The number of things you can do from the tiny screen of your Apple Watch has expanded after watchOS 2 was released. One very important functionality, is the ability to send email replies from your wrist, via the Mail app.
It works just like replying to text messages and while it won’t let you type love letters on it, the Watch can now be used to send short replies without having to open your iPhone. And even more, watchOS 2 offers three methods for replying to emails: you can speak your reply, choose from several preset messages or reply with an emoji.
When an email notification arrives on your watch, tap it to open the message. If the message contains complex media and/or rich-text your Apple Watch won’t be able to display that. It can only show text, so if you really want to view the full content, you’ll have to read it on your iPhone.
If you already dismissed the notification, but would like to send a reply, you’ll have to open the Mail app on your wrist – to do it, press the Digital Crown until you get to the home screen and tap the Mail app’s icon.
Now you can view all the emails in your Inbox. Tap on the one you want to reply and then you can use the “Reply” button shown at the bottom of the email. Alternatively, you can force touch the screen of your Watch (with the email message open) and you’ll open a menu with options you can use for the message as shown in the image above from where you can tap on “Reply“.
Using the “Reply” button will bring up a list of preset messages (you can customize them, by the way). Simply navigate the list and select the one you want to use.
To speak your reply instead, simply tap on the microphone button and if you want to use punctuation marks (such as “question mark”, “comma”, “period” and so on) be sure to include them into your dictation. Tap on “Done” when you’re finished, and the message will be shown on the screen. There’s no way to edit it on the Watch so you can either use the “Send” option or cancel it.
Lastly, if you want to be super quick about it, you can just reply with an emoji. You can select this option once you’ve tapped on the Reply button – on the reply options screen there’s an emoji button (right next to the microphone icon). Tap on it and you’ll see all available emojis on the screen, grouped in several categories like “Frequently Used”, “People”, “Symbols” and so on.
You can scroll through the emojis by swiping on the screen or by turning the Digital Crown. After you select one, the reply containing your emoji will be displayed. Just like for speaking your reply, you can “Send” or “Cancel” the message.
Regardless which method you used to reply, once you hit the “Send” button you’ll see a “Sending…” message and a progress bar at the top of the screen. After your response is sent you can press the Digital Crown once to return to the home screen, or twice to go back to the clock face.
You should also know you can send replies to existing emails while your Watch is connected to Wi-Fi, even when your iPhone is not in range. Nevertheless, you won’t be able to receive new emails if your Watch is not connected to your phone via Bluetooth.