The Apple Watch as a remote control – I could finally try it out!

As promised in my article about the Apple Watch I would write an update as soon as I have tested it as a remote control. I can happily tell you, the time has come! Last week, I had the chance to present at a mobility event. I presented from my iPad and used the Apple Watch as a remote control. But let me start from the beginning.

Of course, I tried it out before I had to give the presentation. I had experience using my iPhone as a remote control, which is pretty practical as you can walk around and you can see a preview of the next slide on your iPhone screen. But still, it’s quite big in your hands and having the Apple Watch, I thought how cool would it be if you can simply touch your wrist and the next slide appears. So, I was on a mission to figure all that out.

What do you need to do?

First of all, even though, I had just installed Watch OS 2, the watch still needed the phone to be able to communicate with the iPad. That’s a bit overkill… but well, I wanted to try it out.

The steps you need to follow are:

  1. Open Keynote on your iPad and open the presentation. Go to Settings and Presentation Tools and Allow Remote Control. Then the iPad is looking for an iPhone.
  2. On your iPhone, open Keynote and go to the top left icon that looks like a phone with a play button. Click on it. Theoretically, the devices should either be in the same Wifi or connected via bluetooth. But I just tried it out, it also worked with both devices being in an LTE network.
  3. When you click on the device icon you can either add a device (your iPad) or choose a device from the list of devices in case you had added it before.
  4. The phone will find your iPad and if it’s the first time the devices work together, you need to enter a code on the iPad.
  5. Now, you add your watch to the game. Open Keynote on your Apple Watch. Your watch will recognise the state of Keynote on your iPhone and show you a play button.
  6. Now, you’re set to go. You can control your Keynote presentation on your iPad from your Apple Watch.

The delay is not too bad. But sometimes you need to be patient as it is not instant. As it was my first time presenting from it I had to look at the watch to make sure the play button is visible. If the watch is off (dark screen) you actually need to tap twice as with the first tap you turn on the screen and with the second you tap the play button and jump to the next slide. So, with a little bit of practice you can have your arm down (which turns off the display) and then you simply tap twice on it. I admit, it’s not the most practical way. It would actually be cool if the watch stayed on while Keynote is running. And the best would be if you could couple the watch directly with the iPad. Maybe something to come…

Well, I can tell you, it worked. I might do it again and practice a little bit more before. For all the ones who attended the event and were curious about the steps to take, and were looking for Apple Watch use cases, here we are. I hope this helps! Maybe I will see some of you with your new smartwatches at some next event in the future!

Have a great day!


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