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10 killer tips to get your Apple Watch set up just right

Caitlin McGarry, Susie Ochs | April 30, 2015
Navigating the Apple Watch can be a little confusing at first, and it definitely takes a while to get your notifications dialed in so it's not bugging you too often, but you're still finding out what you need to know. These tips can help you adjust what the watch shows you and how, so you'll spend less time fiddling with settings and more time enjoying your new arm candy.

Navigating the Apple Watch can be a little confusing at first, and it definitely takes a while to get your notifications dialed in so it's not bugging you too often, but you're still finding out what you need to know. These tips can help you adjust what the watch shows you and how, so you'll spend less time fiddling with settings and more time enjoying your new arm candy.

Take control of notifications

If you're one of those people who allows push notifications for every app on your iPhone, the Apple Watch will drive you insane. This is a gadget that requires very specific tailoring to ensure you're only getting the most important alerts. Otherwise your wrist will be barraged with taps. Get to know the Apple Watch app on your iPhone: It will make your watch the personalized device you want.

In My Watch > Notifications, you can pick and choose which apps you want to receive notifications from. Even non-watch apps that just live on your iPhone will send you watch notifications if you let them, and you shouldn't. Pick which apps make sense to see on the watch and mirror those — turn the rest off.

The watch's native apps like Messages and Weather let you further customize the alerts you receive, so they don't have to exactly mirror your iPhone notification settings.

Something to note: If you want to make sure you receive notifications on the watch from specific apps, you need to change all of those apps' notification settings on your iPhone. This can be insanely time-consuming, but worth it. Otherwise, the watch will drive you nuts.

Force tap to clear all notifications

When you raise your arm to view your watch's face, you'll see a tiny red dot if you have new notifications. (It's on by default, but you can get rid of it in the Apple Watch app for iPhone, by going to My Watch > Notifications, and turning off Notifications Indicator.)

You get to your notifications screen by swiping down from the watch face. Once there, you can clear notifications one at a time by swiping it to the left and tapping the X, or just force-touch the screen for a larger X button that can clear all the notifications in one tap.

Don't give anything away

You'll be demonstrating your new Apple Watch to friends and family and random passersby — trust us, a lot of people are going to be interested in how it works. If you're worried about them inadvertently seeing previews of your email messages in the notifications list, just go to the Apple Watch app for iPhone, and turn on Notifications Privacy, in the Notifications menu. You'll still see notifications for email and messages, but you need to tap one to see what it actually says.

 

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