Apple Watch; iPhone screen sharing; Low light

Bob's Tech Talk

Q. I received an Apple Watch as a gift. I love the Minnie Mouse watch face, but do not know what else to do with it. Please help.

A. The small screen on an Apple Watch can be difficult without practice, but I hope to show you that working through challenges has a worthwhile payoff.

I do not have the space to explore step-by-step instructions, but I can describe a small subset of what is possible. For more, check out the link in the Wander the Web section below.

The Apple Watch is essentially an iPhone dashboard for your wrist. In that role it can show you phone alerts when something requires attention. That includes everything from medication reminders to calendar appointments.

It will turn your wrist into a speakerphone without touching the phone.

The Apple Watch can watch over you, keeping track of things like your heart rate and respiration. Once set up, it will call emergency services if you fall or are involved in an automobile accident.

But even if your motor control or eyesight makes using the watch a challenge, there is always Siri. For example, you can ask Siri on Apple Watch to tell you the current temperature, or ask it your heart rate, or how many steps you took today, all with just your voice.

My Apple Watch is a safety net that I never want to live without.

Q. My son lives in another state. Is there a way he can see my iPhone’s screen while we talk?

A. Yes. A few weeks ago, I sat in my car and showed a friend how to set up a recovery contact for her AppleID using my phone. It was simple, thanks to iPhone Screen Sharing.

Screen sharing works on Apple devices that use iOS 15.1 or later. It can take a few attempts to learn how to initiate a connection, but it won’t be long before it’s second nature.

To get started, initiate a FaceTime audio call with someone else. Once connected, you should see a floating control with several buttons, including a red circle with a red “X” in the center.

To the immediate left of the red circle button is another button with a rectangle and a very small silhouette of a person. If you tap that icon, a small menu should appear with the words “Share my Screen.” Tap those words, and in a few moments the person you are speaking with will be able to see your screen.

This is easier to do than it is to read about. Different phones have slightly different layouts. Search YouTube for some examples of “iPhone Screen Sharing” to see it in action.

Q. When I read about digital photos, I see references to “low light.” What I seem to be missing is an explanation of just what low light looks like in practice. Can you help?

A. Some low light situations are easy to spot. For example, a very dark restaurant or the light from a single candle. But many low light conditions seem pretty bright to our eyes.

Cameras do not see light as well as our eyes do. And because our eyes are so good at dealing with dim light, by the time our brain starts thinking low light, it is already very dark.

One surprising example is shady daylight exteriors. Especially in winter or with an overcast sky, the outdoors can look bright to your eyes yet dark from the camera’s point of view.

Consider playing with a light meter app that measures light in terms of illumination (lux). Search for a chart online that shows the lux levels or try the link in Wander the Web. Outdoors on a sunny day lux can exceed 100,000 lux. Your living room at night could be under 100 lux, despite the fact it looks bright to your eyes. In general, anything approaching 100 lux or lower is definitely low light.

With practice, you can see how light levels look from the point of view of a camera. As a general rule, brighter light makes for higher quality digital captures.

Wander the Web

Here are my picks for worthwhile browsing this month:

Lux Photography Calculator

Start to see light in a completely different way by using this calculator to compare light intensity in different situations.

iPhone Screen Sharing

This page shows how to initiate and use iPhone Screen Sharing with another iOS device.

Apple Watch tutorials

This 24-minute video demonstrates over two dozen different features of the Apple Watch Series 8.

Bob has been writing about technology for over three decades. He can be contacted at

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