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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.

Change the haptics

One of Apple Watch's coolest features is the Taptic Engine, which sends you haptic feedback, or a light tap on the top of your wrist, when you receive a notification. It's so much less annoying than a chime or a vibration. In fact, you can even turn off the watch's alert volume in the Apple Watch app's under My Watch > Sounds & Haptics.

You can change the intensity of the haptics in the watch's Settings app (which is one of the few things not buried in the Apple Watch app on your phone). Within Settings, use the Digital Crown to scroll down to Sounds & Haptics and use the sliders to adjust the their strength. You can also toggle on the Prominent Haptic setting to ramp up the intensity of alerts.

Go lefty

If you're left handed, your watch can be too. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, go to My Watch > General, and look for the Watch Orientation setting. You can specify if you're wearing the Apple Watch on your left wrist or your right wrist, and on which side you like the Digital Crown. That way the watch's display will be right-side up, and all you have to do is reverse the watch band.

To remove your watch band, press the small button on the back of the watch near the top, next to where the band connects. With that button down, slide the band out of its slot on the watch. Then repeat for the other side of the band. Reverse its orientation and slide each end back into the slots until they click.

Be bolder

Open the Settings app on the watch itself, and choose Brightness & Text Size. Here you'll be able to pump up the size of text on the watch's screen by a couple of notches, as well as make it bolder. (Selecting bold text will restart your watch.) If you find yourself squinting at text on the Apple Watch's screen, this is exactly what you're looking for.

Quick scroll through lists

You can whip through lists of songs in the Music app, or contacts in the Phone app, by giving the Digital Crown a quick twist. When you turn the crown fast enough, you'll start scrolling by letters instead of by individual items. If you're looking for Taking Heads music, just quick-scroll to the T section of your Music app, pause, and then just tap Talking Heads in the list. Scrolling with the Digital Crown is a great tactile feeling that just might make you miss the clickwheel on your old iPod.

What tips have you discovered for your Apple Watch? What are you having trouble with? Let us know in the comments!


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