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 smoother and more convenient. From unlocking your MacBook to making purchases, there’s no shortage of features Apple Watch provides 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 some prerequisites.
Before using Apple Watch with a Mac
To use most of the Apple Watch features, keep these things in mind:
- Apple Watch must be running watchOS 3 or later.
- The Mac and Apple Watch must use the same Apple ID.
- Your Mac should be near your Apple Watch.
1. Unlock your Mac with 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 enable the unlock feature on your Mac. To do this, go to System Preferences > Security and Privacy section on your Mac.
Click General and check Use Apple Watch to unlock apps and your Mac box. You will now be able to unlock your Mac and any apps that require login details with your Apple Watch.
To disable it, simply uncheck the box.
If the feature doesn’t work, update your Apple Watch to the latest watchOS and enable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on your Mac and Apple Watch.
You’ll also need to make sure 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 drop-down menu.
Click on in the sidebar WiFi. Under Interface section, check if Automatic unlocking supported or not. According to Apple, any Mac from mid-2013 or later supports this feature.
2. Authenticate apps with Apple Watch
After letting your Apple Watch unlock your Mac, you’ll also be able to use it to authenticate your Mac apps. When you download an app on your Mac, you’ll see an authorization request on your Apple Watch. To authenticate it, all you have to do is press the side button on the watch twice.
You’ll receive similar authorization requests when apps on your Mac require permission to perform certain tasks, such as viewing passwords, signing in with saved account details, and unlocking notes.
You can also download an authenticator app like Authy on your Mac and Apple Watch to store your 2FA codes on your wearable device. The data is synced across all your Apple devices (as long as they use the same iCloud account). You can verify your identity on Apple Watch to generate a one-time password (OTP) required to sign in to an app on your Mac.
3. Change sound with Apple Watch
Using the Remote app on your Apple Watch, you can connect it to your iTunes library on your 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 your Apple Watch, open the Music app on your Mac and below Units 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 can still see the four-digit number on it.
Enter the code you see on your Apple Watch and iTunes will confirm that your Apple Watch is connected to it, and you can now control your music with the watch. With Apple Watch, you can adjust the volume, play, pause and change the songs.
You can also control Spotify on your Mac by downloading the native Spotify app on your Apple Watch. On the Spotify app, you can do almost everything you would on the desktop version, including liking songs, enabling shuffle, putting songs on repeat, and accessing your entire library. You can also download Spotify music directly to your Apple Watch.
Unfortunately, it’s not yet possible to control the Podcasts app on Mac with 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 it on Remote control in the settings.
Enable the remote control feature on your iPhone and select it in the list of devices that appear in Remote control section on your Mac. A four-digit code will appear on both devices. Click Confirm.
After you’ve created your Keynote presentation, open it on your Mac. Now when you open Keynote on Apple Watch and press the play button, you will be able to change the slides with it.
Alternatively, if you’re willing to spend a little money, you can buy an app called Mobile Mouse to control both music and presentations, but not at the same time.
5. Make Apple Pay payments on your 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, it gives you the option to pay with your Apple Watch.
This feature does not work in a third-party browser such as Google Chrome or Firefox.
If you don’t see it, chances are the site doesn’t support Apple Watch payments. When you see the option, double-tap the side button on your Apple Watch to make the payment.
This feature will be enabled by default as long as the Apple Watch and Mac are in close proximity and use the same Apple ID. You can disable it by using the Watch app on your iPhone—open the Apple Wallet settings in the Watch app and turn off the notifications.
Control your Mac from your wrist
The Apple Watch is an excellent device that truly optimizes your Apple experience. You can use it to remotely control your Mac in a number 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 introduce more exciting features. Even as a standalone device, the Apple Watch is a powerful smartwatch packed with valuable features.