Top 27 Unknown Features of Apple Watch Series 5

Here are 27 unknown features on the Apple watch series five and if you have an older version of the Apple watch, a lot of these will likely work with that too. So definitely give them a shot.

With that out of the way, let’s get started.

  • I’m sure you all knew that there is a camera app that comes pre-installed on the Apple watch, and if you open that, you can take control of your phone’s camera, but what you might not have known is that if you scroll the wheel. You’ll actually zoom in or out, and this is actually changing the camera on the phone.

So if you go all the way back, you can see that it’s switched to the wide angle camera on iPhone.

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  • Another lesser known feature of Apple watch series 5 you might not have known is that if you tap on the screen, you can actually change where the camera is focusing. And a feature that a lot of people don’t know about is if you force touch, you can actually change some parameters on the camera.

So you can flip to the front facing camera. You can turn on or off HDR mode. You can change my flash settings. And you can turn live pictures on or off. Another fun fact is that this works in pretty much every camera mode. So right now if you are in photo mode, but switch to video, you’ll see that the icon on the bottom changes.


Let you know that you are in video mode. And if you keep going here, you can switch to slow-mo. And again, the icon changes, time lapse icon changes again. And if you go back the other way, this is portrait mode, and you can even see the notification here to telling you to move further away.

It’s obviously way too close to take that photo and Panorama is the only one that doesn’t work, which kind of makes sense because you do have to turn the phone in order to take a Panorama photo, but fortunately you can just tap this photo text and switch back to regular photo mode.

Now, in case you’re wondering, you can’t change to any other modes from the watch itself. You do have to change that on the phone.


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  • This is another cool unknown feature of Apple watch series 5. If you started a workout and you’re doing some sort of interval training, you can actually just double tap the screen and it’ll show you that split. So you’ll get details for each split every time you double tap the screen. So if you do it again, you’ve got another split for just eight seconds.

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  • This is another cool thing to do with apple watch series 5. If you had an application open on your watch a little bit earlier and then you put your wrist down and by the time you brought it back up, it had already gone back to the clock screen. All you have to do is double press the dial and it takes you right back into the last app you had opened.

And if you double-crossed the dial again, it will switch to the app that you had opened before that. At this point, you can just keep double tapping and it’s going to keep switching between your two most recent apps.

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  • This is great apple watch series 5 feature. If you have music playing on your phone or a Bluetooth device that’s connected to your phone, you’re going to get a little icon that pops up at the top of your watch face on your Apple watch.

If you tap that icon, it’s going to take you straight into your music controls and on the very off chance, you didn’t already know this existed. If you turn the dial while you’re in the music controls, you can either increase or decrease your volume. Just like with the music app, you’ll also get an icon when you’re working out.

So for example, you started to work out and if you tap this icon, it takes you right into the workout details.

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  • This is another fun apple watch 5 feature. If your screen is off and it’s really dark out, or maybe you’re in a movie theatre and you just want to quickly check the time, but you don’t want the screen to turn all the way on and be super bright, you can just scroll the dial a little bit and you’re going to get a very dim screen on the further you scroll that dial, the brighter your screen’s going to get.

So this is a great way to kind of discreetly check the time without having a bright light shine from your wrist.

  • Next apple watch series 5 tip and trick is that if for someone who typically find yourself running late wherever you go, then you’re going to want to turn on this next feature. If you go to your apps. Then swipe over to your settings and go into that app.

Then scroll down until you get to clock. Then open that you’re going to get an option to set the watch face display time ahead. So if you tap this, you can increase the time by say, five minutes tap set.

  • The next unknown Apple watch series 5 feature is found in the watch app itself. So if you go ahead and open up the app, then go to the my watch tab, then tap general, then scroll down to the bottom. You’ll see that there’s an option here for enabling a screenshot. Now, by default, when you first get your watch, that’s going to be off.

But if you turn that on, you’re going to be able to start taking screenshots on your Apple watch and to take a screenshot, all you have to do is press in the dial and side button at the same time. And the screenshot is then saved directly to your iPhone. So, practical application for this would be with the fitness application.

You can take a screenshot of a personal record and then later when you get back home, you can share that screenshot on social media using your phone.

