In addition to the plethora of health and fitness tracking benefits the Apple Watch has to offer, it’s also transformed into quite an impressive option for those who enjoy activities outdoors. This is most obviously evidenced by the introduction of the Apple Watch Ultra with its Titanium build, access to Satellite SOS functionality, and a few other dedicated features you won’t find on other models.
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Apple has long included a built-in Compass app on the Apple Watch. But with the addition of apps like Depth and Siren, Apple is also now implementing new features that we haven’t seen before. Another example as to why Apple is making these changes comes down to the default watch face used on the Watch Ultra. The name of this watch face is simply known as “Wayfinder,” and includes a rather robust series of complications and tools geared towards outdoor activities.
How to Use Backtrack With Apple Watch Ultra
Along with bringing the Depth and Siren app to the Apple Watch Ultra, the Compass app has also been updated with a new feature called Backtrack. Essentially, instead of needing to leave behind breadcrumbs while hiking, or making a trek through IKEA, Backtrack does the work for you. Unlike some other features, Backtrack is enabled by default and is accessible right from the main interface of the Compass app.
But before you can fully take advantage of what Backtrack has to offer, you’ll first need to make sure that the necessary location services are enabled.
- Open the Settings app on the iPhone paired with your Apple Watch Ultra.
- Tap Privacy & Security.
- Select Location Services.
- Scroll down and tap Compass.
- Tap the toggle next to Precise Location to the On position.
- In the top right corner, tap < Location Services to return to the previous screen.
- Scroll all the way to the bottom.
- Tap System Services.
- Near the bottom of the first list of options, tap Significant Locations.
- Authenticate with Face ID (or Touch ID), when prompted.
- Tap the toggle next to Significant Locations to the On position.
- In the top left corner, tap < Back to save your changes.
- Exit the Settings app.
With the necessary location services enabled, here’s how to use Backtrack with Apple Watch Ultra:
- Open the Compass app on your Apple Watch Ultra.
- Tap the steps icon in the bottom right corner of the Compass app’s interface.
- When prompted, tap Start to begin recording your route.
- When you are ready to use backtrack with Apple Watch, tap the Pause button in the bottom right corner.
- From the prompt that appears, tap the Retrace Steps button.
- The location that you were at when initializing Backtrack will appear on the compass.
- Follow the path back in order to return to the original location when activating Backtrack.
- Once you have reached the location, tap the steps icon in the bottom right corner of the Compass app.
- When prompted, tap the Delete Steps button.
One of the cool things about having a feature such as Backtrack available is that once you figure out how to use it, you might find yourself relying on it for more than just hiking. Even basic things such as trying to find your car in an enormous parking lot is a great examples of how Backtrack can be quite useful.
Andrew is a freelance writer based on the East Coast of the US.
He has written for a variety of sites over the years, including iMore, Android Central, Phandroid, and a few others. Now, he spends his days working for an HVAC company, while moonlighting as a freelance writer at night.