Getting Started with Apple Watch

There’s a temptation to view Apple Watch as a gadget.  It is.  However, I have found this approach to be a little overwhelming.  This guide instead takes the approach of first introducing it as watch, then over time adding details about additional layers of functionality (complications if you will).

The Watch

Strapping the Watch to your Wrist

An important thing to note is that for the watch to be used most effectively it needs to make contacts with your skin. This doesn’t mean you have to have the watch so tight that it’s digging in, but if it’s loose enough to freely rotate around your wrist, it’s likely too loose and you'll miss out on some of the cooler features.

Interacting with the Watch

Here’s the list of technical terms for interacting with the watch. Don’t worry, most of them you already know from using iPhone.

  • Tap - Tapping is what it sounds like, just tapping the face of the Apple Watch the way you would on the phone.

  • Swipe - Swiping is a familiar gesture from the iPhone. There’s no 'slide to unlock' on the Watch, but when the clock is showing you can swipe downward from the top of the face to see notifications or swipe up from the bottom of the face to  ‘Glances’ (short one page cards that give you some info from an app).
     
  • Force Touch - Force Touch is pressing into the face sort of the way you would press a  button.  There are lots of places on Apple Watch where you can Force Touch to bring up more options. Think of the Force Touch like ‘right click’ on a computer.  There’s no visual indication that a Force Touch option will be available but if you’re wondering if an app has additional functionality try force touching; you might be pleasantly surprised.
     
  • Digital Crown (pushing) -  The Digital Crown acts like the iPhone Home Button when you push it in towards the watch. Pressing it once wakes up the face if it’s asleep or takes you to the Home Screen if you’re in an app.  Pressing and holding it for a couple of seconds activates Siri.  Pressing it in along with the contacts button takes a screenshot.
     
  • Digital Crown (turning) - Turning the Digital Crown on the Home Screen allow you zoom in and out.  While exploring Faces turning the crown allows you change colors. When looking at an app that has a list turning the crown allows you to scroll up and down the list.  Play with it, it’s fun.
     
  • Side Button - The Side Button is just below the Digital Crown.  Tapping it once brings up contacts from your favorites.  Tapping it twice brings up Apple Pay.

Pairing the Watch with iPhone

The first step in setting up your new watch is to pair with your iPhone.  Open up the watch app on iPhone and tap  'Start Pairing' then follow the on-screen instructions.  Honestly, I think the pairing is the most underrated part of the initial watch experience.  I won't ruin the surprise but the way Apple did it is very cool and also very straightforward. 

Unlock Apple Watch with Passcode

During the set-up process, you will be prompted to create a passcode for the watch.  You'll need to enter this code if the watch is ever removed from your wrist.  If you have an iPhone with Touch ID however you will be given the option to unlock the watch using your iPhone.  Pretty cool.

Waking the Watch

The watch wakes up and displays the clock face whenever you turn your wrist to look at it.  You can also wake the watch by pressing the Side Button or pressing in on the Digital Crown.

Check out Up Next - What To Do When on the App Store,  a great way to view your reminders lists on Apple Watch 

Check out Up Next - What To Do When on the App Store,  a great way to view your reminders lists on Apple Watch 

Faces

Apple claims that the Watch is the most personal device they’ve ever made.  That may sound like marketing, but I’ve found it to be true.   Your Watch comes with  10 Face types, 8  of which can be customized to fit your individual taste, style, or mood.  I have found that might swap faces 2 or more times per day.  So since this is a watch first, explore the faces.  To change the face of your watch,  wake the watch, then Force Touch the screen (there will be a small vibration on wrist) the swipe between the available options.     Something to try for fun is from the home screen of watch, slowly zoom into each face. Apple has taken great care with the details of this animation for each different face.  They're really cool. Below is a table of available faces and the customization options of each.

 

Customize

8 out of the 10 Faces (all but Solar and Astronomy) offer customization. These customizations come in the form form of Detail, Color, or Complications.  Tap the ‘Customize’ button to customize a face. Swipe left or right to go between Detail, Color, or Complications. Adjust Details or Colors by turning the Digital Crown. 

 

Detail

 

Adjust Details by turning the Digital Crown. 

