Tick tock, my Apple Watch experience, using the Friends button on Apple Watch 2.0

Using the Friends button on the Apple Watch:


This blog post refers to Apple Watches running Apple Watch 2.0 software.


Easily one of the best features of the Apple Watch is the ability to access contacts quickly and make calls using the watch itself. There’s something wonderfully sci fi about talking at your wrist and having a two way conversation through it.


One of the easiest and quickest ways to get to some of your favourite contacts is to use the Friends button found below the Digital crown on the right side of the watch. This function is really useful as you can choose up to 12 people from your contacts list on your iPhone to create something called the ‘Friends Circle’ on your watch. To create your friends Circle do the following:


HOT TIP: First go to the Contacts setting in the Apple Watch app and make sure that ‘Mirror my iPhone’ is selected. This will mean that your entire contacts list from your iPhone will also be available on your Apple Watch. It will also mean that any contacts on your iPhone contacts list that are blocked will also be blocked on your Apple Watch.


1. Go to the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and go to Friends.


2. Once in the Friends setting area you will be presented with 12 spaces in which to add contacts of your choosing. The way Apple have done this is very clever and very easy for those of us who are blind or visually impaired to imagine. Basically the screen displays a list laid out as a watch face numbered 1 to 12 going around in a clockwise direction. It displays, “Add friend, 12 o’clock on friends circle”, “Add friend, 1 o’clock on friends circle” and so on until all 12 hour positions on a clock face are accounted for.


3. Single finger double tap on the clock face position you want to add a contact to.


4. Your contacts list will open on your iPhone to allow you to select who to add. Simply find the person you want and single finger double tap on their name. That person will then be added to the Friends Circle position you selected.


It is in theory possible to reorder the contacts around the clock face in your friends circle, however I have found it very awkward to do as it is no longer as simple as moving the contact up or down a list as it was in Apple Watch 1.1. In Apple Watch 2.0 VoiceOver will tell you to swipe up or down to reorder the person when you highlight their name with your finger tip. In practice this is very difficult to achieve as VoiceOver doesn’t seem to recognise what your doing. My best piece of advice regarding this would be to add the person in the clock face position you want them in the first place to avoid having to try and reorder them. This is a shame because I think the method of doing this in Apple Watch 1.1 was far more user friendly for those of us using VoiceOver.


Deleting contacts from your friends circle has also changed in Apple Watch 2.0. I’ve found that the easiest way to remove contacts is to do the following:


1. Single finger double tap the contact name and a Remove button is announced by VoiceOver.


2. Single finger double tap anywhere on the screen to activate the Remove button.


3. An alert will pop up and will be announced by VoiceOver displaying a Remove Friend button and a Cancel button. Single finger left or right swipe on the screen to navigate to the button you wish to use and then single finger double tap anywhere on the screen to activate it. If you activate the Remove Friend button then obviously the contact you selected will be removed. The contact will be removed from your Friends Circle but will remain in your iPhone contacts list. If you activate the Cancel button the contact will not be removed and you will be returned to your Friends Circle screen.


4. Repeat steps 1, 2 and 3 for each contact you wish to delete from your Friends Circle. Then, once you’ve finished single finger double tap the My Watch button found at the top left corner of the screen under your phone’s cellular signal display.



Now you’ve created your Friends Circle here is how you can use it .


1. Press and release the Friends button on your Apple Watch to display your Friends Circle.


2. Use Digital Crown Navigation or a finger tip on the Apple Watch screen to move around the names of contacts in the Friends Circle.


3. Single finger double tap on the name button of the person you want to call or message. A new screen will be displayed giving you options to call, message, digital touch or send a tap. Note that the digital touch/tap option button will be greyed out/dimmed if the person does not have an Apple Watch.


4. Use Digital Crown Navigation or a fingertip on the screen to move around the option buttons and do the following :


Single finger double tap on the person’s name button to send a digital touch.


Single finger triple tap on the person’s name button to send a tap.


Single finger double tap on the Phone button to call the person.


Single finger double tap on the Message button to send the person a message.


You can also single finger double tap on the Back button found at the top left of the screen to return you to your Friends Circle list.


5. If you wish to switch your Apple Watch off, press and hold the Friends button for 2 seconds. A new screen will then be displayed giving you 4 options. You can single finger swipe left or right to find Cancel, Power off, Power reserve and Lock device buttons. Simply single finger double tap on the button for the action you want to perform.


6. To switch your Apple Watch on, press and hold the Friends button for 2 seconds. The watch will take approximately 90 seconds to boot up. It will then ask you to enter your watch passcode.



In my next blog I will be talking about adding and removing third party apps from the Apple Watch.

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