My Three Favorite Apple Watch Tips

I’ve had my Apple Watch for a few days now, and I’ve already forgotten how I lived without it. I mean, no one’s going to accuse me of being objective where Apple is concerned—which, my friends, is probably why I write tips for you instead of news articles—but I’m pretty jazzed about the latest addition to their product lineup. So in honor of the few, the proud, the ten people who’ve been able to get their Watches this week, here are my favorite tricks (so far) for using it.

1. Double-clicking the Digital Crown from the watch face will take you to your last-used app. If you’re in, say, the Mail app, but you then go off and do something else for long enough that your device wakes up with the watch face showing, here’s the button that’ll be your hero:

Double-clicking that so-called Digital Crown will take you right back where you were, which is a lot faster than navigating to the app manually.

2. Use a Force Touch on the notifications screen to dismiss everything. So you’ve been out and about, and you’ve gotten emails, messages, and tons of other alerts on your Watch. The first thing to know is that a tiny red dot will appear on your watch face if you have unread notifications.

If you see that, you can swipe down from the top of the screen and read the new stuff you’ve gotten (or check out any old alerts, too). Swipe from right to left on a particular notification to dismiss only that one…

…or to get rid of everything, press firmly on your Watch and choose “Clear All.” 

Just so you know, that doesn’t delete anything—you’ll still be able to see the messages or emails in question—but it will remove the notifications from your Watch and get you ready for the next batch.

3. Organize your Friends list. OK, this one may seem a little esoteric, but it’s meant for people like me. You know, crazy organizational folks. The types of people who get horrified when everything isn’t lined up perfectly on their desks. (I’m avoiding the word “crazy” here as much as I can.) 

Anyhow, when you first set up your Watch, your Friends list probably auto-populated with your Favorites from your iPhone. You’ll access that list by clicking the side button once, and then you can contact your pals.

As you can see, though, my list is all on the right side, and it looks disorganized to me. The horror. To fix this, go into the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, select the “My Watch” tab at the bottom, and then tap “Friends.”

As I’ve done above, you can then touch “Edit” in the upper-right corner and drag the “Add Friend” empty slots to fill in the gaps, which’ll give you a nicer-looking list on your Watch.

Ahhhhh, that’s so much better! Plus, that makes it easier to select the exact contact you’re looking for since they’re more spread out. 

Yes, this means that I only have six people that I contact often. Yes, I may have taken a person OUT of my list to give me the exact number of slots I needed to make it pretty. Yes, I agree that I’m a loser because of both those things. I’m OK with it.