Apple Watch help: Everything you need to know about your smartwatch

No matter the Series, we can answer your queries
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The Apple Watch is the most comprehensive smartwatch currently on the market, and owning one opens up a world of possibilities to your wrist.

But with great potential also comes a great deal of questions. While it's fairly easy to set up the Apple Watch Series 4 and navigate the basics, there's plenty of tricks hidden within the menus and tabs.

Read this: Apple Watch tips and tricks

That's where we come in. Below, we'll provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding Apple's smartwatch line. Be sure to check back as we answer even more queries, and throw any you have into the comments section below.

Apple Watch FAQs

Apple Watch help: Everything you need to know about your smartwatch

Which Apple Watch is best?

This really comes down to personal preference, but there are a number of key distinctions between each device that will help you narrow down which is the best fit for your wrist. That includes features like waterproofing, cellular and ECG. We won't dive too deeply into the finer details here, but head on over to our Apple Watch buying guide for more help on which Apple Watch is best for you.

What can the Apple Watch do?

This isn't exactly an easy one to answer. In a word, lots. With the smartwatch one of the more well rounded in the entire industry, there's something for everyone — whether that's in activity tracking, health monitoring, notification support or, simply, its time-telling capabilities. For more on the basics, read our Apple Watch super guide.

What size can I get the Apple Watch in?

The first three generations of the Apple Watch come with the same sizing options — a case of 38mm or a 42mm. Now with the Series 4 that's jumped to 40mm and 44mm. Within the box, you'll also receive a small band attached, as well as the medium/large equivalent. But if you need help choosing, head to our Apple Watch size guide.

Apple Watch help: Everything you need to know about your smartwatch

Where is the Apple Watch battery indicator?

Similar to how you can swipe up and down through iOS, watchOS also allows you to do this to access certain settings of the Apple Watch. If you swipe up, you'll notice a percentage icon on the left side, below the Wi-Fi tab and next to the Ping iPhone tab.

If you don't fancy swiping every time you want to check your battery, you can install the battery widget on customisable watch faces. And if you need help on saving juice, read our tips on how to improve battery life on Apple Watch.

How can I view my Apple Watch workout and activity?

While the Apple Watch's Workout app will give you a brief look at your last session and the three rings give you an insight into daily progress, you can only dig into your history through the iPhone's Activity app.

From here, you can view the calendar to remind yourself how you performed on that morning run last week, or simply how many days in a row you were able to close all your rings. For more on this, read our Apple Watch Workout and Activity guide.

What are the best Apple Watch bands?

Apple's own bands are varied in both design and style. You can get a solid nylon or sport band for , or you can pay over for some of the fancier options. It's all down to taste, really, but don't forget that there are also a boatload of third-party Apple Watch straps for you to consider.

Do old Apple Watch bands fit on the Series 4?

Good question! While the Series 4 beefs up the watch sizes from 38mm and 40mm to 42mm and 44mm, Apple has kept the watch connectors the same. That means that, yes, your old Apple Watch bands will work on the Series 4.

Apple Watch help: Everything you need to know about your smartwatch

How does the Apple Watch count steps?

Through the daily wear and when using the Workout app, your Apple Watch tracks your arm motion, measured by the built-in accelerometer.

Can the Apple Watch play music?

Yes. All models of the Apple Watch can play music, but to what extent depends on which model you opt for. If you choose the Series 3 or Series 4, you can stream on demand from Apple Music, though older generations will see you either tethered to your phone or needing to transfer a playlist over through the Watch smartphone app. Find out how to play music on the Apple Watch.

Is the Apple Watch compatible with my smartphone?

Android phones are not compatible with any Apple Watch. The minimum requirements for an iPhone user are that you have an iPhone 5 or later running at least iOS 8.2.

Can the Apple Watch connect to Bluetooth headphones?

Yes. Simply head into the settings section of the Watch, before selecting Bluetooth and the device that you're looking to pair. We've found some issues with the Watch pairing to headphones when a set is already known to our iPhone, but this has varied depending on which headphones we've been using.

Apple Watch help: Everything you need to know about your smartwatch

How can I add watch faces to the Apple Watch?

