How to use the watch as a remote control for taking photos

Smartwatch remote control

Among many other functions (physical activity monitoring, health data control, message and call notifications, alerts…), in addition to telling the time, smartwatches or smartwatches can be of great use for something that can sometimes become a nuisance capturing a photo remotely.

With proper configuration, the smartwatch can take on remote control functions to enable photo capture

Although mobiles usually have a countdown option built into their camera app (usually with 3 and 10 second options) it can be insufficient and the smartwatch becomes, following the proper instructions, a superb remote control that enables photo capture to be triggered at the ideal moment, without having to keep an eye on the countdown.

To achieve this there are different methods depending on the type of smartwatch: Apple Watch, certain Samsung models, those using the WearOS operating system and a final solution: third-party applications designed for those other smartwatches that escape the above cases. And with an increasingly extensive, wide and customizable range of smartwatches, it is not always easy to choose the model best suited to the needs of each one.

-Apple Watch: Starting with the Californian company’s model, its integration into the brand’s ecosystem of devices is demonstrated among other things by having a preinstalled app that fulfills this function of turning the smartwatch into a remote control from which to operate the camera (the camera of an iPhone, obviously).

In addition to displaying on screen in real time what the camera lens is capturing, it also indicates the countdown (if the capture has been so configured) and has a button that allows access to other functions of remote management of the camera, such as activating the flash or HDR and Live Photo modes. To bring it into action, simply activate the iPhone camera and open the Camera app on the Apple Watch (represented by the same icon as the iPhone Camera app).

As the two devices are previously linked, the watch app will show what the mobile camera captures in order to compose the scene. The digital crown can be used to zoom and when the composition and framing are to the user’s liking just click on the central icon that appears on the screen in the shape of a shutter to take the picture. The captured photo will appear on the Apple Watch screen for review.

-Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and other Samsung smartwatches with Tizen operating system: As in the case of the Apple Watch, being devices fully integrated into their own ecosystem, they already come with a pre-installed application that allows control of the mobile camera from the smartwatch. For users of a Samsung Galaxy smartwatch prior to the Watch 4 would have to install the Camera Controller app from the Galaxy Store.

To capture an image, simply activate the camera application on the cell phone and do the same with the aforementioned Camera Controller app on the smartwatch. In this you can choose between a photo capture option or the activation of video recording, which can also be paused and stopped from the Galaxy Watch. It even allows you to toggle capture between the front and rear cameras by a swiping gesture of your fingers on the watch screen. From the Galaxy Watch, you can also check the capture result and access the Image and Video Gallery.

-Wear OS smartwatches: In this case the simplest option is to install the Google Camera app from the online app store Google Play Store, compatible with Wear OS 2 and Wear OS 3 versions. Once the app is installed, the operation consists of opening the camera app on the cell phone, opening the Google Camera app on the watch and pressing on the circular shutter-shaped button that appears on the smartwatch screen. From the screen itself, by lateral scrolling gestures with the finger, you can set the countdown with only the 3-second option.

-Third-party applications: For other models not compatible with the aforementioned options (Fitbit, Garmin, Polar…) there is a wide catalog of apps developed by third parties that perform the function of turning the smartwatch into a remote control for the activation of photo captures, but the catalog of devices is so wide that the user must perform a search specifying his model to find the appropriate app. Sometimes the application will be paid and, being apps launched by developers outside the official brand, the configuration may be somewhat more complex.

A small final tip, applicable to virtually all smartwatch models that allow its use as a remote control: to avoid always appearing in the photos touching the screen of the smartwatch it may be convenient to always program the capture with a 3-second countdown, enough time to press the smartwatch, activate the capture and be able to move the hand to a more natural location.

Click to rate this entry!
(Votes: 1 Average: 4)

Leave a Comment