Apple Watch Ultra: Use the action button as a multipurpose switch

On Friday, September 23, the new Apple Watch Ultra will be released – and with it a new button on the Apple Watch: the action button. With its striking signal color called “International Orange” it attracts attention. Even more, as a control instrument, it should change how the clock is operated. And more than one function is by no means possible.

“Ex works”, Apple initially plans to assign a function to the Apple Watch Ultra. Training can be started with just one click using the button. Divers should be happy that the small dive computer offers a control option. This can also be used to start the new backtrack function, which shows hikers the route they have taken so that they can find their way back.

Other options are switching the flashlight on and off, setting a compass waypoint or using the stopwatch.

However, owners of the Apple Watch Ultra can get a far greater benefit from the button if they deal with Apple’s Shortcuts app a little. With this, users can program certain processes and actions that can be started, for example, by pressing an icon on the home screen of the iPhone. It is also possible to make the respective sequence dependent on various parameters.

It is thus possible to determine the time or location, for example, in order to trigger specific actions depending on this. Using the so-called App Intents, which Apple introduced as a new programming interface (API) at the WWDC developer conference in the summer, applications in the smart home area can also be linked to it, provided the app developers make use of these new possibilities.

For example, the button could be programmed to switch on lights in the smart home in the morning, start a workout at noon and act as an on/off switch for the flashlight in the evening.

By the way, if you press and hold the action button for a long time, you can use it to trigger the 86 decibel siren. This can be used to summon help in an emergency.

The action button should arouse the desires of owners of cheaper Apple Watches, such as the new Series 8. However, it is not yet clear whether Apple will also install the button in other models in the future or whether it will be reserved for the larger new model with a 49 mm titanium housing.

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