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by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Jason Snell

Spin the Digital Crown, change the volume

Note: This story has not been updated for several years.

The Now Playing glance controls your Apple Watch or iPhone.

Some stuff seems obvious to one person and yet is completely missed by someone else. When I posted my initial reactions to the Apple Watch, I mentioned that I was frustrated you couldn’t quickly flip between an app and the watch face. It turns out you can do that by double-tapping on the Digital Crown1.

Sometimes you stumble on something by making assumptions that turn out to be right, and it’s hard to tell whether you were a dummy for taking so long to realize something so obvious, or whether you’ve uncovered something that other people haven’t.

This is a long way of saying that if you use Apple’s Remote app or the Now Playing glance, you can turn the Digital Crown to adjust the volume of the source you’re controlling. As you turn the crown, the volume control gets a nice bit of highlighting to indicate what’s going on.

The Remote app can control Apple TV and iTunes.

I initially did this without thinking—turning the crown to change the volume just seemed logical. And it turns out, it works! But when I mentioned it to a few other Apple Watch users, they professed complete ignorance of the feature. So here I am, telling you.

While I’m on the subject of Now Playing and the Remote app, isn’t it odd that they’re not connected to one another? I suspect it has something to do with what glances are capable of doing, versus apps. The Now Playing glance only tells you what’s going on with your watch and your iPhone; the Remote app connects to Macs and Apple TVs. I’m pretty sure that it’s just too costly to keep a connection to remote devices open, but it is a bit of a mixed metaphor.

In any event, spin the crown to change your volume. Try it. You’ll like it. And tell your friends—you can pretend you knew it all along.

  1. This tip is listed in the getting-started guide, which is a long slip of paper included with the extra band in the Apple Watch Sport box. I saw the paper but never unfolded it and had no idea there were useful tips there! 

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