One of the more unique features on the Apple Watch is Force Touch, thanks to the display which can sense a long, hard press. It might show up in the iPhone 6s, provided support gets introduced in iOS 9. That would certainly make sense, since it’s also available on some of the newer MacBooks. Force Touch allows you to unearth hidden menu options. In some ways, these have an Easter Egg feel to them. But these are far more than just a neat trick. Often, you’ll find that Force Touch options make it easier to do things. There are no visible interface tips to advise that Force Touch is an option, so we’ve compiled a list of the 12 ways you can use Force Touch on Apple Watch. The force is strong…
Notifications: Clear All
As we outlined in our master class on how to use Notifications on the Apple Watch, one of the more awesome features on the Apple Watch is to clear all notifications using Force Touch. Swipe down from the watch face to reveal your notifications. If you have one or twenty, you can clear them all. Using a firm press, you’ll reveal an option to Clear All. Tap on the ‘x’ and boom, all of your notifications are instantly dismissed. I should note that while this will remove them on your watch, they will still occupy the Notification Center on your iPhone.
Clock: Change Your Face
This is probably the most common function associated with Force Touch and most will be familiar with this option. To change your watch face, press and hold . It will reveal an option to customize your current watch face. You can swipe left or right to change between faces. From any face, you’ll have an assortment of options from changing the color, adding different complications and more.
Music: Change the Source, Access Now Playing
Force Touch in the Music app will let you access Now Playing and music source. From anywhere within the Music app, you can easily access ‘Now Playing’ by executing a Force Touch. The Apple Watch can also store up to 250 songs. If you sync music from your iPhone to your Apple Watch, you’ll need to change the source to Apple Watch if you want to listen, while cutting the cord to your iPhone. This is ideal if you’ve got a set of wireless Bluetooth headphones and want to leave your iPhone at home during a run, walk or workout.
Activity: Change Move goal
If you’re using the Activity app to track your health and fitness, you might at some point increase your move goal. Apple makes this easy. Within the app, use your finger to execute a long press. Tap on Change Move Goal and proceed to make changes. With your new goals in place, it’s back to moving and attaining those goals.
Timer: Change between 12/24
The timer app has two different clock options, either a 12 or 24. Tap on hold to reveal those options. Select either the 12 or 24 to make the change.
Weather: Access 12-hour Conditions, % Rain, Temperature
The default Weather app is filled with information. At times, it can be too much information. Weather conditions, the percentage chance of rain and temperature changes for a 12-hour window are all options offered through Force Touch. It’s a quicker way to get to the most relevant weather information.
Workout: End or resume a workout
There are two options on the Workout app. If you’ve previously paused a workout, you can resume it. There’s also an option here to end a workout. These both seem handy, considering you want fast access and minimal fuss, during your workouts.
Messages: New Message or within message reply, details, Send Location
It’s no secret that I find Messaging to be the killer app on the Apple Watch. Of all the stock apps, it seems to be the most robust and feature rich. When you are in list view, a firm press will pop up an option to create a New Message. But wait, there’s more. Let’s say that you are within a message thread with a friend. Use Force Touch reveals options to reply, view contact details or send your location data.
Alarms: New Alarm
If you’ve stumbled upon the Alarm app and wondered how to create a new alarm, you may not be alone. This app requires you press firmly down on the screen and tap new to create a new alarm. Lucky for you, the alarm will tap you on the wrist when it’s time to wake up. Just be sure you’ve got sufficient battery life if you plan to wear your Apple Watch to sleep and you’re relying on it to wake you up. Of note, you can set the intensity of the haptic sensor.
Mail: Flag, Unread, Trash
To use Force Touch in the Mail app, you’ll need to be within a message. Pressing firmly reveals three options, all of which should help you manage your mail on the go and from your wrist. In particular, the flag and unread options are great if you are using the watch to triage your inbox. If you read a message on the watch, you may want to mark it as unread, so that you won’t forget to open when you get back to your Mac/PC or iPhone. Similarly, the flag option helps highlight important messages. For those eternally obsessed with achieving inbox zero, you can trash messages.
Remote: Add a device or Apple TV
Who needs an old-school remote when you have a perfectly good Apple Watch. You can add a device, like an Apple TV, by using Force Touch with the Remote app. If it’s on the same WiFi network, it will show up as shown in the screenshot below.
Calendar: Quick Access To List, Today Views
There are two Calendar views that accessible using Force Touch. List view is just that, a list of upcoming calendar events, presented in a neat and tidy list. The today view provides you with everything you need to see for that particular day.
Force Touch is wizardry, made possible through the display technology used on your Apple Watch. On the iPhone, we’re not used to pressing the screen to reveal any new contextual menus. That might change this fall with the iPhone 6s, but it’s available now if you’ve decided to take a leap of faith, joining the early adopters of Apple Watch. These are nifty tricks, but they are also practical, making it easy to find and execute options within some of your favorite apps.
Are you using Force Touch and if so, are there any tips that you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments!