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  1. Computer Skills
  2. Apple Watch
Computers

Getting Started With Apple Watch

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Difficulty:BeginnerLength:MediumLanguages:

The Apple Watch is one of the most hyped products of recent years and it can be purchased from Apple from the 24th April 2015. If you're a lucky early-adopter, or are considering an Apple Watch, this tutorial gets you started with Apple's newest technology.

In the Box

  • Apple Watch
  • Magnetic charging cable
  • USB power adapter
  • Two straps
  • Quick start guide

Getting Started

Gone are the days when you needed a Mac, or a PC, to activate a device such as used to be required with iPhones and iPads. It's all wireless, these days, but you will need an iPhone running iOS 8.2, or later, in order to set up the Apple Watch.

What You Need

  • Apple Watch
  • iPhone running iOS 8.2 or later

Setting Up Apple Watch

To get started with the Apple Watch, ensure that the iPhone is running iOS 8.2 or later. If it is not, on the iPhone go to Settings > General > Software Update. Note, you may need to plug the iPhone into a power source in order to update.

Assuming the iPhone is up to date, place the Apple Watch on your wrist and press and hold the the button on the side of the Watch until you seen an Apple logo.

The Watch will prompt you to position the iPhone such that the Watch appears in the camera viewfinder. This starts the pairing procedure during which you will select language, watch orientation (which wrist you will wear it on) and passcode. These settings can be changed later, if required.

The Display

In keeping with Apple's iPhones and, increasingly, it's Macs, the Apple Watch display is a Retina Display. Retina Display is Apple's marketing-speak for a pixel density so fine that it is indiscernible to the naked eye when viewed at a normal distance for which the product would be used.  In short, you can not see the individual pixels.  No doubt they'd tell you that they have reimagined the display.

Apple Watch Chronograph watch face
Apple Watch Chronograph watch face

The result is incredible sharpness of text and images that make it easy to read, even whilst moving.

Physically, the display is made of strengthened Ion-X glass, on the Watch Sport models. On the Watch Edition and Watch models, the display is sapphire laminated and polished surface that is said to be the hardest transparent material possible second only to diamond. 

Navigation

Navigation remains fluid on a display that is much smaller than that on an iphone. Apps are represented by circular icons that are large in the centre and smaller towards the edges. 

Apple Watch Apps
Apple Watch Apps

Drag a finger across the touch-sensitive screen to explore the apps and click to select. After seven and a half years using iPhones, the interface is different though familiar.

Digital Crown

The digital crown is a new input device that allows that fluidly zooms into apps and enables precise adjustment, such as inputting dates or times, that does not obstruct the display as you use the watch. 

The Digital Crown rotary control
The Digital Crown rotary control

It's the Apple Watch equivalent of pinch to zoom used in iOS on the iPhone and iPad. That's an important point.

The digital crown is also the home button that takes you back to the screen of circular app icons. Press the digital crown to return to the home screen.

The crown, on the upper right hand side of the watch Note, the crown is on the lower left hand side for left-handed people, and others, who choose to wear the device on their right wrist.

Button

Pressing the button, below the digital crown, shows friends enabling efficient contact with others.

Customise up to 12 frequent contacts
Customise up to 12 frequent contacts

Touch and Press: Force Touch

The display senses not only touch but force. The Apple Watch is able to determine the difference between a tap and a press. 

This allows for contextually specific controls where Force Touch, pressing firmly on the screen, brings up additional controls or settings within a given app.

For example, you can use Force Touch to set new watch faces on the Apple Watch. 

Swipe

Just as you use a finger to swipe on the screen of an iOS device, or a Magic TrackPad, you can do so with the Apple Watch.

It's an essential form of navigation. Swipe up from the bottom of the watch face to reveal Glances—scannable summaries of useful and frequently accessed information—and swipe left and right to navigate through apps such as Weather, Calendar and Maps.

Haptic Feedback

It's not just what you see on the screen, or hear from the speaker, the Apple Watch uses a Linear Actuator that provides haptic feedback. 

In plain English, that means the device is capable of vibrating in different ways to provide physical feedback or clues that Apple calls "...a discreet and nuanced experience..."

For example, the Apple Watch can gently tap you on the wrist whenever you receive an alert or notification.

Customise

Whilst the physical Apple Watch allows for a limited degree of customisation, in terms of choosing and changing the straps, the user interface permits almost endless customisation to suit personal preferences. 

A watch is no longer just about showing the time, ...and the Apple Watch does so to within 50 milliseconds of the definitive global time standard.

Clock

Apple watch allows you to select a clock face, digital or analogue or both, for any time zone or many time zones. You can add detail down to seconds and milliseconds. You can change the colours and add more functionality. 

Choose from ten different watch faces
Choose from ten different watch faces

In watchmaking parlance additional functionality is known as complications. Of course, Apple allows for many complications such as moon phases, sunrise and sunset times and more.

The gyroscope and accelerometer inside the watch detect when you lift your arm, to look at the watch face, and illuminate the display.

Glances

Glances is the name for functionality that has been introduced for rapid and easy access to scannable summaries of frequently used or requested information.

Access useful info quickly with Glances
Access useful info, quickly, with Glances

For example, this might be the weather forecast, determining your current location on a map or checking the calendar.

