How to change the watch face on the Apple Watch

One of the biggest selling points of the Apple Watch was about how customisable it is, from the design to the strap to the watch face. To change the watch face on the Apple Watch, simply force touch on the watch face. This will take you to a menu where you can swipe left and right to choose between a variety of watch faces, some traditional, some unique. Once you’ve found a watch face that you’re happy with, simply tap it to select it.

If that’s not enough for you, there’s more options available. From the watch face, force touch and tap “Customize” underneath the watch face design that you want to use. You’ll then be taken to the customisation screen, with dots along the top representing how many customisation panels there are for the face you’ve chosen. These vary between faces, so experiment a bit! You can customise anything that has a green outline by tapping it to select it, then scrolling through the available options using the Digital Crown. Swipe between the panels for different areas of customisation.

Once you’re happy with the design of your watch face, simply press the digital crown to save the customisation and then tap the watch face to select it. 

How to install apps on an Apple Watch

The Apple Watch doesn’t use native apps, but instead uses companion apps of apps installed on your iPhone. During setup, you’re given the option to automatically install all available companion apps on your Apple Watch, with new companion apps being added automatically when the app is downloaded to your iPhone.

If you made the decision to manually choose which companion apps are installed on your Apple Watch, don’t worry – it’s a straight forward process. Open the Apple Watch companion app on your iPhone and scroll down to the last segment, which should be a list of all available third-party companion apps. To install one, simply tap on it and turn on the “Show App on Apple Watch” option. The app will then be installed on your Apple Watch. See, we said it was easy! 

How to read and respond to notifications on the Apple Watch

The notification system is an integral part to the Apple Watch, but could also one that users are confused about. When you get a notification, you’ll be alerted with a subtle ‘tap’ on the wrist (using haptic feedback) and if your Apple Watch isn’t on mute, you’ll hear a ping too.

The icon of the app that the notification is then displayed on screen, before a short animation that displays the notification text, along with actions underneath. The actions are a great way to interact with a notification quickly without needing to get your iPhone out of your pocket. Actions include anything from favouriting a tweet that you’ve been mentioned in to archiving an email you’ve received. Actions may not appear for all notifications though, as app developers have to add actions manually.

If you’ve got an unread notification, you’ll see a red dot in the centre at the top of your watch face display. To access your unread notifications, simply swipe down from the watch face display and you’ll access a menu similar to the Notification Centre on the iPhone. Here you can go through your notifications, and if you clear them, they’ll also be cleared from your iPhone’s notification centre too.

How to read and respond to emails on the Apple Watch

There are two ways to read and respond to emails on the Apple Watch. If you get an email notification on your Apple Watch, you can tap on it to open the email in the Mail app for Apple Watch. You can also access the Mail app directly from the Apple Watch home screen. 

Once the Mail app is open, you can select an email and read it, scrolling through using the Digital Crown. It’s important to keep in mind that the Apple Watch can’t display certain elements of emails, but if this affects your email the Apple Watch will display a message letting you know.

Even though you have access to your email on the Apple Watch and you can dictate replies to text messages, you can’t dictate a response to an email. These jobs, it seems, are regulated to your iPhone. It’s not all bad news as the Apple Watch supports Handoff, which means that you can unlock your iPhone and have the email you’re reading on the Apple Watch displayed on your iPhone.

How to make phone calls on the Apple Watch

There are a number of ways to make phone calls on the Apple Watch. If the person you want to speak to is on your Favourite contacts, simply press the side button (underneath the Digital Crown) to access your favourite contacts and select the person you want to call. Once you’ve selected the person to call, just tap the Phone icon in the bottom left hand corner of the display to initiate the call directly from your Apple Watch.

Another way to make a call from the Apple Watch is to call via the Phone app, accessible on the home screen. When you open the Phone app, much like the iPhone app, it offers you four categories: Recents, Favourites, Contacts and Voicemail.  Just select the category you need, select the contact (and the number if there’s more than one number associated with the contact) and the call will initiate from your Apple Watch. 

