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My first hour with Apple Watch: Unboxing, pairing, and personalizing this strange new device

Caitlin McGarry | April 27, 2015
It arrived earlier than I expected, a narrow rectangular box with nothing particularly special or Apple-like about it. But that nondescript brown package belied the brilliant white box inside, which contained an equally bright 38mm Apple Watch Sport with silver aluminum face and blindingly white band.

It arrived earlier than I expected, a narrow rectangular box with nothing particularly special or Apple-like about it. But that nondescript brown package belied the brilliant white box inside, which contained an equally bright 38mm Apple Watch Sport with silver aluminum face and blindingly white band.

I gingerly lifted the Watch out of the box, much like I've done with new iPhones, not wanting to scuff or smudge the device in any way. There's really nothing like a gleaming new gadget that hasn't been yet been marred by dirty hands. (Yeah, my Watch face is already covered in fingerprints.)

Apple is offering personal setup appointments online and in-store for people who want a little extra assistance, but setting up your own Apple Watch is even more simple than getting started with an iPhone.

Watch, meet iPhone

Once you've ogled your Watch for a minute (or 20), it's time to strap that sucker to your wrist and put it to good use. First, make sure you turn your iPhone's Bluetooth on. Then check to see if you have either Wi-Fi on or a strong cell signal. Then press the side button beneath the Digital Crown to turn on your Watch. The Apple logo will appear.

At this point, you have to pair your devices, because the Watch can't function without your phone. Open the kApple Watch app that came preinstalled on iOS 8.2, then tap to start pairing on both your Watch and phone. The Watch screen will turn into an animated display, which you need to capture with your iPhone camera and hold steady until you see a "Apple Watch is paired" message. You can also do this manually if the animation doesn't work. The Watch will then prompt you to choose which orientation you prefer, right or left wrist.

Now they're paired. This is where the fun begins.

Getting to know the Apple Watch app

I spent much of my first hour with Apple Watch playing with my iPhone settings, which sounds absurd, but I promise it doesn't defeat the purpose of having a Watch. To configure the device to behave like you want it to, you need to go through all of its settings — and those are all stored in the Apple Watch app that came preinstalled with iOS 8.2.

I chose not to immediately install all of my iPhone apps with Watch companions, but that's an option. Instead, I chose which apps I would actually want immediate access to on my wrist. Twitter, the New York Times, Instagram, Nike+ Running, Foursquare, and Hipchat are a few of my early selections, but there are a slew of others (about 3,000 of them, actually) that I need to comb through in the Watch App Store. You can even change the layout of your Watch apps within the Apple Watch app (say that five time fast) if you want, which I did, of course.

 

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