There are a whole bunch of ways to help you get to grips with the Apple Watch user-interface, from online videos to in-store workshops to personal setup to comprehensive flow charts to the full user guide. But having had mine for a few days, I thought I’d put together the instant overview I wished I’d had on day one.

I’m not attempting to cover everything the watch can do, or anything close to it – merely give you the 1-minute overview of where you find things so you’ll be up-and-running as quickly as possible when you take delivery of your watch … 



This is, obviously, the watch face. If you choose one with complications – info fields – then you can tap those fields directly to open the corresponding app. For example, tap the activity rings top-left, and it will open the activity app.


Swipe down on the watch-face to see your notifications, exactly as you do on your iPhone. You can also scroll them with your finger exactly as on the iPhone, but as this covers the screen it’s better to use the Digital Crown to scroll. Tap a notification to open it and get options (for example, replying to a message).


Swipe up for what Apple calls ‘Glances’ – effectively just a name for the apps you use most often. You can think of this like double-clicking the Home button on an iPhone to show recently used apps. Just like on the iPhone, you swipe left or right between them and tap one to open it. When you launch an app, available actions are usually swipe left or right between screens, and scroll up and down the screens using the Digital Crown.

Which brings us to the physical buttons, starting with the Digital Crown.


On the watch face, pressing this takes you to your home screen – the full set of apps. If you are in an app, it becomes an escape key, returning you to the watch face. Finally, long-hold it for Siri – exactly as you would the home button on your iPhone.


The second button is mostly used to open your favorite contacts. The digital Crown scrolls around them, then tap when the contact you want is display. You then get buttons to call, message or Digital Touch (if they have an Apple Watch).

Obviously there’s way more you can do, but with that intro, you’ll be up-and-running soon as your Apple Watch is paired and ready to roll. Here’s a summary:


Hope you find it helpful. After my first impressions and halfway-point Apple Watch diaries, I’ll be writing the third and final one on Thursday.

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