 

Color

 

6 of the 10 Faces allow you to to adjust accent colors on the face.  The color options are  Pink, Purple, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Red, and White

Complications  (added details)

 

I find complications to a great metaphor for the addition of content on the watch.  Of the 10 faces, 7 of them allow you to add additional information on the face. This can be anything from the current moon phase, to your Activity during the day,  to the next appointment on your calendar (speaking of the next thing your calendar, don’t of forget to check out Up Next - What To Do When on the App Store). Adjust the Complications but tapping the location of the complication and turning the digital crown to change the Complication type. Complications also act as shortcuts to buit in apps. For example tapping a weather complication on a Face will open up the weather app. 

Modular Face showing Date, Moon Phase, Temperature, Activity and World Clock  complications

Modular Face showing Date, Moon Phase, Temperature, Activity and World Clock  complications

Here’s a list of available complications

 

Calendar (Next Appointment)

Moon Phase

Sunrise/Sunset

Weather

Stocks

Activity

Alarm

Timer

StopWatch

Remaining Battery

World Clock Location

 

Deleting Watch Faces

If there are any watch faces that you’re not a fan of, removing them from the list is easy.  Force the face so that you enter the customization mode, the swipe over to the face you’d like to remove, then swipe up to delete it.

Adding Watch Faces

To add a new version of a watch face, enter the customization screen then swipe all the way to the end and tap 

Check out Up Next - What To Do When on the App Store,  a great way to view your reminders lists on Apple Watch 

Check out Up Next - What To Do When on the App Store,  a great way to view your reminders lists on Apple Watch 

Glances

What's a Glance?

On Apple Watch, Glances are a handy way to get the most important info from an app quickly.  There are a few Glances that come built in with the watch and lots of 3rd party apps have glances as well.  The Glances view is activated by first making sure the watch face is showing (this can't be done from within an app or while viewing the home screen), then swiping up from the bottom of the screen( just like the motion on the iPhone to bring up the camera or flashlight).  Once the glances appear you can swipe left or right to navigate between them or tap on a Glance to open the full app.

 

Built in Glances

Configuring Glances via the iPhone Watch App

To add glances or change the order glances got the Watch app on your iPhone and under the 'My Watch' tab, select 'Glances'.  From here you can add, remove and reorder glances on you watch

IMG_2828.jpg
Check out Up Next - What To Do When on the App Store,  a great way to view your reminders lists on Apple Watch 

Check out Up Next - What To Do When on the App Store,  a great way to view your reminders lists on Apple Watch 


Siri

Siri and Voice Dictation really come in handy on Apple Watch, especially since there's no keyboard. Siri seems a lot more accurate on the Watch than on the iPhone. Something else to note is that Siri on Apple Watch doesn't have any audio feedback, however there will be a tap on your wrist to indicate the Siri has responded.   Siri is activated either by waking the screen and saying "Hey Siri" or by pressing the digital crown for 2 seconds

For some requests, such as creating an appointment or sending a message, Siri will prompt you with a confirmation.  For situations like this, you can remind hands free by saying "Hey Siri, Ok",  "Hey Siri,  Send" or "Hey Siri, Cancel"

Here are some things you can do using Siri on Apple Watch:

 

Alarms

Set an Alarm for 6am

Wake me up in 6 hours

Change my 6:30 alarm to 6:15

Turn off my 9am alarm

Delete all of my alarms

Reminders

(Note: Out of the box there is no way to view reminders on Apple Watch, but Up Next - What To Do When allows you view your existing reminders on Apple Watch, and create new ones hands free using Siri, or voice dictation within the app)

Remind me to call Mom tomorrow

Reminder to pick up the dry cleaning

Remind me to take the are in at 3pm

Remind me to check the report at 7pm tonight

Clock

 What time is it in London?

What's today's date?

What day is New Year's Eve this year?

What's the date this Saturday?

How many days until Christmas?

Set a timer for 10 minutes

Wake me up at 6am

Show my Alarms

Timer

Set a timer for 3 min

Show  my timer

Pause timer

Resume timer

Stop timer

Messages

Tell Susan I'll be right there

Send a message to Emily saying how about tomorrow

Text Lindsay Thanks for the tickets

Send a text to 408 555 1212 saying hi

Reply to Brian that's great news

Calendar

Set up a meeting with Pete at 9

Create a meeting about hiring tomorrow at 11am

Make a meeting every Monday at 4 about the budget

What does the rest of my day look like

What's on my calendar for Friday?