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  • Next Apple watch feature is about music. If you’re listening to something like Spotify, Pandora or Google play music, and it’s on kind of a randomized playlist or like a radio playlist and you hear a song that you really like and you quickly just want to jot down what that song is so you can look it up later.

    You can actually just open up the music player app on the phone and that’s gonna show the name of the song and the artist. And all you have to do from here is just take a quick screenshot and now you have the artists and songs saved for later. Below enabled screenshots is another important option.
  • Next unknown feature of Apple watch series 5 is about workout power saving mode and this is great if you forgot to charge your Apple watch, but you need to use it to track a really long run that you’re about to go on and you don’t think the battery is going to last for the duration of the run.

If you turn this on, that’s going to turn off the always on display and the built in heart rate sensor, but it is still going to track steps, so you are going to lose that heart rate tracking ability, but at least you’ll be able to get all of the steps, the total distance and the duration for the run.

And it will be still going to try to estimate your calories burned, but it won’t be as accurate as if it had the heart rate data.

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  • This is another apple watch hidden feature series 3. If you don’t like the fact that the Apple watch will return it back to the watch face and leave an application after you’ve had your arm down for a few minutes and instead you want to raise your wrists and always be back in the application you just had open.

Then there’s a setting that you’re going to want to change. If you scroll back up a little bit, you’re going to see this option called wake screen. Go ahead and tap that. And on the bottom it says onscreen week show, last app. So by default, this is probably gonna be said to within two minutes of last use.

So if you’re using an application and then you put your wrist down and you did something else for a couple minutes after a couple of minutes, when you pick your wrist back up, it won’t be in that app anymore and it’s going to be back on the watch face. If you want the app to stay there longer, you can switch it to an hour or you can have it always stay on so that you manually have to go back to the clock face whenever you want to do that.

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And if you hate the fact that the app pops back up, if you’ve lifted your arm within a couple minutes, then you can go ahead and turn on never unless in session. And as you can see at the bottom, a session refers to other, the workout maps, remote timer, and some third party apps.

If you like your watch face to stay on longer when you tap it, which I personally do, you can change it from stay awake for 15 seconds to stay awake for 70 seconds.

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  • Everybody knows that when you press the side button, it shows your recent applications and you can scroll through those applications and select one of them to jump right back into it. But a lot of people don’t know is that this is fully customizable. So if you jump into the Apple watch app on your phone, then at tap dock.

You can switch it from recents to favorites. And what this allows you to do is show any applications you want in any order you want. So instead of showing your recent applications, it’ll show your most recent application on top, followed by order of applications below it. And if I want to change this list, just tap edit in the corner.

You can grab these bars and move things around. And if you want to remove one, just tap the minus. Tap remove. And if you want to add an application, just scroll down, tap add, and the application pops up on the bottom.

Now when you tap done, this immediately takes effect on your Apple watch.

  • If you go back to the main screen of the Apple watch app on your phone and tap notifications, you’ll reveal another really useful unknown feature of Apple watch series 5, and it’s called notification privacy.

    So if you tap this, what this will do is hide any sensitive information. So like if you get a text message, message will only show the person that it was sent from, but it won’t actually display the message until you tap on it. So this is a great way to protect your messages from prying eyes.
  • This next unknown feature of Apple watch series 5 is pretty well hidden. You actually have to go to display and brightness.

    Then tap always on. Then enable always on. Then you’re going to see this option here to hide a sensitive complications, and if you turn this on, it’s going to hide things like your next calendar appointment, your mail messages, your heart rate, and pretty much anything else that would be in a complication, that sensitive data whenever your wrist is down, so you’re only going to see that information when you’re actually looking at the watch.
  • So this is another awesome way to keep your private data private by default on the Apple watch.
    When you swipe up from the bottom to reveal all these shortcuts, if you tap either airplane mode or do not disturb mode, it’s also going to enable those modes on the iPhone itself.