You can add faces to the Apple Watch by heading to the Watch app in your iPhone and hitting the Face Gallery tab at the bottom of the screen. Here, you can pick from a range of faces, which you can then personalise with complications (such as your battery percentage, or a shortcut to Strava) through the Watch itself. You can also edit which watch faces appear through the My Faces section of the app.

If you want to add something from your Photos, simply add it to the Favourites album. Once done, it will appear for syncing in the Face Gallery section of the app. Need some inspiration? Check out the best Apple Watch faces and complications.

What's a complication?

In the watch world, a complication is an added feature on the watch face. Like a dial that displays the date. Apple, in an effort to honor watch history, has adopted the terminology for its smartwatches' widgets, which can be placed on a watch face. They can be used to display the weather, give you news, show your battery percentage, launch apps and more.

How do I add complications to the Apple Watch?

Firstly, you'll need to make sure you're selecting a watch face which already has complications for you to edit. Luckily, the majority of Apple's watch faces offer complication support - however, the amount of complications they offer differ. From there, simply hold down the screen on your Watch, tap which green box you want to edit and use the Digital Crown to scroll through which options you want on your face.

Can the Apple Watch charge wirelessly?

Yes, but not to the Qi Wireless Charging standard. All Apple Watch models charge through Apple's proprietary magnetic charging dock system. This is technically wireless charging, but Apple Watch doesn't officially conform to the Qi Wireless Charging standard, as the latest iPhones do, for example.

However, back when Apple announced its Qi wireless AirPower charging mat, it pointed out that the Series 3 was compatible. Japanese blog Mac Otakara was later successful in getting the Series 3 to charge with certain Qi charging pads, but Apple doesn't officially list the Series 3 - or the Series 4 - as Qi-compatible.

Apple Watch help: Everything you need to know about your smartwatch

How does the Apple Watch LTE work?

The Apple Watch Series 3 and Series 4 both have a built-in eSIM, essentially giving you the same cellular capabilities as on your smartphone — even when that's not around. Both devices will share the same phone number, and you'll get all the same notifications you would when connected to your iPhone over Bluetooth.

For example, if someone calls you and your phone is miles away, you can still answer the call and speak through your Bluetooth headphones. If someone texts, you can also text them back from the wrist.

And if you want to listen to music, you're able to use your regular data plan to stream music from your iCloud library. It's like having a phone on your wrist, basically. Read our Apple Watch cellular guide for more information.

Can I use Apple Pay on the Apple Watch?

Yes. No matter which Apple Watch model you have, double-tapping the side button will bring up your card and a tap of the reader will let you utilise Apple Pay on the device. Through a recent software update, Watch users can now also send money to their friends using Apple Pay Cash. For more, including how to set up Apple Pay, read our guide on how to pay using an Apple Watch.

How does Apple Watch's fall detection work?

The Series 4 is outfitted with fall detection. If it detects a hard fall, it'll buzz your wrist and sound an alarm. It'll list quick access to Emergency SOS via a swipe gesture, which will contact emergency services. It'll also offer a button that says "I'm OK" if you don't need help.

If your Apple Watch detects a fall and then detects that you've been immobile for a minute, it begins a 15-second countdown while tapping you on the wrist and sounding an alarm. The alarm will get louder and louder to try to alert someone else to your needs. It'll also automatically contact emergency services, providing your location.

Apple Watch help: Everything you need to know about your smartwatch

What does an ECG do?

An electrocardiogram, also known as an ECG, is essentially looking to see if the upper and lower chambers of your heart are in rhythm. If they're out of rhythm, this is a condition known as atrial fibrillation. It monitors the electrical patterns of your heart to figure this out. You can find out how to take an ECG on Apple Watch Series 4 in our guide.

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Conor Allison


Conor moved to Wareable Media Group in 2017, initially covering all the latest developments in smartwatches, fitness trackers, and VR. He made a name for himself writing about trying out translation earbuds on a first date and cycling with a wearable airbag, as well as covering the industry’s latest releases.

Following a stint as Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint, Conor returned to Wareable Media Group in 2022 as Editor-at-Large. Conor has become a wearables expert, and helps people get more from their wearable tech, via Wareable's considerable how-to-based guides. 

He has also contributed to British GQ, Wired, Metro, The Independent, and The Mirror. 

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