When am I meeting with Carmen?

Phone

Call Mom

Call Emily's Mobile

Cal Susan on hoer work phone

Call 708 555 1212

Call home

Weather

What's the weather tomorrow?

How's the weather in Tampa right now?

What's the high for Anchorage on Thursday?

What's the temperature outside?

When does the sunset in Paris?

Do I need an umbrella today?

 

Maps

Where can I get pizza around here?

I need a good hair salon

Is there a bike shop nearby?

I need aspirin

Give me walking directions to Emily's

How do I get home?

Get directions to Yosemite

Music

Play Stay by Sam Smith

Play Lorde

Play some blues

Play my party mix playlist

Shuffle my road trip playlist

Play

Pause

Skip

 

Movies

What movies are playing right now?

How were the reviews for Toy Story 3?

Who starred in Remember the Titans?

What comedies are showing nearby?

Are there any 3D movies playing now?

Which movie won best picture in 2013?

Who won Best Actress in 1997?

Q& A

How many calories in a bagel?

What is the Gossamer Condor?

What's the square root of 128?

Show me the Orion constellation?

What's the population of Jamaica?

How high is Mt. Everest?

When was Abraham Lincoln born?

Sports

Did the Giants Win?

Show me football scores from last night

When's the next Warriors Game?

What's the score of the Oakland?

What basketball games or on today?

What channel is the Angels game on?

When is England's next match?

Who's the best team in hockey?

What are the standings in the AFC East?

Get me college football rankings?

Who is the stating pitcher for the Angels today?

Show me the roster for the Los Angeles Kings

Stocks

What's Apple's Stock price?

What did Yahoo close at today?

How is the Nikkei doing?

How are the markets doing?

Where's the NASDAQ today?

Compare APPL and the NASDAQ

App Launch

Launch Workout

Open Activity View

Launch Photos

Open mail

Show my calendar

Open passbook

Open camera

Web Image Search

Find photos of killer whales

Pictures of Corgi Puppies

Find images of baby pandas

Show me pictures of Albert Einstein

 

Check out Up Next - What To Do When on the App Store,  a great way to view your reminders lists on Apple Watch 

Check out Up Next - What To Do When on the App Store,  a great way to view your reminders lists on Apple Watch 



Digital Touch

One of the neat things about Apple Watch is the ability to send digital touches to friends who also have Apple Watches.  To use this feature, press the side button to bring up your friends list, then select a friend who also has an Apple Watch.

Tap the center button to start a digital touch session with your friend

There are 3 forms of digital touch:

Sketches-  To sketch, just draw on the screen with your finger.  To change the color of your sketches, tap the colored dot in the upper right hand corner and you'll be presented with color options.

Taps -  Instead of drawing you can tap the palette and those taps will be mirrored to your friends Watch.

Heartbeat - To send you heartbeat, place two fingers on the palette and rest them there.  You'll see a heartbeat animation and feel what will be sent to your friend via Taptic engine.

 

Check out Up Next - What To Do When on the App Store,  a great way to view your reminders lists on Apple Watch 

Check out Up Next - What To Do When on the App Store,  a great way to view your reminders lists on Apple Watch 




Making things More readable

If the text on your Apple Watch seems a bit small, there are a few ways to make it more readable

Changing the text size on Apple Watch

You can change both the size and weight (boldness) of text on your watch by going into the iPhone Watch app, selecting the 'My Watch' tab, then selecting 'Brightness & Text Size'. If you move the text Size slider to the right you can see the text on your Watch grow in size.  If you'd also like text t be bold, you can toggle the 'Bold Text' Switch.  Changing the text size doesn't require restarting your watch, however changing the boldness will automatically reboot it.

 

Enabling Zooming

In addition changing text size, zooming is available if you turn it on in the settings app on the Watch.  To enable zooming:

Open the Settings App on the Watch, the select General > Accessibility > Zoom , the slid the switch on.  When Zoom is enabled you can double tap the screen with 2 fingers to zoom in and double tap again with 2 fingers to zoom out.

