How to Force-Quit Misbehaving Apple Watch Apps

Apple Watch apps rarely misbehave, but if one becomes non-responsive or fails to refresh data, sometimes force-quitting the app and relaunching it can solve the issue.

Fortunately, it's a simple procedure. The following steps show you how it's done on Apple Watch models running watchOS 4 or watchOS 5.

  1. Open the misbehaving app on your Apple Watch, either by tapping its complication or selecting it from the honeycomb-style app menu/list view, so that it takes over the display.

  2. Now, press and hold the Side button.

  3. Release the Side button once the power down menu appears.

  4. Next, press and hold the Digital Crown. You can release it once the app is whisked away from view and you're returned to the watch face.
And that's all there is to it. The next time you launch the app in question, it will load up as if for the first time, and hopefully play nice again.

If the problem you're having still persists, try restarting your Apple Watch from the power down screen, or consider re-installing the related app on your iPhone.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

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How watchOS 5 Brings Rich Web Content to Messages and Mail on Apple Watch

Apple's latest version of watchOS promises to bring rich HTML content to the wrists of Apple Watch users, thanks to new Webkit optimizations that improve apps like Mail and Messages.

Apple expanded on the new WebKit features at a WWDC session, in which it explained to developers how they can optimize web content for viewing on Apple Watch screens.

Currently in the watchOS Mail app, rich HTML messages are rendered in a text-only format and users are prompted to view the content on another device for the full experience.

Likewise, tapping a URL link received in Mail or Messages directs Apple Watch users to their iPhone to view the web page.

However, in watchOS 5, full HTML emails are capable of being displayed on Apple Watch in cases where text-only formatting can't express the content of the message, and users can also view web page links, as well as interact with them, albeit in a limited way.

For example, turning the Digital Crown on Apple Watch scrolls the HTML content vertically, or users can drag with their finger to move up and down the page, while double-tapping zooms the content in and out, similar to iPhone.

In a Force Touch addition, a firm press on the Apple Watch screen reveals back and forward buttons to navigate through your viewing history (swiping left and right does the same thing).

Apple says it achieved the WebKit optimizations by shrinking the 320-pixel display used by the iPhone SE to fit the 156-pixel width of the Apple Watch display, and then computing the initial scale of the page so that the content width fits within the smaller screen. Basically, this allows text and images to appear smaller while preserving the overall layout of the page.

Apple notes that the optimizations are aimed at quickly consuming content, so some features like video playback and web fonts aren't currently available. However, users will be able to interact with forms within HTML content, and there's also an Safari-like Reader mode, which automatically activates on text-heavy web pages (the Reader Mode option is also accessible via Force Touch, so users can choose to read pages on their watch with extraneous content stripped out).

watchOS 5, due for release in the fall, promises several other improvements and features, including Walkie-Talkie for touch-to-talk communications with friends, automatic workout detection, and updates to the Siri watch face.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

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watchOS 5 Beta Adds Manual Wi-Fi Connection Option to Apple Watch Settings Menu

Testers of the first watchOS 5 beta for Apple Watch are hailing a new option in the software's Settings menu that enables you to manually connect your device to nearby Wi-Fi networks.

In previous versions of watchOS, your Apple Watch is locked to the wireless network that your tethered iPhone is using, and there's no way to browse and manually connect to networks from your wrist.

But that all changes in watchOS 5, if the beta 1 seed is anything to go by. Reddit user whiskey_91 found a new option in Settings where users can search for and connect their Apple Watch directly to available Wi-Fi networks when their iPhone is out of range.

After a network is selected from the list, users are prompted to enter the Wi-Fi password via Scribble (scribbling characters one by one on the screen with their finger), while using the Digital Crown to select lowercase/uppercase and special characters. A Join button then appears for users to tap and connect to the network.

The new Wi-Fi option appears on both Apple Watch Series 2 and Series 3 models, but we've yet to confirm whether it works on Series 1 (watchOS 5 doesn't support the original Apple Watch, or Series 0).

