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March 8, 2015

Secret Apple Watch controls: How you’ll control what’s on your wrist!

by John_A

The Apple Watch only has two hardware buttons but, just like the iPhone, there’s a lot you can do with them!

Tim Cook introduced the Apple Watch back in September and while much was shown off, much still remains to be seen. What we do know is that it has two buttons — a digital crown that can also be pushed, and a traditional hardware button beneath it (or above it if worn on the right wrist). Rumor has it, though, when you combine multiple and long presses, there’ll be a lot you can do with it.

Scroll and zoom

Spin the digital crown to scroll through lists or zoom in or out of the home screen, maps, photos, and more. Like the click-wheel on the classic iPods, it’s a new way to navigate the digital world. (And it prevents your fingers from obscuring the screen while you do!)

Home

Single click the digital crown and get taken to the Home screen. Think of it like the Home button on your iPhone or iPad. No matter where you are, it’ll take you home.

Siri

Single click and hold down to activate Siri, Apple’s personal digital assistant. Of course, you can also raise your wrist and just say, “Hey, Siri!”. Still, it’s nice to have something physical to press.

Time switch

Double click the digital crown to switch between your watch face and the last app you used. It’s a convenient way to go from the time, to what you’re doing, and back.

Accessibility

Triple click the digital crown to bring up Accessibility options. It’s a rumor for now, but it would also match the triple click option on the iPhone and iPad.

Friends

Single click the button to bring up Friends, which shows icons of all the people that matter to you. Tap to message, call, sketch, tap, or send them your heartbeat.

Power off

Single click and hold down the button is said to bring up a power down screen, just like the iPhone and iPad.

Apple Pay

Double click the button to bring up Apple Pay, the NFC-based credit and debit service. Once authorized on your iPhone 5 or up, it’ll work for as long as the watch stays in contact with your skin.

Swipe and tap

Swipe and tap on the display to change screens — for example, to move between Glances — and tap to make selections. Yes, even though there’s a digital crown, multitouch still works on the Apple Watch.

Force touch

Press down on the display to activate Force Touch. Think of it like a secondary mouse click (right click) that brings up context-sensitive options.

And more!

Again, there’s still a lot we don’t know. But that’s what makes the Apple Watch so interesting. It’s something new to discover. And we’ll know doubt discover a lot more on Monday, March 9. So, make sure you join us for our Spring forward liveblog starting 10am PT, 1pm ET!

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