How to use the Apple Watch: The essential guide to your smartwatch

Everything you need to know about the Apple Watch in one place
Apple Watch: The missing manual

The Apple Watch Series 2 is one of the most feature-rich smartwatches to date, but getting to grips with all of its diverse features can take some getting used to. It's a steep learning curve, but there's so much potential to unlock – which is why we've penned this complete guide.

From your first hour with the Apple Watch to loading it up with essential apps, boosting battery life, setting up Apple Pay and pimping it out with new straps and bands, we've got you covered.

Essential reading: Best smartwatches 2017

From the very basics to advanced guides to under-the-hood options, this is a must-read for any Apple Watch user. Scroll down for links to our in-depth specialist guides.

Part 1: Set up your Apple Watch

Apple Watch guide

When you take your Apple Watch out of the box, it's the same as everyone else's. What makes your smartwatch personal is the style and the apps, which mean your Apple Watch will be unique to your needs. Check out our guide on how to set up your Apple Watch.

Part 2: How to use the Apple Watch

Apple Watch guide

The Apple Watch has an undeniably steep learning curve, and the first 24 hours can be a little frustrating for the uninitiated. Check out our guide on how to use the Apple Watch's, including the new watchOS interface and features.

Part 3: Apple Watch tips and tricks

Apple Watch guide

There's so much more to the Apple Watch than meets the eye, and there's a host of tweaks and hidden features hidden under the hood. Check out our round-up of Apple Watch tips and tricks and find out how you can make it work your way.

Part 4: Extend your battery life

Apple Watch guide

If there's one major black mark against the Apple Watch it's the inferior battery life. Thanks to the screen tech, the battery will last just a single day. If you're intent on boosting your smartwatch's longevity, check out our guide to improving the Apple Watch battery life.

Part 5: Get the best Apple Watch apps

Apple Watch guide

If there's one major differentiator between the Apple Watch and the competition, it's the breadth of apps. Just like the iPhone, Apple has left the killer features of the Apple Watch up to its army of developers. If you're looking for to trick out your smartwatch, check out our guide to the best Apple Watch apps.

Part 6: Get the best Apple Watch faces

How to use the Apple Watch: The essential guide to your smartwatch

Complications are one of the best features on Apple's smartwatch. These tiny little widgets can be added to the watch face to offer some Watch customisation. Getting the right combination of watch face and complication is not the easiest. Thankfully, we've done the hard work for you and picked out the best Apple Watch faces and complication combos.

Part 7: Get the best Apple Watch strap

The extreme prices of official Apple Watch straps means that most of us are rocking the basic silicon band – but the third part strap market is growing fast. Check out our round-up of third party Apple Watch straps and pick yourself up a new stylish band at a fraction of the price. In fact, why not buy two – and swap dependent on the outfit. You flash so-and-so!

Part 8: Set up Apple Pay on Apple Watch

Apple Watch guide

Apple Pay is one of the Apple Watch's killer features, and now it's available in a host of countries around the world. It's a great way to pay, especially for runners, cyclists and commuters who don't have to reach for their wallet or take their card out on a workout. Our Apple Pay guide shows you how to add a card to your Apple Watch and pay safely and securely.

Part 9: Add music to your Apple Watch

Apple Watch guide

Apple Music enables users to stream and listen to a library of nearly 30 million songs, but not many people know that these can be added to your Apple Watch and listened via Bluetooth headphones. It's a slightly opaque process, but we've mapped it out in detail in our guide to adding music to your Apple Watch.

Part 10: The best Apple Watch stands

Turn your Apple Watch into a natty little night stand with a fancy charging stand. Apple's smartwatch can be useful at night, so check out this collection of charging stands.


Shop for recommended smartwatches on Amazon

Samsung Gear S3
Samsung Gear S3
$299.99
Pebble 2
Pebble 2
$86.25
Apple Watch Series 2
Apple Watch Series 2
$308.88
Garmin Vivoactive HR
Garmin Vivoactive HR
$249.99

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4 Comments

  • Alvisaus says:

    Is there something you can do to help you find it of its lost? It's somewhere in my house but I can't find it.

    • s.charara says:

      hi Alvisaus, a Find my Watch feature has been rumoured but hasn't been launched yet by Apple. Sorry!

  • Flightleader says:

    I just purchased the Stainless Steel model 1/21/2016.

    I was looking everywhere for battery charging instructions and None were available !

    Nowhere does it mention the position the watch should be charged in...FACE DOWN OR on its SIDE ! Since the watch turns on when face is in the up position, I reason it will do the same when the Face is in the Down position. Therefore , it reasons that the watch should be on its SIDE for charging .

      Also , Charging Time.....2.5 hours OR ALL NIGHT ?    Which is it without overcharging the battery ?

  • Shawna says:

    I have the series 1 watch and on my activity the "stand ". Blue color never shows anything. I don't know if I have it turned off or if I need to set it? Can you please help with any info .?

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