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Taking Remote Videos with An Apple Watch

The title of this post should be, “How to use the Apple Watch to Unlock the iPhone to Take Remote Videos (Not Still Photos),” but I think that title is too long. So, I opted for the above title instead.

Sam & DaveThe iPhone and Apple Watch are a dynamic combo. They’re like Batman and Robin or Sam and Dave. The two together can make life pleasant and much easier (or difficult for the technophobe). It especially comes in handy when taking remote videos.

Controlling the Camera Remotely

I knew I could remotely control the camera from my Apple watch and have done so successfully. I’ve taken a slew of photos using the remote function. However, I ran into difficulty when it came to taking videos remotely. This was particularly difficult when I needed to use the rear camera for the filming while the front of the phone was not near or convenient to access. For example, when I use an overhead camera stand to record my keystrokes while typing on a portable keyboard (really exciting stuff).

iPhone in Overhead Stand
When I finally got the right camera angle, I had to stand up, unlock the phone, set the camera to video, reposition myself, and then tap record on the Apple Watch. After watching the video and having to retake it several times, I had to wash, rinse, and repeat. Constantly unlocking the phone (while it’s attached to a clamp) is cumbersome.

If only I could take videos from my watch without having to reset the iPhone constantly.

Remote Videos: Ask the Question and the Answer Appears

Well, with a few keystrokes typed into a search engine, I discovered I could. Locking the camera and taking videos using remote access requires making a small setting change on the iPhone. By implementing the change, you can use the Apple Watch to unlock the camera and take videos. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Go into Settings on the iPhone
  2. Scroll down to Camera
  3. In Camera, tap Preserve Settings
  4. Move the slider to enable Camera Mode

Preserve Settings
By enabling Camera Mode, you save the mode you last used on the camera. By default, the iPhone will always return to taking photos. However, by preserving the camera mode, you override the default.

Now, with the settings changed, you’re ready to take a video using the Apple Watch remotely. Just make sure to switch the iPhone camera to video before you start the filming session. After the recording is complete, you can always change it back to the default setting. The ability to unlock the iPhone and record using the remote feature on the Apple Watch is a huge time (and frustration) saver.

iPhone Video Mode

iPhone Camera: Don’t Fix What Ain’t Broken

There are several other settings within the Preserve Settings menu you can adjust. For now, I only changed the Camera Mode settings. As I become more familiar with the ins and outs of taking photos with the iPhone, I might need to make a few more adjustments, but for now, this is sufficient.

Ciao. I’m off to take a few videos.

Making Videos

About the Author: Felicia (aka Low Tech Grandma) is a wife, mother, grandmother, writer and low-tech blogger.

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