Glances are accessed by swiping up, from the bottom of the display, and swiping left or right, depending upon how many Glances you have configured. A tap on any of the Glances opens the corresponding app.

Notifications

Notifications is a way for apps to keep you informed of important or useful information. Information such as reminders, exercise reminders, calendar events, messages, and many more from third-party apps.

Notifications are saved in the event that you can not view them immediately. To view saved Notifications, swipe down from the top of the Watch screen.

To dismiss a Notification, swipe down on the Notification or scroll to the bottom and tap Dismiss.

Of course, receiving too many Notifications can prove counter-productive. In order to choose which Notifications are important enough to receive, on the iPhone go to Settings > Notifications to choose those required. 

Next, on the Apple Watch, open My Watch > Notifications then select a specific app and choose Mirror my iPhone.

It is possible to customise the Notifications to receive different Notifications from the iPhone, if required. Select Custom, instead.

World Clock

World Clock allows the time to be checked in other locations around the globe. If you work as part of a global team, like I do, this is invaluable.

Apple World Clock
Apple World Clock

It's as simple as asking Siri "What time is it in Melbourne?", or your choice of city.

Alternatively, open the World Clock app and turn the Digital Crown to scroll through the list of cities. If you find it easier, you can swipe the watch face to scroll.

If you require more information about a particular city, tap the name of the city. This brings up further information such as sunrise and sunset times.

To add any city to the World Clock list, tap the + button in the Clock app on the iPhone.

Alarm

To add an alarm, tap the Alarm Clock app to open it. Press firmly on the display then tap New + > Change Time, select AM or PM, tap hours or minutes and use the digital crown to select the value.

Setting the alarm
Setting the alarm

Any alarms set can be edited to change the time, can be adjusted to make a sound, vibrate the Watch or both and can be deleted if no longer required.

Timer

Accessed from the Timer app, on the Apple Watch, it is possible to set timers of up to 24 hours.

The timer
The timer
Use Siri by saying, "Set timer for five minutes", for example. Alternatively, tap on the app, tap hours or minutes and use the Digital Crown to select the value of each.

When you're ready, tap Start.

Stopwatch

Open the Stopwatch app to time an event. Controls are self-explanatory with Start and Stop. Tap the Lap button to record a lap or split event, such as the lap of a track.

The Stopwatch
The Stopwatch

Stopwatch can display in analogue or digital formats and can be customised to display on a watch face.

Further features of Stopwatch enable results information to be displayed as a list or a graph.

Calendar

The Calender app on the Apple Watch displays scheduled events, and events to which you have been invited, for the coming week.

The Calendar
The Calendar

Use Siri to ask "What's my next event?" or open the Calendar app to view the Calendar, Review events for the day, View a different day's events, see a full month calendar or switch between a single list of events and a daily timeline.

Calendar is even clever enough to estimate the time it will take to get to a meeting and to give you directions.

Stocks

Siri makes it easy to track stocks by asking a question. For example, "What is the current price for Apple stock?

Stocks on Apple Watch
Stocks on Apple Watch

Alternatively, tap the Stocks app to open it and Add, Delete or Reorder stock information.

Stocks allows the customisation of data seen. This can be the Points Change, Percentage Change or Market Capitalisation.

Again, stock information can be customised to appear on a watch face.

Weather

The Weather app displays an hourly forecast of temperature, whether it will be sunny or cloudy and rain. It also gives a 10-day forecast if you scroll down.

Weather information on your wrist
Weather information on your wrist

Swiping left or right displays other cities and you can use Siri to ask what the forecast is for any given city.

Weather can be displyed on the watch face by customising what information you want displayed.

Activity

The Apple Watch is capable of tracking fitness goals and daily activity. Before it does this, you must enter information about yourself such as Gender, Age, Height and Weight.

Progress can be checked by opening the Activity app and information about excercise, standing can calories burned can be viewed as rings or graphs.

Apple Watch can track activity and fitness goals
Apple Watch can track activity and fitness goals

Each week's achievements will be notified to you on a Monday and you can adjust the goals based on performance.

Sunrise/Sunset

I'm not sure how useful this information is until I actually need it for a reason, but it is there nevertheless. 

Sunrise and Sunset times can be accessed through the World Clock and displayed for any chosen city. It is also possible to customise the watch face to show this information by default.

Important if you need to know the UK legal definition of Hours of Darkness, for example.  (Hours of darkness is officially half an hour after sunset to half an hour before sunrise.)

How to Charge the Battery

No doubt, the first new days exploring a new device means that the battery will suffer. 

The Apple Watch MagSafe inductive charger
The Apple Watch ‘MagSafe' inductive charger

When you've finished for the day, or when the battery has almost depleted, the reverse of the Apple Watch connects to a magnetic charger that uses Apple's MagSafe technology to ensure that it connects in precisely the correct place to commence the inductive charging process.

That means that there are no exposed electrical contacts to become fluffed up with, erm, fluff, or to become corroded from sweat. It also means that the Apple Watch can be connected correctly to the charger in the dark, because you might want do that with the lights off.

Goodnight

No doubt, after the first day playing with the Apple Watch, it's going to need some juice. Charge the Apple Watch with the supplied inductive charger which aligns itself correctly with the back of the watch.  

Whilst the Watch is charging, a red lightning-strike will be displayed, changing to green when charging is complete.

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