Unlike the iPhone and iPad, the Apple Watch, uncharacteristically, does actually have a slight learning curve attached to it. That’s really no fault of Apple’s–after all the device is an entirely new form factor with software that deviates widely from the look and feel of the iOS we are all accustomed to.
With that in mind we’ve gone through Apple’s sometimes bloated Apple Watch manual and pulled out all the important information that you need to know to cut to the quick and get your Apple Watch up and running in no time. And no, it doesn’t matter which Apple Watch you have–the Apple Watch Sport, the Apple Watch, or the Apple Watch Edition (way to go, baller). These steps apply to all models of Apple Watch. So without further ado, here’s how to set up and use your new Apple Watch.
Apple Watch: Understanding The Physical Buttons
The Apple Watch has a killer new sapphire touchscreen with Force Touch technology built in, but a large majority of the time you’ll also be using the Apple Watch’s physical buttons to interact with what’s on-screen and use some of its other features.
There are two main buttons you’ll be using on your Apple Watch: the Digital Crown and the Side button. The Digital Crown is the round, mechanical dial on the righthand side of the Apple Watch’s body. You can both rotate it and press it inwards to activate its different functions. The Side button sits below the Digital Crown. This is the elongated button that many people refer to as the “power button”. And while it can turn your Apple Watch on or off, it also acts as a shortcut to your friend’s list so you can contact your favorite people quickly. The Side button also activates Apple Pay.
Apple Watch: Using The Digital Crown
The Digital Crown is going to be the physical button you interact with most of the time. It takes its name from the crown–the knob you used to wind up and set the time–on a regular watch. The Digital Crown isn’t used to wind the Apple Watch in any way, nor is it used to set the time, but it does have some very cool features.
Go to Home screen: Press the digital crown once to see the watch face screen or the home screen, which is where that cloud of circular app icons live. If you’re on the home screen, pressing the Digital Crown takes you to the watch face screen. If you’re one the watch face screen, pressing the digital Crown takes you to the home screen.
Return to the last app: Double-click the Digital Crown to return to the last app you used. This is a huge time-saver as you don’t need to go to the home screen and tap the last used app’s icon to open it again.
Activate Siri: The Apple Watch has Siri built in and the Digital Crown is how you activate her. Press and hold the Digital Crown to call Siri up and then talk away.
Zoom, scroll, and adjust: Depending on what app you’re in, the Digital Crown can also be used to zoom, scroll, or adjust various elements. To do so simply rotated the Digital Crown around and the required function will be performed.
Apple Watch: Using The Side Button
Turn Apple Watch On or Off: Press and hold the Side button to turn the Apple Watch on or off.
Show or hide friends list: Press the Side button once to bring up your friend’s list shortcut screen. From here you can see up to 12 of your friends, then rotate the Digital Crown to select one and tap the way you want to communicate with them.
Activate Apple Pay: Double-click the Side button to activate Apple Pay. Your payment cards will appear. Swipe through them to choose your payment method and then hold your Apple Watch near the payment terminal to process the transaction.
Apple Watch: Pairing With Your iPhone
In order to use the Apple Watch you need to pair it to your iPhone. For now, the device doesn’t work in isolation–besides a few simple features like telling time. If you’ve ever paired a device to another device before, you know it can be a little hit or miss. Thankfully, Apple’s made pairing your Apple Watch to your iPhone as easy as possible. Here’s how:
First, make sure your iPhone is running iOS 8.2 or above. It needs this version of iOS because it includes the Apple Watch companion app.
Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
Put the Apple Watch on your wrist. Make sure it’s charged up.
Press and hold the Side button on your Apple Watch until you see the Apple logo appear on its screen.
In the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, tap “Start Pairing”.
The Apple Watch app will go into camera mode. Position your iPhone so that the Apple Watch appears in the box on the screen.
Follow the on-screen instructions where you’ll set options including language, watch orientation, and passcode.
Note that if you can’t get your iPhone to detect your Apple Watch, restart both devices. That usually solves the problem.