nearly as obvious as poor physical health and doesn’t always come with the same warning signs. Due to its fairly elusive nature. It’s important to stay aware of how you feel and how you can improve. With the Mindfulness app, you can log your mental health in key moments or through entire days, where you can look back on it and regroup. 

Not so much a hidden feature as a heavily overlooked one, if you have just bought an Apple Watch or want to get the most out of an old one, this is one of the very best ways of doing so. 

Easy Siri Use

Dictation on Apple Watch

(Image credit: Future / Joseph Keller)

Though you could say ‘Hey Siri’ or hold down the digital crown to use Siri, you don’t need to go this far. By simply holding your Apple Watch up to your face and speaking, it can understand you and do a basic Siri search. This is great for conducting a basic search to figure out dates, find out the weather, or look for easy-to-find information. 

It helps that pulling the watch up to your mouth lets Siri get a clearer idea of what you are saying and can even be used in light crowds. 

Handwashing timer

The most recent discovery of the lot, in your settings should be a ‘handwashing’ option. Here, you can set a timer that activates every time your Apple Watch detects you are washing your hands. It goes for 20 seconds and gently buzzes at the end to let you know you have sufficiently washed your hands.

It’s a nifty little trick that is surprisingly intuitive. I’ve never washed my hands since activating it without the watch timer automatically starting. Washing your hands is one of those simple things that really does go a long way for your hygiene but gets repeatedly overlooked. If you want to feel just a little cleaner leaving the bathroom, this is a nice hidden feature. 

James Bentley

James is a staff writer and general Jack of all trades at iMore. With news, features, reviews, and guides under his belt, he has always liked Apple for its unique branding and distinctive style. Originally buying a Macbook for music and video production, he has since gone on to join the Apple ecosystem with as many devices as he can fit on his person. 


With a degree in Law and Media and being a little too young to move onto the next step of his law career, James started writing from his bedroom about games, movies, tech, and anything else he could think of. Within months, this turned into a fully-fledged career as a freelance journalist. Before joining iMore, he was a staff writer at Gfinity and saw himself published at sites like TechRadar, NME, and Eurogamer. 


As his extensive portfolio implies, James was predominantly a games journalist before joining iMore and brings with him a unique perspective on Apple itself. When not working, he is trying to catch up with the movies and albums of the year, as well as finally finishing the Yakuza series. If you like Midwest emo music or pretentious indie games that will make you cry, he’ll talk your ear off.