There's plenty more to look forward to when watchOS 5 gets its official release in the fall, but eager adopters are advised to stay patient while Apple works out the kinks. Apple temporarily pulled the watchOS 5 beta 1 seed from its developer portal in the early hours of this morning after reports that the software was bricking some devices.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

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Apple Pulls watchOS 5 Beta 1 From Developer Portal After Reports of Bricked Devices

Apple appears to have temporarily pulled the first watchOS 5 beta from its website after some users reported cases of the software bricking Apple Watch devices.

Several users on the MacRumors forums and over on Reddit have expressed problems trying to get the software onto their devices, with freezes reportedly occurring during the installation phase, particularly on Apple Watch Series 2 models.

Apple has obviously deemed the issues to be sufficiently widespread for it to take action. As such, developers accessing Apple's beta software download portal are currently unable to get a download link and are instead met with the following message:

Seed 1 of watchOS 5 is temporarily unavailable. We are investigating an issue that occurs while updating. If you've experienced any issues, please contact AppleCare.
Both the watchOS 5 configuration file and the over-the-air update have been removed, and right now it's unclear when they will return.

As is often the case, initial software beta releases can be susceptible to bugs and issues which only reveal themselves during device propagation. We'll update this article when Apple fixes the problem and makes a revised version of the beta available once more.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

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watchOS 5 Beta Adds ‘Edit’ Button to Control Center for Adjusting Icon Layout

Testers of the new watchOS 5 Beta that Apple released yesterday have discovered a new function that allows Apple Watch users to change the arrangement of icons in the Control Center menu, which is accessed by swiping up on a watch face.

As shown in this image shared by Reddit user brooksdbrewer, the option appears as an Edit button when you scroll down to the bottom of the Control Center menu. Tapping the button then allows you to drag the icons around into a new arrangement – placing the icons you most often use up to the top of the menu, for instance.

So for example, if you use Theater Mode frequently, you could locate the associated icon next to the battery percentage icon at the top, and move the Ping iPhone icon to the bottom of the menu to prevent accidental taps. Likewise, you could drop the Expel Water icon right to the bottom of the screen if you never use it.

Whether or not the Control Center's new Edit function makes it to the final public release of watchOS 5, due in the fall, remains to be seen. However, there are plenty of other features to look forward to, including Activity Competitions so you can compete on workouts with friends, Automatic Workout Detection and new Workout types, a new Walkie-Talkie app, and more.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

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Apple Announces Student ID Card Support Coming to Wallet App in iOS 12

Apple today announced that student ID card support will feature as part of its Wallet app in iOS 12, making it easier for students to access everything on campus.

The support means students will be able to add their ID card to iPhone and Apple Watch, and use contactless functions and check-in features associated with dorms, dining halls, class attendance, gyms and libraries, campus events, institutional retail and bookstores, and even laundry and vending.

At launch, the new Wallet integration will support student ID cards issued by Duke University, Temple University, John Hopkins University, University of Oklahoma, Santa Clara University, and the University of Alabama.

More to follow...

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

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Apple Unveils Activity Competition Challenges Between Friends and Workout Auto-Detection Coming in watchOS 5

Apple today previewed watchOS 5 for Apple Watch at its WWD keynote, revealing new Activity app features including competition challenges between friends, new workout types, and workout auto-detection.

The new competitions feature works between friends who share activity information, and offers motivation to compete through progress updates, tables, badges and awards.

Elsewhere, a New Yoga workout type is being added to help assess posture, there's a new Hiking workout that records pace, elevation gain, and heart rate.

Elsewhere, an enhanced Outdoor Run workout type that can track rolling mile pice (how fast you ran the last mile) and cadence (steps per minute), with optional pace alerts also available.

Apple also said the Activity app will also automatically detect workouts as they commence, and offer retroactive credit for workouts that are manually started late.

More to follow.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

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