Check out Up Next - What To Do When on the App Store,  a great way to view your reminders lists on Apple Watch 

Calling

If your'e anything like me you grew up with thinking of how cool it would be to call you friends from your watch.  Dick Tracy, Michael Knight and Penny Gadget did it and I wanted to as well. Well that day is now here. Making or Answering calls via Apple Watch is easy, fun, and has surprising clarity.

Making A Call

Friends Screen - If you want to call a Friend (Favorite)

  1. Press the side button,
  2. Scroll to the desired friend by turning the digital corwn
  3. Tap your friends profile pic
  4. Tap the Call button in the lower left corner of the screen

Siri

  1. Activate Siri by raising your wrist and waking up the Face or by pressing in on the Digital Crown for 2 seconds.
  2. Say "Call...." followed by the name or phone number
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Checking  Voicemail

To check voicemail,  you can scroll to the phone app on the watch, launch it at select voicemail. Note that the phone app also gives you access to your Phone Favorites, Recent Calls, and your entire Contacts list

 

Handing off Calls to iPhone

To handoff a call from your Apple Watch to your phone, while the call is in progress, wake up your phone and slide up from the left hand corner. Or if the phone is already unlocked tap the green banner near the top of the screen.

 

Check out Up Next - What To Do When on the App Store,  a great way to view your reminders lists on Apple Watch 

Check out Up Next - What To Do When on the App Store,  a great way to view your reminders lists on Apple Watch 

Messaging

There are a few ways to send a message from Apple Watch.

Friends Screen - If  you select a friend from on the Friends screen and tap on the message bubble in the lower left corner of the screen, the messaging interface will appear.

Apple Watch has a dedicated button that brings up your Friends (Favorites) list.  Tapping the side button shows up 12 contacts.  You can navigate between them by turning the Digital Crown ( you can also tap on their initials, but the using the Digital Crown is cooler I think).  To see the available method of contact, tap the selected friend's profile pic.

Reply to Incoming Message -  If you tap reply on an incoming message, you'll be sent to the messaging interface.

Ask Siri -  Just say something like "Send a message to John" and Siri will open up the messaging interface for you.

Initiate a Message from the messages app -  Honestly, you'll probably never do this. But you could.

The Messaging Interface

Preset Replies

Apple Watch does a pretty good job suggesting preset response based on the context of your conversation.  If you'd like to customize the preset replies you can do so in the iPhone Watch App under the 'My Watch' tab, then tapping Messages, then 'Default Replies'.

Dictation

Tap the diction button to speak a message into the watch. By default, you'll the dictated results appear on the screen. When you're finished recording, tap Done.

There's another step though!  If  you stop there, and put your wrist by your side,  your message will actually be lost!  After tapping done, you will be presented with a choice of sending the audio recording or the dictated text.  You can turn this option off in the iPhone Watch App, but it's enabled by default.

Animations

There are 3 types of animations and plus standard emoji that you can send. At the time of this writing the new iOS 8.3 emoji with skin tones were not supported.  The Faces  have two colors (yellow & red), the hearts have three (red, blue, purple). Force Touch the Face or Heart to change the color.

Faces

Hearts

Hands

Emoji

Check out Up Next - What To Do When on the App Store,  a great way to view your reminders lists on Apple Watch 

Check out Up Next - What To Do When on the App Store,  a great way to view your reminders lists on Apple Watch 

Notifications

By default all notifications that would normally go to your phone will come to your watch. You can tell than you have notifications waiting to be viewed if there is a red dot near the top of you're watch face. To view notifications, swipe down from the top of the screen, just like on iPhone.

Note the red not near top of the screen. That means there are unread notifications.

After swiping down form the top of he screen you can see unacknowledged notifications.

After swiping down form the top of he screen you can see unacknowledged notifications.

To clear a single notification swipe from right to left on it

Swipe from right to left to clear a single notification  

Swipe from right to left to clear a single notification

 

To clear all notifications, Force Touch on the screen while looking at the notifications

Force touching on the notifications gives you the option to clear them all. To cancel press in the digital crown,

Force touching on the notifications gives you the option to clear them all. To cancel press in the digital crown,

To  customize which Apps send notifications go to the iPhone Watch App, select the 'My Watch' tab, then Notifications. From here you can customize Apps individually.

Checkout Up Next - What To Do When on the App Store,  a great way to view your reminders lists on Apple Watch