    And the same vice versa if you enable them on the phone, is going to be enabled on the watch. If you want independent control of those two things, all you have to do is go into the Apple watch settings on your phone. So from the Apple watch app, you just have to go to general then airplane mode, and then uncheck mirror iPhone.
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Go back to general, go to do not disturb, and then uncheck mirror iPhone again. So as you can see, you get independent control as well. So if you just want airplane mode to sync between the two of them, but you don’t want do not disturb mode to sync, you want independent control on the watch and the phone, then you can do that with these settings.

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  • And in the do not disturb settings. You also see workout do not disturb. If you turn this on, what that’ll do is it’ll turn on do not disturb whenever you’re in the middle of a workout. Then when you stop to workout, it’ll automatically turn, do not disturb mode back off.
  • If you get bombarded with a bunch of notifications on your Apple watch, you can actually fine tune which notifications you get and how exactly you get those notifications by going into notifications tab.

    The first list is all of Apple’s applications, and if you tap one of them. You can get custom options for the notifications. So here you can allow notifications, send them directly to notification center, or turn them off completely.

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  • Now if you allow notifications, you can also change which email you get them from. So obviously in the mail app, and you can choose to get them from my YouTube email by checking that box, and then you can choose to have them come with sound and haptic feedback or just haptic feedback or just sound or neither.

    You can also change notification grouping. Now what this will do is it’ll group all of your notifications under a single notification, and when you tap that notification, it expands notifications and you can scroll through and see all the individual ones.

    You can turn that one off. So now you’ll just get a new notification block for each new notification. You can keep it on automatically and you can let the watch kind of decide how to group the notifications for you or where you can switch it to by app. And any notification that’s within a certain application will all be grouped under that one app.

    So that means if you had like three different email accounts, they would all be grouped under one notification If you did it by app. And if you did it automatically, you’d have a group for my YouTube email, a group for my personal email, and probably another group for whatever other email you had.

    If you go back to the main notification settings and you keep scrolling down, you’ll see all of the apps that you have installed.

    And this is where you can disable notifications for apps that you just don’t want notifications on your wrist for. Sometimes you just want the notifications to be on your phone and not your wrist. So this is a great way to disable those.
  • The next unknown feature of Apple watch series is about smart replies. The Apple watch has something called a smart replies. And the way that works is the Apple watch will kind of analyze the message that you just received and give you some suggestions on what to say.

    And if you tap one of those, it’s just going to immediately send that message. But if you don’t like the replies that the Apple watch typically gives you and you want to create your own, you can do that in the Apple watch app on your iPhone.

    So in the Apple watch app, just scroll down until you get to messages. Tap that. Then scroll down again until you get to default replies. Tap that, then tap edit. And now you can go ahead and tap in any of these and create any custom message you’d like. You can also change the order at the replies show up.

    So if you long press little bar on the side, you can actually drag that up and down. And when you are done setting all the messages you want to set up, just tap done.

    While we’re talking about messages, I do want to point out another unknown feature of Apple watch series 5. If you’re on your Apple watch and you’re looking at a conversation, you can force touch anywhere on the screen and you get a few more options.

    Now, obviously this is just a normal reply option, but here’s the important one and it’s sent location. If you tap this, you are going to send that person your location so they can quickly find you.

Now, this is particularly useful if you’re getting together with a bunch of friends in a big area where it’s gonna be hard to find each other.

Like let’s say you’re meeting at like a theme park, like six flags or Disney or something like that. This is a really quick way to let someone know exactly where you are.

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  • Another important unknown feature of Apple watch series 5 app on your iPhone is the SOS feature. So if you scroll down a little bit, you’re gonna find something called emergency SOS.

    If you tap this, you can get the option to turn this feature on by tapping the button. So now if you hold the side button for about five or six seconds, it’s going to immediately call emergency services.

That said, you shouldn’t be worried about accidentally calling emergency services by holding this button too long because it does make a pretty loud siren sound if you hold it past a couple seconds.

And that siren sound is just to kind of give you a heads up that if you keep holding that button, it will call emergency services.

Alternatively, you could also hold the button for a couple seconds until the menu pops up, then swipe across on SOS to call emergency services on top of immediately calling emergency services. That’s the West feature wall.

So message any emergency contacts you set up and let them know that you’re in distress and also send them your location and that’s your current location and it’s just going to continually update so they know exactly where you are.

