Apple Watch faces

Apple’s Watch features a handy “multitasking” shortcut that Apple did not detail publicly. According to a Reddit user who provided an animated GIF of the feature in action, double-tapping the device’s Digital Crown switches you between your two most recently opened apps.

Although it’s unclear yet if the Watch has true multitasking capability found on the iPhone and iPad, this shortcut is a great time-saver that makes it easy not only to jump between actions if you are multitasking, but also to go back to the Watch face if you’ve just been in one app.

Here’s that shortcut in action.

Apple Watch multitasking animated GIF 001

Getting back to the Watch face is especially important given the Watch’s new user interface paradigm. Your Watch face is provided by the built-in Watch app. This is where you also access Glances by swiping from the bottom as well as the Notification Center by pulling down from the top of the screen.

If you were in another app, getting back to the Watch app in order to access Glances and notifications normally involves pressing the Digital Crown once. This takes you back to the Home screen. You would then tap on the Watch app icon.

With this shortcut, switching back to the Watch face if you’ve just been in another app is a trivial matter — again, just double-press the Digital Crown.

Now, too many Watch reviewers have complained about the device’s supposedly complicated user interface. But according to our own Sébastien’s hands-on impressions with the device based on his individual try-on appointments, and on some of the more sensible reviews out there, it seems that the Watch interface only takes a little while getting used to.

Apple Watch user interface cheat sheet

Click on the image for full size

Apple’s wearable gizmo supports other nifty shortcuts.

For instance, double-pressing the side button brings up Apple Pay when you’re in front of an NFC terminal. Pressing the side button once immediately takes you to your favorite contacts, where you can select a contact to message, call or interact with. Another example: holding down the Digital Crown invokes Siri.

As shown in the flowchart above another Reddit user shared online, none of this sounds too complicated. As you can see for yourself, the handy UI cheatsheet breaks down all the ways of navigating the device. I’m sure the Watch UI will make a lot more sense to you after you check out this infographic.

Source: Reddit via Cult of Mac

  • Andrew

    If a fingerprint isn’t needed to pay with the watch, why is it needed for the phone

    • askep3

      Because it’s on your arm, the second you take it off it locks, and when you (or anyone) puts it on they have to enter a PIN to unlock it

      • Andrew

        do you have to enter your pin after you use your apple watch though still?

      • askep3

        You enter the pin every time you put on the watch, then never again until you take it off and put it back on

      • mike

        Would be interesting to see when Apple attempts to integrate TouchID into the watch. So many possibilities exist with Force Touch.

      • askep3

        Then might just put it in the screen, once that tech comes out

      • mike

        All that needs to happen is for the TouchID ring to be integrated with ForceTouch. Can’t be too difficult, right?

      • askep3

        Where would you put it? I think they could do something with your heart rate maybe? Like the way your heart beats haha.

      • mike

        That’d be interesting. I was thinking more of an integration into the center of the screen, and the device would show you where to force touch. But this is all theoretical

      • askep3

        I agree, but at that point they might as well have fingerprint for the whole screen.

      • Hussain Alsanona

        This isn’t that secure to be honest, let’s say someone knows my pascode, then what ? He/she can make a purchase with the Watch. Not like the iPhone they have to have fingerprint to pay

      • askep3

        Well you can just disable Apple pay then

      • askep3

        If u have an iPhone 6

  • Jamessmooth

    Very cool. I had a try-on appointment last Saturday, and played with One of the display watches for about 15 minutes. I can definitely say that was plenty of time to understand the UI and feel comfortable with the watch. I think most people will have the same experience… 10-15 minutes and you’re good to go.

  • Guest

    iOS doesn’t have “true multitasking” Sorry but it doesn’t