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Better Communication Using the Apple Watch


To the joy of tech enthusiasts, and Apple fanboys alike, the Apple Watch started arriving on doorsteps April 24th, 2015. With it came a slew of new ways to communicate with each other. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to better communicate using the new Apple Watch.

You will learn how to send:

  1. Hand drawn custom animations
  2. Custom tap messages
  3. Your heartbeat
  4. Voice or voice-to-text messages


Much of the communication that happens via the Apple Watch goes through the Friends section. Friends is a part of the Apple Watch OS that allows for adding up to 12 contacts to the watch for quick and easy access.

On the iPhone, launch the Apple Watch application. Scroll down and click on Friends. Click Add Friend, then choose the contact you would like to add. Repeat these steps until the Friends section is full of commonly contacted people.

Adding friends to the Friends section of the Apple Watch App
Adding friends to the Friends section of the Apple Watch App

NOTE: Animations, taps, and heartbeat will only work when the recipient has an Apple Watch as well. So bear that in mind while adding people to the Friends section.

On the Apple Watch, press the side button just below the digital crown to bring up the friends section. Use the digital crown to scroll around to the friend you want to message. Tap on their picture to select them.

Selecting a friend to message on the Apple Watch
Selecting a friend to message on the Apple Watch.

Lastly, tap the finger icon below the recipient's picture. From this screen you are ready to send any of the next three communications.

Hand Drawn Custom Animations

Start drawing a custom animation on the watch face. Once finished, simply stop drawing and the animation will be sent automatically.

Drawing a custom animation on the Apple Watch
Drawing a custom animation on the Apple Watch.

Custom Tap Messages

Instead of drawing, start tapping on the watch face. Those unique taps will be sent to the selected recipient.

Sending a series of taps with the Apple Watch
Sending a series of taps with the Apple Watch.

Your Heartbeat

Instead of drawing or sending taps, place two fingers solidly on the watch face. Apple Watch will start transmitting your heartbeat.

Sending your heartbeat using the Apple Watch
Sending your heartbeat using the Apple Watch.

Voice or Voice to Text Messages

In my opinion, the best new feature of the Apple Watch is the ability to send voice or voice-transcribed messages to any recipient, regardless of whether they have an Apple Watch or not. In fact, using the surprisingly-accurate voice transcription feature means you can send a message to anyone. 

Even to our friends using Android or Window's phones. Being able to reply to an SMS message without having to pull my phone out of my pocket has been nothing short of magical.

From the Friends screen, choose a contact. Tap the Message icon below their picture. It is located just to the right of the Finger icon.

Sending Voice or voice to text messages from the Apple Watch
Sending voice or voice-to-text messages from the Apple Watch.

Tap the Microphone icon. Speak your message clearly into the watch face. Then tap Done. Choose to either have the voice recording sent or have the dictated message sent as text. 

The message will be sent.

For an added bit of fun, combine this with the built-in Hey Siri command to send a message without having to do much at all. Raise your wrist to your face and say, "Hey Siri.”

As soon as you see the screen change to one like the picture above, continue by saying, "Send a text message to _______ that says ______," where the blanks are the desired recipient and the message you wish to send them.

You will be presented with a draft of the message and the expected recipient. Tap send.


The Apple Watch not only makes receiving notifications insanely convenient, but it also make sending messages fun and simple. The addition of taps, animations, heartbeats, audio, and transcribed messages make Apple Watch the go-to device for those of us that love staying connected. Give some of these new message techniques a shot and tell me your favorites in the comments below!

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