12 Essential How To’s for the Apple Watch

Tech Lists How To

The Apple Watch doesn’t always have the same kind of intuitive accessibility that some of Apple’s other devices have. There’s a lot of set up that needs to happen, not to mention the fact that getting used to the interface of a smartwatch is something that many people will need to do.

If you learn these twelve things though, you’ll be ready to be the master of your Apple Watch. So here they are, the essential how to’s for the Apple Watch:

1. Activity App


One of the best features of the Apple Watch is how it tracks your daily activities like steps and calories burned. Once you finish setting your Apple Watch for the first time, you would want to setup your activity app immediately. To do so, open your the Activity app (the icon with the three colorful rings) on your watch. It will ask you to enter information like gender, height, weight, etc. It will then give you a recommended calorie goal, which you can change if you want.

After you have it set up, it will start tracking your activities. You can opt into daily and weekly reports to see if you are meeting your goals. If you want to see how you are doing throughout the day, you can add the activity rings to your home screen and/or open the Activities app on your watch and iPhone,which will tell you how many steps you have taken, distance, and more.

2. Apple Pay


Just like your iPhone, you can make purchases using Apple Pay with your Apple Watch (where available) and adding a card to your watch is a breeze. All you have to do is open your Apple Watch app on your iPhone.

Tap on Passbook & Apple Pay > Add Credit or Debit Card > Next > If you are using the card on file with iTunes, enter your password > Enter the security code for that card > Next > Agree to terms and conditions.

Repeat the above instructions if you want to add more than one card to your account.

Your Apple Watch will not detect NFC payment systems like your iPhone does so you would need to pull up Apple Pay automatically by pressing the side button twice every time.

3. Digital Touch


Digital Touch is a way to send your friends with Apple Watches quick sketches, taps, and even your heart beat. To do this, you must have that friend on your Friend’s list. Tap the on the side button to pull that list up, scroll to your friend, and tap on him/her. There will be a series of icons at the bottom so tap on the one with the finger.

A new screen will appear and you can start drawing or sending taps. If you don’t do anything for four seconds, the message will automatically send to the recipient. You can also send your heartbeat by holding two fingers on the screen.

4. Downloading and Organize Apps


There are more than 3,500 apps available for the Apple Watch at this moment. To search and download them, head to the Apple Watch app, and tap on Featured and Search on the bottom right corner. If you are searching on the regular App Store, apps that are compatible with your watch will have the caption “Offers Apple Watch app” underneath the title.

There are two ways to organize apps on your Apple Watch. The first is on your watch itself. On your home screen, hold down an app and then you’ll be able to delete (third party apps only) and move apps around like you would on your iPhone. The second and easiest way is on the Apple Watch app. Once you have it launched, tap on App Layout on the main screen, and you’ll see a mirror of your Apple Watch’s home screen.

If you come across an apps that locks up your Apple Watch, you can force quit it by holding the side button until the shutdown screen appears and hitting the side button again. If that doesn’t help, you can reboot the watch by holding down the digital crown and side button for at least ten seconds, until you see the Apple logo appear.

5. Friend’s List


Pushing the side button once will bring up your Friend’s list. When you first setup your Apple Watch, it will automatically import your Favorites contact list from your iPhone but you can change the order by going to Apple Watch app, tapping on Friends, and add/removing your contacts. To delete a friend, just tap on edit while you’re on the same screen and then tap on the “-“ icon. As of right now, you can only use the Digital Touch feature only if you have that friend on your Friend’s list.

6. Glances


Glances are like little widget screen that gives you information as well as letting you control your music and settings like toggle Airplane Mode, Do Not Disturb, and Mute.

To view Glances, swipe up on the watch face, and then swipe left and right to go through them. The Settings screen is the first screen by default and you can add/remove/change the order of your glances by going to your Apple Watch app and then tapping on Glances. You can also open the appropriate app by tapping on that particular Glance screen.

7. Handoff

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 9.46.29 AM.png

Viewing something on your Apple Watch but want to finish it on your iPhone? Handoff makes it easy. With it enabled, when you are viewing an email, iMessage, etc., all you have to do is go to your iPhone lock screen and swipe up on the little icon that will appear on the bottom left corner.

To make sure Handoff is enabled, hop on the Apple Watch app, tap on Settings, and Enable Handoff.

8. Music


Your Apple Watch comes with two gigs of allotted space for music so you can listen to music without your iPhone through bluetooth headphones/speakers. To add music to your watch, you must make a playlist on your iPhone, add the songs you want to sync, and open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone. Tap on Music, then Sync Playlist, and select the playlist you just made. It will transfer all of those songs to your Apple Watch.

To connect a bluetooth headset, open the Settings app on your watch, tap Bluetooth, and add the device you want.

9. Notifications


The Apple Watch is set up to notify you for every single notification you get on your iPhone so if you get alerts for Instagram likes on your iPhone, it will go to your Apple Watch as well. This could get really annoying after a while because it will tap your wrist every single time. However, you can change this so it doesn’t bother you especially when you are working and don’t want to get distracted. To do this, go to the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, tap Notifications, and then you can change your notification settings for all of you apps.

An easy way to clear all your notifications on your watch is to force press the notification screen and tap Clear All. To clear a single notification, swipe left on the one you want to clear, and tap on the X.

10. Siri


Siri is really useful on your Apple Watch as you use it directly on your watch and don’t have to pull your phone out. To activate it, you can either hold down the digital crown for a second or you can say “Hey, Siri” when your watch is on.

11. Watch Faces


There are a few watch faces available for you to use right now. To change to another watch face, force click on the one you have right now and it will bring you to the selection screen. You can swipe left and right to see the ones that are already pre-loaded or you can customize your own.

Some watch faces like Modular lets your customize the screen so you can add your calendar events, activity rings, battery life, temperature and more. Other watch faces like Solar and Motion only show the time if you want something that doesn’t look too cluttered.

12. Workout App


Your Apple Watch can also track various workouts when you are exercising. Among some of the pre-loaded options are indoor and outdoor run/walk, elliptical, stair stepper, and cycling. If you are doing something other than the options provided like yoga and weight training, you can choose “Other” and it will track your heart rate and calculate the calories you are burning during that workout.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin