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Tweak your Apple Watch notifications

Manage your Apple Watch Notifications from your iPhone. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Manage your Apple Watch Notifications from your iPhone. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Notifications are why we all got an Apple Watch, right? We want to be able to know what’s going on in our digital lives all the time, but we want to do it faster, without having to pull out an iPhone. Because that’s just rude.

However, getting every single Notification that you get on your iPhone shunted automatically over to your Apple Watch is going to get tiresome. No one wants to deal with a wrist tap every time someone takes a turn in Evil Apples.

Here’s how to manage all of the notification cruft a little bit better.

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Organize apps on your Apple Watch Home Screen

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apps on the Apple Watch appear as a honeycomb on the Home Screen. It’s fun and easy to use, but it quickly fills up with a dizzying array of icons.

Here’s how to tame it.

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Customize your Apple Watch settings

This screen is way too small for all the tweaks available. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

This screen is way too small for all the tweaks available. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Getting your Apple Watch set up is fairly basic, but to truly make this your own personal device, you’ll need to dig into the Apple Watch settings.

You can do all of these things on the Apple Watch itself, but why force yourself to tap and swipe on that tiny screen? Use the Apple Watch app on your iPhone for a much more pleasant experience. You can thank me later.

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How to set up your Apple Watch Friends screen

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The Friends screen is one of the most important on the Apple Watch. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

After linking your new Apple Watch to your iPhone, your favorite contacts are automatically synced over. But to get the most from the device, you’ll want to make a couple of tweaks to the Apple Watch Friends screen.

It’s truly one of the most important screens on the Apple Watch — here’s how to make the most of it.

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How to sync and play music with your Apple Watch

Get ready to rock with your Apple Watch. Photo: Apple

Get ready to rock with your Apple Watch. Photo: Apple

Apple’s smartwatch doesn’t come with much onboard storage, but that doesn’t mean you’re screwed when it comes to Apple Watch music. You can add your own playlists and listen to your favorite tunes using Bluetooth headphones or AirPlay speakers.

To get the songs you want, you need to create a playlist on your iPhone or iTunes, then beam it over to your Apple Watch. Here’s how to do it.

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Set up your Apple Watch face the right way

There's a lot of utility in this watch face. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

There’s a lot of utility in this watch face. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

There are 10 Apple Watch faces to choose from, and each one comes with a crazy amount of options. The moon phases widget is pretty neat, but do I really want to clutter up my watch’s minimalist look?

The cool thing is that you can almost have it all. Apple makes it pretty easy to pick your preferred Apple Watch face and then tweak the specific options you want to add to (or delete from) your wrist.

Here’s how.

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How to set up Apple Pay on Apple Watch

Photo: Apple

Photo: Apple

Using Apple Pay on Apple Watch is ridiculously easy. Once you get everything set up, all you have to do is double-click the side button and then hold the Watch face up to a terminal. Apple’s also made it super-easy to add new cards to your Apple Watch, or create a custom Apple Pay profile just for your wrist.

Here’s how to get started with Apple Pay on your Apple Watch

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Apple Watch frozen? Here’s how to restart it

If your Apple Watch freezes, just force it. Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

If your Apple Watch freezes, just force it. Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Let’s face it: A time will come when your Apple Watch crashes or freezes. It’s gonna become unresponsive, but you’ll be ready thanks to this handy Apple Watch restart tip.

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Master your Apple Watch before it arrives

Do your homework now so you'll be a master of Apple Watch right out of the gate. Photo: Apple

Do your homework now so you’ll be a master of Apple Watch on Day 1. Photo: Apple

Once your Apple Watch arrives, you’re going to slap it on your wrist ASAP. But then what?

There’s a fairly steep learning curve for the Apple Watch, since Apple came up with innovations like Force Touch and the Digital Crown to make wrist computing more manageable. Luckily, there’s an easy way you can avoid being baffled by your shiny new Apple Watch — and it won’t take more than a half-hour of your precious time.

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Never miss an iPhone call or alert again

Keep your ringtone volume and media volume separate. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Keep your ringtone volume and media volume separate. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

There are two different channels for audio on your iOS device: there are ringers and alert sounds and there are media sounds, like from the Music app or various games on your iPhone.

The hardware volume buttons on the side of your iPhone are set to control both by default, but you can separate it out, making the hardware buttons only turn down the media sounds instead of both media and ringer sound.

Here’s our recipe on how to make sure you never miss a call because someone “accidentally” turned your volume all the way down.

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