Sail through Apple Watch setup with these handy tips

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The Apple Watch is gorgeous (and comfy, too).
Your Apple Watch setup will be a breeze with these handy tips.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

You’ve got your Apple Watch, you lucky devil. Now it’s time to tweak it to make it as personal as possible with these Apple Watch setup tips.

Although Apple walks you through many of the basic steps, there are plenty of choices to be made before you’ll be able to squeeze maximum utility and joy out of your sleek, stylish smartwatch.

Cult of Mac’s roundup shows you exactly how to make the most out of your new favorite gadget.

How to change out your Apple Watch band

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Apple Watch band connector
The band stops here.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

When I found out I’d be able to change out the band on my Apple Watch Sport, I was ecstatic. While I really don’t mind the green fluoroelastomer band, I’m looking forward to swapping it out for something a little less Swatch and a bit more Gap casual.

Changing the band is a pretty simple affair, but if you haven’t had the chance to put one on your wrist yet, it’s a bit hard to tell just how to do so.

Tweak your Apple Watch notifications

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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.

Customize your Apple Watch settings

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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.

How to set up your Apple Watch Friends screen

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Learning the user interface can take some time, and then there are all the subtle tricks.
The Friends screen is one of the most important on the Apple Watch. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
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.

How to sync and play music with your Apple Watch

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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.

Set up your Apple Watch face the right way

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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.

How to set up Apple Pay on Apple Watch

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How to set up Apple Pay on Apple Watch so you can breeze through checkout lines.
Once you get Apple Pay up and running on Apple Watch, you'll be breezing through checkout in no time.
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