If you're expecting a new Apple Watch, prepare your iPhone while you wait. TechRepublic's Cory Bohon's "How to prepare your iPhone for the Apple Watch" will walk you through the process, which includes ensuring you've downloaded and installed the proper iOS release and configured favorite contacts.
Once the device arrives, you need to pair the Watch with your iPhone. The process is simple and straightforward. Bohon describes most of the steps in "How to pair your Apple Watch to your iPhone." Basically, you activate the Watch from your iPhone using the Watch app. As Bohon reviews, you hold the watch within the viewfinder that appears within the Watch app, specify the language, and then select installed iPhone apps to sync to the watch. One additional step arises within the process when the Apple Watch asks you on which wrist the time piece will be worn.
After applications sync—my Watch required approximately five to six minutes—the device is ready for operation. The first thing you'll notice is the actual watch functionality. Mine, by default, displayed the Utility Face that presents the time and temperature (using time and location information preset on your iPhone), the date, and the next appointment that was listed within my Calendar.
You adjust Faces, the display that appears, by pressing down on the Watch face using a single fingertip. Then, with a swiping gesture from right to left, you can cycle through the various Watch faces Apple preloads. Once you select the Face you wish to use, press the Customize button to adjust that Face's look by rotating the watch's Crown.
Don't go looking for additional Faces yet, however, as news reports suggest that Apple isn't currently enabling developers to submit alternatives through the App Store. Should you accidentally delete a Face, as I did familiarizing myself with the new device, simply swipe all the way to the + New icon that appears when scrolling to the far right. I found I could add the accidentally deleted Face back from there.
Additional configuration options are available from within the Watch app. You can adjust brightness and text size using the provided slider bars (within the Brightness & Text Size submenu) and alert volume and the strength of the haptic taps, among other options, within the Sounds & Haptics settings. The Glances menu, meanwhile, enables the applications whose data should be included within the Glances display (reached by gesturing from the bottom toward the top of the Watch).
You can set your Watch to mirror your iPhone's Do Not Disturb settings. This will eliminate the need to manually set both devices to Do Not Disturb when entering sensitive meetings or, say, a ballet performance or church ceremony. Just tap Do Not Disturb and ensure the Mirror iPhone radio button is set to on. The same behavior, and option, is available for Airplane Mode, too.
Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president of Eckel Media Corp., a communications company specializing in public relations and technical authoring projects.