Santa brought you an Apple Watch (first or second gen)? Here’s what to do first


If you were lucky enough to receive an Apple Watch as a present this year, you’ll no doubt be keen to see what it offers, and what you can do with it.

To start you’ll need to pair it with an iPhone 5 or later, running the latest version of iOS. To do this, go to Settings > Bluetooth on your phone and make sure the feature is enabled.

Press and hold the side button (next to the digital crown) on Watch to turn it on, and once you’ve selected a language, tap Start Pairing on your watch, and on your iPhone.

An animation will play on your Watch. Hold your phone over this, centering the Watch in the camera’s viewfinder, until you see a message stating the Watch is paired. You can always pair it manually if things don’t work out or you don’t see the pairing animation.

On the iPhone, tap Set Up as New Apple Watch and choose which wrist you plan to wear the Watch on. Tap Agree when faced with the terms and conditions.

Sign in to your Apple account and the review the settings. Services like Siri and Location will be synced between devices.

You can set a passcode for the Apple Watch (the device automatically locks when you take it off your wrist), and then sync your iPhone apps to the Watch.

Not all of the apps you have on your iPhone will be added to the watch, only the compatible ones. When you browse and buy new apps on your iPhone you’ll be able to see if there’s a Watch app included as well. The Featured section in the Watch app (on your phone) contains a good selection of apps to get you started.

I personally recommend Dark Sky for weather reports when you’re out and about, and fitness apps like Runtastic Pro, and Zombies, Run. The Watch Series 2 is waterproof, so if you’re a swimmer consider getting the excellent app.

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You can install all apps or just sync Mail, Contacts and Messages, and choose which apps to install later on. Removing any apps you don’t want or use is easy enough and done through the Watch app on your phone.

There’s a good chance you’ll receive too many notifications on your Watch, and it will be pinging and tapping you on the wrist repeatedly, so you’ll want to adjust this which, like most things, you can do through the iPhone app. Go to Notifications section.

Once that’s finished, you’re ready to start using the Watch. If there’s an update for WatchOS available, you’ll want to install that, which (again) you can do through the Watch app on your iPhone.

Learn your way around

Once you’re up and running you can spend time getting to know Watch and learn what’s possible with it.

To wake the watch, just angle the screen towards you. If you don’t want to move your wrist to see what’s on screen, you can set it so a tap will wake things up.

The Watch’s digital crown acts as a home button, and is also used for scrolling and summoning Siri. To change the default watch face press down on the existing design, and you can choose an alternative from the selection that pops up.

You can choose which apps to have as glances (the information you require is shown “at a glance”), and these can be accessed through the Control Center by swiping up from the watch face screen. The first glance screen shows you that Watch is connected and the battery percentage. It also lets you toggle airplane mode, do not disturb or silent modes on or off, and also ping your iPhone– handy if you’ve misplaced it.

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A lot of things you can do with the watch can be controlled through Siri. You can use her to start a song playing on your phone, for example, or start a workout. While Siri can be summoned by pressing the crown, the hands free approach of just saying “Hey Siri” at the Watch works very well.

The Camera app acts as a remote snapper for taking photos with your phone, and there’s a 3 second delay option to avoid you having lots of shots with your wrist in front of your face. Photos lets you view images on your watch.

You can hand off tasks from Apple Watch – that is move from one device to another without stopping what you’re doing. Wake your iPhone and you should see an icon in the bottom left ne so you can reply using the onscreen keyboard. Simply wake iPhone, and you see an icon of the Lock screen that shows the app you’re using on Apple Watch. Swipe up on this to open that app in your phone.

If you have a Mac running macOS Sierra, you can use Watch to unlock it. You’ll need to be signed into iCloud using the same ID on both devices, and have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on your Mac.. On your Mac, go to Apple menu > System Preferences. Click Security & Privacy, then click General. Select Allow your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac.

If you intend you use Watch with Apple Pay, set it up through the iPhone app and then double-click the side button on the watch to call up the credit card you added, ready to use with an Apple Pay reader.

Both Apple Watch and Watch Series 2 are great, and I’m sure you’ll get plenty of enjoyment from whichever device you have.