You can also answer calls from your Apple Watch. When you get a call from your iPhone, your Apple Watch will also ring. This can be muted by placing your palm over the screen, or you can tap the green icon to answer the call on your Watch. If you don’t want to answer the call on your Watch, you can use the Digital Crown to scroll down and select “Answer on iPhone”. This transfers the call to your iPhone and puts the person on hold until you unlock your iPhone to take the call. 

How to mute the Apple Watch

By default, your Apple Watch settings mirror those of your iPhone. This means that if you mute your iPhone (not switch it to vibrate – they’re different settings) your Apple Watch should also be muted. There are a handful of ways to manually do it though. The quickest and easiest way to mute your Apple Watch is to swipe up from the watch face to access your Glances, then swipe until you find the Glance that is reminiscent of the iOS Control Centre. Then all you need to do is tap the Mute icon, and your Apple Watch is muted. 

You can also access your volume settings from within the Settings app, accessible via the home screen of the Apple Watch. Just open Settings, tap on “Sound & Haptics” and turn the volume down to your ideal level using the Digital Crown. You can also follow a similar process by opening the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, selecting “Sound & Haptics” and turning down the volume slide to your desired volume (or toggle the “mute” option). 

How to use Apple Watch Glances

Glances are an innovative way of getting snapshots of information at a ‘glance’. Many third party apps include a Glance, which can be accessed by swiping up from the watch face. It’s worth mentioning at this point that Glances can’t be accessed on any app apart from the watch face.

By default, you’ll have access to stock Glances that come with the Apple Watch, including glances for Maps, Apple Watch battery life, Activity and Music (or “Now Playing”). If you chose to automatically add Apple Watch companion apps to your Apple Watch, your third party glances will automatically be added whenever one is installed. 

If you chose to manually control which apps are installed on your Apple Watch, the Glances have to be manually enabled. To do this, open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, scroll to the bottom section which should be a list of third party apps, and tap on the app you want to install. You can’t have a Glance without installing the app itself, so tap “Show App on Apple Watch” and once its installed, select “Show in Glances”. The Glance should now appear when you access your Glances on your Apple Watch.

If you’ve got a large number of apps installed on your Apple Watch, there may be too many Glances for you to sift through. To cull the less popular Glances from your collection, firstly open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone. Then all you need to do is select My Watch and then Glances. You’ll be shown a list of your current Glances, and by tapping “–“ next to the Glance you want to remove will remove it from your list. You can also press and hold the icon with three lines to reorganise the order of your Glances.

How to use Apple Watch with iTunes

The Apple Watch includes the Remote app as a stock app for the Apple Watch, even though it’s not on the iPhone. Anyway, the Remote app is generally used to control the Apple TV but it can also control your iTunes library. The first step is to make sure that Home Sharing is enabled for your iTunes library (File > Home Sharing > Turn on Home Sharing), and that your computer is connected to the same network as your iPhone.

Once you’ve enabled Home Sharing, access the Remote app via the Apple Watch home screen. If you’re connected to the same network, the name of your iTunes library should appear on screen. To access that library, just tap on it. Once you’ve connected to your library, you can easily browse your music collection and have full control of the music that’s currently playing, including the volume that it’s played at. 

See also: Apple Watch vs Huawei Watch comparison preview

How to use Maps on the Apple Watch

The use of Apple Maps on the Apple Maps was a huge part of the Apple Watch announcement, and enables users to concentrate more on their surroundings rather than stare at their iPhones find directions. You can quickly access your current location by swiping up to access your Maps Glance, but if you want to interact with it then you have to tap on it to open the full Maps app. The Maps app is also accessible from the Apple Watch home screen, or by asking Siri for directions.

Once you’ve opened the Maps app, your current location will be displayed. You can zoom in and out using the Digital Crown, or pan around using your fingers. If you want to get directions/search for a location, simply force touch (press firmly) on the screen and select “Search”. A list of recently searched places (from both iPhone and Apple Watch) will be displayed, along with the option of dictating your search term. 

Once you’ve searched for/selected your desired location, the Apple Watch will display all relevant information about the location including contact information, opening times and reviews. You can then select whether you want walking or driving directions, with an estimated journey time next to both, and then tap “Start” to initiate the turn-by-turn navigation.