7 things you’ll want to try first with your Apple Watch

Here are some of the first things you’ll want to do with the brand new Apple Watch you're hoping to get this season.

Apple, Apple Watch, iOS, iPhone, watchOS, tips
Doug Duvall/IDG

Black Friday is coming and lots of Apple fans will probably search for cut price deals on the popular Apple Watch and its vast medley of straps. Here are some of the first things you’ll want to do with the Apple wearable (other than set it up, of course).

Use Apple Pay

Apple Pay on the watch is one of those things that may not sound like much, but the simple convenience of being able to wriggle your wrist to pay public transit charges, buy groceries, or make other small payments quickly becomes something you don’t want to be without. Not only is it safer to use than pulling out your card or iPhone in a crowded place, but you are far less likely to accidentally leave it behind.

[Also read: My first week with Apple Watch Series 3]

To set up Apple Pay on your Watch:

  • Open the Watch app on your paired iPhone and select Passbook>Apple Pay. Tap ‘Add Credit or Debit Card’.
  • You’ll be asked for the security code of the card you’ve registered with Apple for iTunes/services payments. You can use another card if you like.
  • The camera viewfinder will appear – take a picture of the card and it will soon be activated. You may need to contact your bank to finalize this process.

To make a payment: Double-click the Side button on the Watch when it is near a payment terminal. An image of your card should appear and the transaction process will take place.

Change your faces

Apple Watch has a host of different watch faces you can use. While I do wish Apple would create an app so we could build and share our very own faces, it does provide a bunch of them.

  • To select between different faces on your Watch, just Force Touch the watch screen and swipe left or right to explore the different watch face options – stop when you reach the one you want to use.

You customize your watch face by tapping the Customize button.

  • To get to these controls Force Touch the watch screen and swipe left or right to choose the face you want to change. Tap the small Customize button that appears beneath the face icon.
  • In Customize view you should swipe left or right to select a feature you want to change – the editable features are different between watch faces: you might change the design, the watchface colors, or color of the second hand.
  • When you select a feature you want to change you can explore the different options by turning the Digital Crown.
  • When you have made the changes you want to make just press the Digital Crown to save those changes.

You can also choose which Complications are made available on your watchface. (I like to use Locations and Activity, for example).

Hit the gym

The latest Apple Watch update introduces support for Gym Kit. This lets you connect your Watch to some gym equipment so you end up getting more accurate data to the Health/Activity app. Equipment including treadmills, ellipticals and indoor bikes from big brands such as Life Fitness and TechnoGym are supported.

Now you have an Apple Watch, it’s a good day to go to the gym, set up your Activity app and do your first Workout using all that connected equipment. Perhaps even go for a swim.

Make a call using Siri

First makes sure Siri is enabled on your Apple Watch. To do so make sure Hey Siri or Press Home for Siri is enabled on both your iPhone (Settings>Siri& Search) and Apple Watch (Settings>General>Siri).

Once you know it is on you will be able to ask Siri to call any of your named Contacts just by long pressing the Digital Crown to activate Siri and asking it to make that call when the listening indicator appears (speak and release the Crown). If you have Hey Siri enabled, just raise the Watch until it wakes and say “Hey Siri”, and ask a question. (Try asking Siri how it’s doing). Of course, you can also use Siri to send a Message to a named contact.

Set up SOS

You can use your Apple Watch to place an emergency call. When you place such a call the watch will try to contact the relevant emergency service for the country or state you are actually in.

To access this feature you must press and hold the Side button on the Watch until the Emergency SOS slider appears, you then make the call by sliding that button or by continuing to hold down the side button until an emergency call is made.

That’s useful, but what you’ll want to do when you first get an Apple Watch is set up your closest contacts to be informed if something happens to you.

They will receive a text message with your location after the emergency call is made – and they will be told when your location changes. You add people to the emergency call list in the Health app on your paired iPhone (Edit>Emergency Contacts, Tap the green plus button to add people). Now you know that if you get in trouble you have some way to let people know.

Get wireless

The latest Apple Watch software lets you stream music from Apple Music to your watch. That’s great if you have a set of AirPods or Beats to listen to music with. I’ve been unable to test this with Apple’s wireless ‘phones, (which if anyone from Apple or Beats is reading this is actually a rather large hint). However, I’m told it’s incredibly effective when you go for a run or travel anywhere and don’t want to play music from your iPhone.

Set up Uber

You install new apps on your Apple Watch from your iPhone. If you use Uber on your iPhone then you can also install it on your Watch. Just open the Watch app on the iPhone and look to the list of Available Apps in the My Watch screen. Tap install and the Uber app will be installed on your Watch, so you’ll be able to call a cab from your wrist. That’s great, but you also now know how to install all those other third-party apps on your Watch.

Want more ideas? Take a look at 12 Apple Watch tips for busy people.

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