How to control your iPhone Camera with Apple Watch

As you may have noticed, there’s no camera on your Apple Watch. After all, where would the lens go? But if you own an Apple Watch, you can use it to control the Camera on your iPhone.

With what’s called the Camera Remote app on your Watch, you can get your iPhone camera set up to snap the shot. Then use the app to capture a single photo or burst, use the timer, change between the front and rear-facing camera, and more, here’s how.

Camera Remote settings on Apple Watch

The Camera Remote app sits with the rest of your Apple Watch apps. So open it up and make sure your iPhone is nearby. If the Camera on your iPhone is not open, launching this app on your Watch should prompt it, but if not, simply open Camera on your iPhone.

Before you capture a shot, tap the More (three dots) button on the bottom right of Camera Remote to make these adjustments.

Settings in Camera Remote on Apple Watch

Set the timer for burst photos

If you enable the Timer for the three seconds allowed, this will capture a burst of photos on your iPhone. It’s also super handy for giving you more time to get your shot set up if it’s not already.

Select the camera

Below the timer, you have an option to switch from the Front to the Rear facing camera and back again. This is ideal when combining it with the timer for getting everyone’s attention for that group photo or yourself ready for your selfie.

Timer and Camera in Remote on Apple Watch

Adjust the flash

You can use Auto, On, or Off for your iPhone Camera Flash setting. Just tap to use flash if you discover the light is lower than expected or turn it off if you’re in a sunny spot.

Flash in Camera Remote on Apple Watch

Enable Live Photos

Like with the flash setting, you can use Auto, On, or Off for Live Photo. If you plan to send or share the photo, you may want to disable Live Photos to save on file size. And, you can do this easily on your Watch.

Live Photo in Camera Remote on Apple Watch

Change the HDR

The HDR (high dynamic range) settings available are simply On or Off. If you’re in a high-contrast environment, you may want to turn on HDR to capture the highest quality photo. To learn more, check out our explainer for HDR, Auto HDR, and Smart HDR for your iPhone photography.

HDR in Camera Remote on Apple Watch

Tap Done when you finish adjusting the settings and then continue to capture your photo.

Capture a photo or video on Apple Watch

When your perfect shot is in the viewfinder on your iPhone and in the Camera Remote app on your Watch, simply tap the Shutter button your wrist to capture it. The photo will appear in the Photos app on your iPhone like any other.

Shutter Button in Camera Remote on Apple Watch

If you’d like to zoom in on your subject, you can do this on Apple Watch as well. Turn the Digital Crown to zoom in or out of the shot.

You can also set the focal point in the Camera Remote app. Tap the viewfinder on the Watch and you’ll see the yellow square appear just like on your iPhone. You can tap any spot until you capture exactly what you want to focus on.

When you finish, review the photos you take similarly to on iPhone. On the bottom left corner of the viewfinder, you’ll see a tiny thumbnail you can tap to see the last photo captured.

Review Photos in Camera Remote on Apple Watch

One more handy way to use the Camera Remote app on your Watch is to capture a quick video. Instead of tapping the Shutter button, hold it. Continue holding to record your video and release when you’re done.

Finally, if you choose a different capture type on your iPhone Camera such as portrait, video, or time-lapse, your Watch will comply. The only setting not currently supported in the Camera Remote app is panoramic photos.

Wrapping it up

It’s not always convenient to hold your iPhone and take a photo with it. You may want to prop your phone up someplace or squeeze it into a small spot. With the Camera Remote app on your Apple Watch, you can simply place your iPhone to capture the shot and snap it on your wrist.

Have you tried using your Apple Watch to control the Camera on your iPhone yet? If so, and you have tips to share, please comment below or on Twitter!