The coolest things Apple Watch can do

The Apple Watch is the best smart watch because of all the things you can do, from tracking your exercises to buying things to reply to messages. But there is so much you can do that finding some of the smart but less obvious features can be tricky. With that in mind, here are 15 of the best things Apple Watch can do. And we can’t wait to try some of the new features that are coming watchOS 7.

Check yourself for Afib

(Image credit: Apple)

If you have a Apple Watch Series 5 or Series 4Your digital crown can do more than scroll: it can detect if you have symptoms of atrial fibrillation (Afib), a type of irregular heartbeat, using an electrical heart sensor that Apple placed on the digital crown. To use it, start the ECG application and touch the digital crown with your finger for 30 seconds. It will alert you if you should seek medical attention.

Get help when you fall

Using the accelerometer and gyroscope on a Series 4 or 5, the Apple Watch can detect if it has fallen and ask for help. To enable the feature, launch the Watch app on your iPhone, go to Emergency SOS and turn on fall detection. Be sure to also set up an emergency contact in the Health app on your iPhone.

(Image credit: Apple)

If the watch thinks you have fallen, it rings on your wrist and an alarm sounds. You can touch “I’m fine” on the screen or have the watch call emergency services. If you don’t move for 1 minute, it will automatically make the call and send a message to your emergency contacts.

Find your way

(Image credit: Apple)

The Series 5 includes a magnetometer to power your Compass app, which is fun in itself, but comes in handy when starting Maps. Maps touch the compass to show you exactly where you are facing. No more walking the wrong way for a few blocks when you get off the subway! Other apps like Yelp and Wikiloc (for hiking and biking trails) also use the magnetometer to help you get your bearings. Warning: If you wear a watch strap with a magnet, such as Milanese or Leather Loop, it may interfere with the magnetometer and lead you astray.

Calculate a tip (and more)

(Image credit: Apple)

WatchOS 6 brought a native calculator to Apple Watch. The Calculator app can do basic calculations (add, subtract, divide, and multiply) and includes a handy feature for those of us who have a hard time with math: the Tip button. Enter the invoice total and tap Tip, then select the percentage you want to leave. No more accidental scorn from a great server! It can also help you split a bill – just indicate how many people share the cost after you’ve included the tip percentage.