watchOS 5 brings limited support for viewing web content on your wrist, including a website link attached to a message, optimized for the smaller Apple Watch screen.
- watchOS 5 integrates Apple’s WebKit web layout engine
- It uses Safari’s Reader Mode to render web links
- Web content is supported in Messages and Mail
- There’s no Safari browser in watchOS 5 as of yet
This is what you’ll need before you can take advantage of this cool feature.
Specifically, Series 2, Series 1 and Series 0 models are unsupported.
Attempting to open an attached link on an unsupported model yields an error message saying “This link isn’t viewable on Apple Watch but you can open it
on your iPhone.”
How to view web content on Apple Watch
If you get web content that you like to see right in the moment, do the following:
1) Press the Digital Crown to go to the Home screen.
2) Open Messages or Mail.
3) Tap a message in the list containing a website link.
4) Tap a weblink preview.
5) Interact with the web view:
- Scroll—move your finger up/down or turn the Digital Crown
- Open hyperlinks—tap a hyperlink to load the underlying webpage
- Enter text—tap a text field to dictate or scribble some text
- Back/forward—press the display firmly with Force Touch
- Reader/Normal view—press the display firmly with Force Touch
- Reload—press the display firmly with Force Touch
6) When done, tap Close in the upper-left corner or swipe from the left edge of the display.
By default, web content is pre-formatted for the small screen because watchOS 5 enforces Safari’s Reader Mode. To switch to the normal view, as well as access other hidden options like Back/Forward, press the display firmly.
Apple made the right choice by defaulting to Reader Mode. In case you haven’t tried it yet on your iPhone, iPad or Mac, this mode shows text content and images but without the annoying ads, navigation bars, custom stylesheets or other distractions.
Searching the web with Google, on your wrist!
One of the best things about having the World Wide Web accessible via your wrist: being able to use Google search. Just send yourself the google.com link and open it on your watch.
A mobile-optimized Google search page will show up. You can easily scribble or dictate your query, as well as select a desired item from your search results page.