The Apple Watch stands as Apple’s premiere smartwatch, blending a robust feature set with the intuitive ease of use the tech giant is renowned for. If you’ve recently purchased one of these sleek wearables, spending some time customizing your settings ensures you get the most out of your new device.
How to set up Apple Watch
Even with your new Apple Watch in hand, there are still some key steps to fully set it up. When you first turn on your Apple Watch, you’ll see it needs to connect to an iPhone before you can use it. This means you have to pair the watch with an Apple smartphone to get started with the setup process.
This is because the iPhone is in charge of managing the Apple Watch. The phone sets up features, connects to your Apple ID, configures Siri and Apple Pay, adds a passcode, downloads compatible apps to the watch, and more.
So after powering on the Apple Watch for the first time, place it next to your iPhone and wait for the pairing instructions to appear. After pairing, open the Watch app on your iPhone and customize some settings to make using your watch even easier.
Apple Watch Essential Settings
When you first use the Watch app, there are important settings in the “General” and “Accessibility” sections. These options help you customize your device’s work, like choosing how your watch arm is positioned, connecting with other devices (iPhone, iPad, and Mac), adjusting screen contrast, and making touch adaptations.
Once you’ve set these preferences, you can control how your Apple Watch behaves in your daily life. By default, notifications are on, showing alerts from your iPhone. In the Watch app, you can change this and only get alerts from important apps or turn them off completely.
- To do this, go to the “Activity” section on your Watch.
- You can choose to keep notifications on, send them to the Notification Center, or turn them off.
- You can also decide if you want reminders to stand up and receive alerts about workouts, goals, challenges, and activities.
If you want to manage notifications in more detail, go back to the “My Watch” tab and tap on “Notifications.” Here, you can adjust how all installed apps on watchOS and iOS behave.
The advantage is that you can choose which iPhone apps send notifications to your watch, even if the app is not installed on your watch. This is helpful for apps that don’t work on watchOS, like WhatsApp.
Apple Watch Faces
The Apple Watch faces add an interesting touch to your interaction with the device’s screen. By default, they appear when you raise your wrist to check the time, view notifications, or open the Dock. You have various options for watch faces, each with its own style, colors, and complications (useful tools on the watch face, like a calendar, temperature, or music).
If you’re not interested in the pre-set watch faces from watchOS, you can personalize your own by using an image from your iPhone’s photo library. This way, you can choose all the settings to make the face uniquely yours.
For those with Apple Watch Series 5, 6, or 7, there’s an always-on display option. This keeps your watch face visible all the time, but it may consume more battery and reduce its lifespan. If you prefer to disable this feature, you can manage it in the “Display and Brightness” settings within the Watch app.
Apple Watch Activity Goals
One cool thing about the Apple Watch is that it keeps tabs on your physical activities and logs your fitness data. Teaming up with the Health app, the watch can count your daily steps, monitor your heart rate, and more, even if you’re not hitting the gym.
The goal is to fill three activity circles: Move, Exercise, and Stand. You get to set your own targets for each circle, and the watch keeps you posted on calories burned (Move), your workouts (Exercise), and how much you’ve been on your feet during the day (Stand).
If you’re new to the Apple Watch, it starts you off with default goals — 30 minutes of exercise and 12 hours of standing. But hey, everyone’s different, right? You can tweak these goals to better match your lifestyle.
Just open the Fitness app on your watch, go to “Change Goals,” and adjust the circles to fit your goals, especially if you’re hitting the gym or doing regular exercises.
Here’s a cool part: the Fitness app rewards you with prizes when you meet your goals, and you can even challenge friends for seven days, tracking your progress in real time. It’s a fun way to stay motivated and tackle challenges.
To track a specific activity type, open the “Exercise” app on your watch. There, you’ll find options to log different activities like walking, running, pilates, dancing, rowing, and more.
Keep in mind that all the activity, sleep, and other data collected by the Apple Watch also shows up in the Health app. This can be super handy for keeping an eye on your heart health, daily steps, and other details about your fitness.
Music and Podcasts on Apple Watch
Doing your everyday stuff while enjoying your favorite tunes and podcasts is a breeze with the Apple Watch. It lets you stream audio from Apple Music and big players like Spotify directly, no need to mess around with your iPhone. And the best part? You can set things up to store music right on your watch, perfect for those without a mobile-compatible model.
For Apple Music lovers, just pick your go-to songs and playlists using the Watch app on your iPhone. To save you from constantly adjusting your music settings, flip on the “Recent Music” feature. It automatically downloads the songs you’ve been vibing with lately.
Now, if you’re into Spotify or Deezer, you’ll need to do a bit of setup on your iPhone’s streaming app to get your music on the watch. Over at All Tech Nerd, we’ve got a tutorial that walks you through downloading music for offline listening on your Apple Watch. Check it out!
Payments on Apple Watch
Paying for stuff at stores is super easy with your Apple Watch. Just set up a payment method, like a credit card, and bring your watch close to an NFC-enabled machine at the store. It’s a quick and secure way to handle transactions, and you can leave your wallet at home for added convenience and privacy.
This comes in handy, especially after a workout when you want to grab something from the store. If you’re not sure how to set up payments on your watch, we’ve got you covered in our article on paying with your Apple Watch. Check it out!
Set up for family members
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If someone in your family has an Apple Watch but no iPhone, you can set them up in your Family Sharing group and take charge of their usage. This is especially handy for kids or seniors who may not be familiar with smartphones. It’s important to note that you need to be the parent or guardian in the Family Sharing group.
As the family organizer, and with the help of Screen Time, you can manage various actions, including: [Details about actions can be added based on the content that follows in the original text, which is not provided in your current request.]
- communication limits
- Time to not use the device, including a special function for school hours
- Apple ID and email account control
- Restriction of explicit content, purchases, and privacy
Here’s how to set up Apple Watch for a child, senior, or family member in Home Sharing:
- Ask the family member to wear the Apple Watch on their wrist. Help him adjust the wristband so that he is comfortable;
- Bring the watch closer to the iPhone to start pairing between the devices. Or, on iPhone, open the Watch app, go to “All Watches” and tap “Pair New Apple Watch”;
- Choose the option “Set up for a Family Member” and tap “Continue;
- When prompted, position the iPhone’s camera viewfinder on the Apple Watch screen to begin pairing;
- Tap “Set Up Apple Watch” and follow the onscreen instructions.
Other Apple Watch functions
Your Apple Watch isn’t just a timepiece – it’s packed with features and apps that can make your daily life easier. From built-in functions to third-party apps on the App Store, there are countless ways to use it. For example, you can explore 20 different functions and tweaks, or even get tips on improving your toothbrushing routine right on your Apple Watch.
To discover more tips and explore features, check out the user manual in the Watch app on your iPhone. Just head to the “Discover” tab – it’s like a treasure trove of helpful information.
So, be curious about what your watch can do! Our quick guide is here to help you unlock all the practical and healthy benefits that your Apple Watch has to offer in your daily life.