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This is the best – and worst – tweak I ever made to my Apple Watch

Published May 2nd, 2024 9:28AM EDT
watchOS 10.2 beta / Apple Watch Ultra 2 Now Playing section appears close to pair of HomePod mini // watchOS 10.3 beta
Image: José Adorno for BGR

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I love my Apple Watch Ultra 2, and I’ve been wearing an Apple Watch for over half a decade now. This wearable helps me get healthier, understand my sleep pattern, remind me to take breaks during work, and even go outside and sunbathe.

Still, the best feature available on the Apple Watch is one of the simplest: Receiving notifications on the tiny screen instead of taking the iPhone from my pocket. With that, I’m always aware of what’s going on, and I can decide whether I need to reply to a friend if I just received an important e-mail or a message from work.

However, I was annoyed by the notification’s preview always appearing when I wasn’t looking at the watch. Even though it might help me decide if I need to raise my arm to see what it’s all about, I also think it takes a bit of my privacy since anyone around me can also see which app or person messaged me.

Apple Watch Ultra on a cactus, displaying the exclusive Ultra watch faceImage source: Jonathan S. Geller for BGR

With that, I finally decided to turn off this preview so I could only see the message if I raised my arm. Here’s how I did this Apple Watch tweak:

  • Open the Watch app on the iPhone
  • Tap Notifications and then Show Notifications on Wrist Down
  • There, toggle off Show Notifications

After changing this setting, I thought I had solved the issue I was having with my Apple Watch. Unfortunately, I’m now noticing a new one: There’s a delay in the smartwatch understanding. When I raise my arm, it takes a bit for the notification to appear.

In addition, I’m now missing notifications when I’m washing the dishes, carrying groceries, and all other small tasks since I need to raise my arm. As of now, I can only perceive the different notifications since they have patterns for regular notifications, iMessage, and calls.

Now, I’m between a cross and a hard place to undo this setting or not. Should privacy be my first concern, or the usefulness of receiving notifications? Also, could Apple improve this delay with a software update?

I’ll keep digging into the Apple Watch settings to discover a better tweak – if there’s any.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.