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watchOS 5: How to access the Internet from your wrist

Arguably one of the biggest improvements, and albeit fairly limited, in watchOS 5 is the ability to access the Internet on Apple Watch. While there isn’t an official Safari app or web browser on the Watch, it’s still possible to access it with the new WebKit API coming in watchOS 5.

Note that accessing the Internet in watchOS 5 is not ideal, but rather a workaround. You probably don’t want to browse the Internet for more than 10 minutes at a time, and the battery will likely die if you use it as your main source of the Internet.

watchOS 5: How to access the Internet on your wrist

  1. You’ll need to send yourself a link via iMessage to the site you want to visit. Alternatively, you can link to or your favorite search engine to get started.
  2. Once you get the notification on your wrist, simply tap the link in the Messages thread and it will open up a small web view. Note that even with the latest Apple Watch Series 3, browsing on the Apple Watch is still fairly slow. Apple even pops a message saying Apple Watch will tap you when it’s done loading.
  3. Once done loading, you basically can do whatever you want. Note that video sites such as YouTube are currently not supported, and watchOS will aggressively use Safari Reader Mode as much as possible to streamline the experience.

While not meant for browsing the web 24/7, adding WebKit to Apple Watch lets you quickly access information. While it’s a neat trick, browsing the web on Apple Watch drains the battery significantly and it’s fairly limited in its current state. For example, sites not optimized for mobile will have a tough time and sometimes will flat out not work on Apple Watch. Another limitation is that you can’t access the URL bar whatsoever.

Now, we just need Apple to update the Apple News app to let you read full stories vs short summaries on Apple Watch.

For more help getting the most out of your Apple devices, check out our how to guide as well as the following articles:

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