If you’re one of the lucky ones that will receive your Apple Watch pre-order this Friday, then you’ll probably want to be ready to begin using your new Watch as soon as possible. Let’s take a look at some of the steps needed to prepare your iOS device for pairing with your Apple Watch.

Upgrade iOS

In order to pair your Apple Watch to your iPhone (Apple Watch can only be paired to an iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, or iPhone 6), you’ll need to have the latest version of iOS 8.

If you haven’t upgraded your iPhone, you can do so by performing these steps:

  1. Open Settings
  2. Navigate to General | Softare Update
  3. If an update is available, you’ll see a Download and Install button that will allow you to install the update

If you have iOS 8.2 or higher, then you’ll already have the Apple Watch app installed on your iPhone (Figure A). Using the Watch app on your iPhone, you’ll pair, configure, and download Apple Watch apps.

Figure A

The Apple Watch app lets you pair and configure your watch to fit the experience you want.

Select Favorite Contacts

One of the main features of Apple Watch is the ability to use contacts on your iPhone to communicate through phone calls, iMessage, and emoji messages.

To use these features more easily, make sure you’ve marked certain contacts that you frequently contact to your favorites list. When you do this, they’ll show up on your Apple Watch after pairing (Figure B).

Figure B

The Favorites button on the side of the Apple Watch provides easy access to favorite contacts.

To add a contact to your favorites, perform these steps:

  1. Open the Phone app
  2. Navigate to the Favorites tab
  3. Tap the plus sign [+] to add a contact (Figure C)
  4. Select a contact
  5. Select a phone number to use for dialing

Figure C

Favorites provides a slimmed-down list for easier one-touch calling.

After step 4, the contact will appear inside of the Favorites tab. Continue steps 3 and 4 until you’ve added all of the contacts that you wish to label as Favorites.

Adding Photos to Contacts

Apple Watch makes use of contact photos to show you contact cards of incoming calls and the favorites contacts feature of Apple Watch. Assign a contact photo for each of your favorite contacts to make the most of these features and to more easily recognize callers.

To do this, perform these steps:

  1. Open the Phone app
  2. Select the Contacts tab
  3. Select a contact
  4. Tap the Edit button
  5. Tap the placeholder for the contact photo
  6. Select either Take Photo or Choose Photo to begin adding a photo to the contact card (Figure D)

Figure D

Assigning a photo to a contact is easy when you’re inside of Edit mode for a contact card.

After you save the newly edited Contact, the contact photo will be used to more easily identify incoming callers and contacts listed in the Favorites feature of Apple Watch.