Apple products are best known for working seamlessly with each other. Once you’re part of the Apple ecosystem, it’s hard to leave.
Adding Apple Watch to the ecosystem and pairing it with your Mac makes your workflow more seamless and convenient. From unlocking your MacBook to making purchases, there’s no shortage of features Apple Watch offers that enhance your entire experience.
Here, we’ll discuss five unique ways you can use your Apple Watch and Mac together, but before that, you’ll need to meet a few prerequisites.
Before you use your Apple Watch with a Mac
To use most of the features of Apple Watch, you should keep in mind the following:
- Your Apple Watch must be running watchOS 3 or higher.
- Your Mac and Apple Watch must use the same Apple ID.
- Your Mac must be close to your Apple Watch.
1. Unlock your Mac with your Apple Watch
Unlocking your Mac with Apple Watch is one of the most valuable features, especially for Macs that don’t have Touch ID. You must first set up a four-digit passcode on your Apple Watch with your iPhone to enable this.
Once your Apple Watch is password protected, you’re ready to turn on the unlock feature on your Mac. To do this, go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy section on your Mac.
Click General and check the Use your Apple Watch to unlock apps and your Mac cash register. You will now be able to unlock your Mac and any apps that require login information with your Apple Watch.
To disable it, simply uncheck the box.
If the feature doesn’t work, you’ll need to update your Apple Watch to the latest version of watchOS and enable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on your Mac and Apple Watch.
You should also make sure that your Mac supports automatic unlocking. To see if your Mac is compatible, press and hold Option and click the Apple icon in the menu bar. Select System information in the dropdown menu.
In the sidebar, click Wifi. Under the Interface section, check if auto unlock is compatible or not. According to Apple, any Mac from mid-2013 or later supports this feature.
2. Authenticate apps with Apple Watch
After you allow your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac, you’ll also be able to use it to authenticate your Mac apps. When you download an app to your Mac, you’ll see an approval request on your Apple Watch. To authenticate it, all you have to do is press the side button on your watch twice.
You’ll get similar approval requests when apps on your Mac require permission to perform certain tasks, like view passwords, sign in with saved account details, and unlock notes.
You can also download an authenticator app like Authy on your Mac and Apple Watch to store your 2FA codes on the wearable. Data is synced across all your Apple devices (as long as they use the same iCloud account). You can confirm your identity on your Apple Watch to generate a one-time password (OTP) required to sign in to an app on your Mac.
3. Change audio with Apple Watch
Using the Remote app on your Apple Watch, you can connect it to your iTunes library on Mac. Open the Remote app on your Apple Watch and tap add device. You will see a four digit number on the screen.
Without closing the Remote app on Apple Watch, open the Music app on your Mac and under the Devices in the sidebar, you’ll see the name of your Apple Watch. If not, make sure you haven’t closed the Remote app on your Apple Watch and you can still see the four-digit number on it.
Type in the code you see on your Apple Watch and iTunes will confirm that your Apple Watch is connected and you can now control your music with the watch. With your Apple Watch, you can adjust the volume, play, pause, and change songs.
You can also control Spotify on your Mac by downloading the native Spotify app on your Apple Watch. In the Spotify app, you can do almost everything you would on the desktop, including liking songs, enabling shuffle, repeating songs, and accessing your entire library. You can also download Spotify music directly to your Apple Watch.
Unfortunately, it is not yet possible to control the Podcasts app on Mac with the Apple Watch.
4. Control Keynote presentations with Apple Watch
You must download the Keynote app on your Mac, iPhone, and Apple Watch for this method to work. Once you’ve downloaded the app on all three devices, launch it on your Mac and turn on Remote controls in the settings.
Enable the remote function on your iPhone and select it from the list of devices that appear on the Remote controls section on your Mac. A four-digit code will appear on both devices. Click Confirm.
After you create your Keynote presentation, open it on your Mac. Now when you open Keynote on your Apple Watch and tap the play button, you’ll be able to switch slides with it.
Alternatively, if you’re willing to spend some money, you can buy an app called Mobile Mouse to control both music and presentations, though not at the same time.
5. Make Apple Pay payments on Mac
You can also use your Apple Watch to make payments on your Mac. When you buy something through Safari on Mac with Apple Pay, you’ll have the option to pay with Apple Watch.
This feature does not work in a third-party browser, such as Google Chrome or Firefox.
If you don’t see it, the site probably doesn’t support Apple Watch payments. When you see the option, double-press the side button on your Apple Watch to make the payment.
This feature will be enabled by default as long as your Apple Watch and Mac are nearby and using the same Apple ID. You can disable it using the Watch app on your iPhone: open the Apple Wallet settings in the Watch app and turn off notifications.
Control your Mac from your wrist
The Apple Watch is a great device that really enhances your Apple experience. You can use it to remotely control your Mac in a variety of ways, from unlocking it to controlling your Keynote presentations.
Considering how popular it is among the Apple community, there is no doubt that Apple will continue to come up with more exciting features. Even as a standalone device, Apple Watch is a powerful smartwatch packed with valuable features.