It can be 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.
If you're still considering an Apple Watch purchase, it's potentially worth switching over to our buyer's guide to the best Apple Watch for you and saving some serious cash. Alternatively, scroll down for links to our in-depth, specialist guides.
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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.
It's one of the common questions among people looking to buy the Apple Watch for the first time – what does it actually do?
Well, a lot more than just offering you the chance to read text messages and answer calls on your wrist, rather than your phone, which is the main feature everybody knows.
The Apple Watch is a competent fitness tracker, with some world class features, and can double as a sports watch, too. Yes, you can spend less time looking at your phone with wrist notifications, and thanks to having Siri on your wrist, setting alarms, timers and reminders is simple, too.
Then there's dedicated apps. From boarding passes to traffic notifications and walking directions, it's a very personal experience.
The launch of watchOS 4 last year also refreshed the features on offer too. Advanced heart rate metrics, new watch faces and an alarm that tells you if your heart is going wrong, and these features are set to broaden even further through watchOS 5.
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, including all the new features and interface tweaks from watchOS 4 and ones coming through watchOS 5.
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've only got five minutes, our favourites are…
- CARROT Fit
- Just Press Record
If you're looking for more ways trick out your smartwatch, check out our guide to the 50 best Apple Watch apps.
The Apple Watch is a very good fitness tracker and can also track workouts – and if you have a Series 2 or Series 3 with GPS, it can replace your standard fitness watch.
The activity app keeps tabs on movement, calories burned and standing time, and you're encouraged to 'close the rings' in order to make your daily goals.
The Workout app is a different beast, and enables you to track a bunch of different activities, from running and cycling to indoor workouts (which essentially just keep tabs on your heart rate, calories and time spent).
There's also a host of third-party fitness apps, which can now make use of in-built sensors including GPS and heart rate. Examples include Strava, and other big names, such as Endomondo and Nike Run Club.
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. Try these out for size…
- Ping your iPhone
- Turn on elevated heart rate notifications
- Chain together your workouts
- Unlock your Mac from your Watch
- Check your data usage
- Change the wrist-raise action
- Use pictures as watch faces
Check out our round-up of Apple Watch tips and tricks and find out how you can make it work your way.
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. But 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.
The extreme prices of official Apple Watch straps means that most of us are rocking the basic silicon band – but the third-party strap market is growing all the time.
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. And if you're looking for a bit more, including cases and docks, check out the best Apple Watch accessories.
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.
Apple Music enables users to stream and listen to a library of nearly 30 million songs, and now it's available directly on Apple Watch. If you've got an LTE-enabled Apple Watch Series 3, you'll be able to stream music to your heart's content. You'll just need a pair of Bluetooth headphones. If you're not rocking the cellular Apple Watch, you can also sync over albums and playlists and control music on your iPhone. To get the full details on how to do that, check out our guide to adding music to your Apple Watch.
The Apple Watch has a Nightstand mode that now works in both horizontal and vertical orientations, so there's even more reason to tap into this with a fancy charging stand. If you're not sure which one to turn to, you can check out this collection of charging stands.
So, you've got the Apple Watch Series 3 and have the red Digital Crown to prove it. You're ready to cut the cord and fly free, but don't know how to get started. Well, you can start by checking out guide on how to get LTE on the Apple Watch Series 3.