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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.

Conserve your battery

Your Apple Watch battery will last all day with regular use, but if you've drained it before the day is done, don't worry: You can still salvage the situation. Just swipe up from the watch face to see the battery percentage in glances, then tap Power Reserve to put your watch in conservation mode. This lets you use the watch as, well, a watch, but you won't be able to access any apps or do anything else with it.

One of the biggest battery drains is the Workout app, which uses the watch's heart rate sensor to accurately measure your workout intensity. A half-hour workout can easily eat about 15 percent of your battery life, in my experience, so to prevent that happening, turn off the heart rate sensor in your iPhone Apple Watch app under My Watch > Workout > Power Saving Mode. Your calorie count probably won't be as accurate, but at least your watch will live to die another day.

Hand off tasks to iPhone

The watch is great for notifications, but if you need to dive deep into a task, the iPhone's larger screen real estate is more ideal. That's where Handoff comes in: You can easily transfer from the watch to the iPhone in Mail, Maps, Messages, Phone, Reminders, Calendar, and Siri.

Wake your phone when you're ready to open the app and look for its icon in the left corner of your lock screen. Swipe up on the icon to open the app where you left off in the watch. (This won't work if your watch and phone aren't in Bluetooth range.) You can toggle Handoff on and off in your iPhone's Apple Watch app under My Watch > General > Enable Handoff.

Change the order of glances

Swipe up on the watch face to view glances, which are quick nuggets of information, either the latest or the most important, from both native apps like Weather and Activity and third-party ones like the New York Times and Twitter.

While plenty of apps have glance views, you quickly realize that you don't need immediate access to summaries from every single app on your watch. Remove apps you don't want to see in Glances from the Apple Watch app on your iPhone. Go to My Watch > Glances, then tap the red minus sign by the ones you don't want to see. See ya, Stocks!

Then drag and drop apps in the order you want to see their glances on your wrist. I moved Weather and the Times app to the top of the list, because I typically look at glances in the morning when I'm getting ready for the day, but your mileage may vary.


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