So if, God forbid you got abducted or something, they’re going to be able to track your location the entire time as long as you have your phone with you. Fall detection is another way to immediately call emergency services and to message your emergency contacts with your location. But this is really geared towards people who are at high risk of falling.

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So I recommend that you don’t turn fall detection on unless you do consider yourself a high risk for falling and getting seriously injured.

And the reason I don’t recommend turning it on is because if you’re really physically active, like you exercise a lot and you exercise hard, like maybe you do CrossFit or you do a lot of circuit training and things like that, then you may accidentally took fall detection while you’re doing those workouts.

  • Sleep tracking is another unknown feature Apple Watch series 5 that a lot of people don’t know exists with the Apple watch. Now, it’s not built-in. You do need to download a third party application in order to do sleep tracking, but I found one that works great.

    The app is called sleep watch, and you can find it right on the app store. And if you open it on Apple watch. Shows up as a little moon icon. You can see that you get a ton of data for how well you slept.
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And if you open the app on the iPhone, it goes into detail on what a heart rate dip even means and whether or not your heart rate dip is good and how to improve your heart rate dip as well. Russell sleep shows you how much of your sleep was actually restful and rejuvenating.

You also see your sleep rhythm. The disruption shows you what percentage of your sleep you were disrupted by something else, so it should be like if there was a loud sound that woke you up or if you’re woken up by your kids or something like that, that’ll show up in the disruption section Average sleep HRV.

This is pretty cool. So when you use the watch to sleep track a night of sleep, sometime later on during the day, it’s going to ask you how rested you’re still feeling, and you can say that you feel completely rested, somewhat rested, or basically that you’re totally exhausted and it’s going to use that information to give you advice on how to improve your sleep quality.
Below here is a chart. The top bar means you were awake. The middle bar means light sleep, and the bottom bar is deep sleep.

And if you tap that, it’ll actually explain what they are there. And this is all included in the free version of the application. If you want to get a bunch more features, you can get a paid version as well, but the free version will definitely be more than enough for most people.

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  • By now, you probably all know that a red at the top of your watch face means you have notifications. So if you swipe down, you get to your notifications, but what you might not know is that if you force touch, you can actually clear all of your notifications in one shot.

    Most people already knew that if you swipe up from the bottom, you get to these quick tacos, and if you swipe down a little further, you get little icon.

    If you tap that icon, it’s going to make your phone ring so you can find it.Well, most people don’t know is that if you hold that icon, it’s also gonna make your led flash.
  • Another unknown feature of Apple watch series 5 that some people might not know about is that if you long press with two fingers on any watch face, you can have the time read out loud to you. And in the case of the Mickey mouse watch face, it reads it out in Mickey’s voice.
    And if it’s any watch face other than the Mickey mouse watch phase, it’ll just read it out in serious voice.
  • There are a couple of unknown features of Apple watch series 5 on the app screen that you might not know about. The first is if you long press. You can actually move the applications around to wherever you’d like. So you can quickly get to your most used applications by moving them around the clock icon.

As you can see on your apple watch, some little Xs pop up as well, and if you tap an icon that has an X, you get the option to delete that application.

If instead of a long pressing, you force touch by pressing harder on the screen, you get the option to switch to list view and scroll through your applications like that. Just switch back. Just long press again and tap grid view.

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  • If you ever have an app crash or just your Apple watch in general crashes or freezes or something’s just not working quite right, you can actually force reset it.

    You can factory reset it. This is going to turn the Apple watch off and then back on. To do that, all you have to do is hold the side button and the dial button at the same time. Now the Apple logo pops back up and it’s going to restart.
  • This next unknown feature of Apple watch series 5 is sort of a bonus feature because I have a feeling most people know that this feature exists because they probably found it by accident.

But if you swipe in from one of the edges of the screen while you’re on a watch face, it’ll actually switch to different watch faces. And if you want to change the order of the watch faces, you can just open up the Apple watch app on your phone. Then scroll down to my faces. Tap edit, then long press the little three lines on the sides of any of the watch faces, and then you can just move them to wherever you want.

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Let me know if I missed any unknown features of Apple watch series 5 and I will gladly add them.

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