How to Use the Photos App for Apple Watch - dummies

How to Use the Photos App for Apple Watch

By Marc Saltzman

Okay, so Apple Watch doesn’t have the biggest screen in your life, but it is always on your wrist; therefore, it’s a conveniently placed digital photo frame. One of the built-in apps is Photos, which is similar to the photo gallery app on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad.

To use the Photos app on your Apple Watch, follow these steps:

  1. Tap the Digital Crown button to go to the Home screen.

  2. Tap the Photos app.

    If you prefer, raise your wrist and say “Hey, Siri, Photos” or press the Digital Crown and say “Photos.” Either action launches the Photos app, which shows you thumbnails of photos stored on your phone (or watch).

  3. Twist the Digital Crown button to zoom in and out on individual images.

    Twisting the Digital Crown away from you zooms out to see more photos, which makes the thumbnails smaller, while twisting toward you zooms into a photo.

  4. Zoom in until a photo takes up the entire watch face.

    Now you can swipe left and right to browse through your photos one at a time. The photos are in the same order as they are on your iPhone’s Photos app, including any albums you’ve created.


    Why doesn’t Apple Watch allow you to pinch and zoom? Your finger and thumb would cover up your photos. The Digital Crown button works better.

  5. Twisting the Digital Crown button to zoom out to see more photos or tap the Digital Crown button to exit the Photos app and return to the Home screen.

    Speaking of photos, don’t forget Apple Watch can show you images that are embedded/attached to Messages and Mail (email). You should see images just below the text in a given message. Twist the Digital Crown button to see the accompanying photo(s) near the bottom of the screen. Too bad you can’t send a photo to someone from Apple Watch. For that, you need to use your iPhone.

A fast way to see photos of people you care about it to press the Side button on Apple Watch, which brings up your Friends ring. You can twist the Digital Crown button to see up to 12 faces of people you care about.