So, you’ve got your Apple Watch Series 7 for Christmas. Congratulations – it’s time to say a big thank you to whoever gave it to you. But you’ll also have to apologize because you’ll likely spend the rest of the day playing with your new game and ignoring those around you. There’s a lot you can do with your cool new smartwatch, so find a cute armchair and work through the list of features we think are the most important.
1. Sort watch face
You’re going to spend a lot of time looking at this, so make sure the watch face shows what you want – whether that’s your favorite photo, your activity stats, a kaleidoscope, cheerful colored smoke spreading across the screen, or a character from Toy Story. Can’t you decide? Create a few and once you have it set up, you can swipe sideways between them on the watch itself whenever the weather is right for you.
2. Choose your multiples
Once you’ve decided on the watch face style, it’s time to complicate matters. Complications are small nuggets of information that are also associated with the application. You can, for example, get the date (clicked to access your calendar), the weather, track your daily activity, a timer, or hundreds of other things including links to activity apps like Strava or Nike+ Run Club. The Apple Watch 7 has a larger screen than previous versions, and this is put to good use by the Infograph watch face, which has room for up to eight complications, so you can have all your favorite apps within easy reach every day.
3. Organize your Dock
Click the bottom button on the side of your Apple Watch to bring up the Dock containing your favorite apps. You can set them up in the iPhone Watch app and manage them from the watch itself – swipe left on an app to remove it from the Dock.
4. Go configure
Head over to Watch Orientation in the general section of the Watch app and you can select not only the right or left wrist, but also the side you want the buttons to be on.
5. Choose activity goals and notifications
The Apple Watch 7 is a great everyday tracker and filling all three activity rings will quickly become an obsession. Make sure your Move goal is realistic, though — 500 active calories per day is the norm, but very active people may want to look at over 600. You can also adjust how much activity tracking interacts on the Watch iPhone app, which allows you to Turn hourly movement and training alerts on or off – the latter chimes in with indicators throughout the day to help you stay on track with your activity goals.
6. 4G setup (if you have it)
If your watch is the cellular model, you need EE or Vodafone sim and contract, then head to the iPhone app and tap on Mobile Data to set up 4G.
7. Download your favorite fitness apps
The original Apple Workout app has all the sports modes you could possibly need, but it doesn’t export the data it collects to third-party apps you probably already use. Fortunately, most third-party apps have dedicated Apple Watch apps, including Strava, Runkeeper, and Nike + Run Club, so if you already have a favorite fitness app, downloading it to your watch should be a priority.
8. Discover new fitness apps
While you may already have some of your favorite fitness apps on your phone, there are some specific Apple Watch options that you might not have come across before. Best of all is WorkOutDoors, which essentially turns the watch into a sports tracker on par with a Garmin or Polar device. It costs £4.99 but we say WorkOutDoors is close to essential for runners and cyclists in particular. Other great apps that you can try on your Apple Watch include iSmoothRun and Yourace.
9. Get rid of your Tesco Clubcard
Two taps of the Apple Watch’s underside button will show you your payment card, which is convenient in itself — but it’s far from the only card you can store in your Watch wallet. You can set up your own Tesco Clubcard and even link your most used stores so that the card will automatically pop up when you enter your local branch. You can also put your train, movie, and plane tickets into your new wristlet, making the Apple Watch the most useful smartwatch available today.
10. Stay up to date with the latest news and sports
There are plenty of football matches over the Christmas period, but you’re also meant to “spend time” with “family and friends,” so get the Forza app and set up goal notifications for your favorite teams. If you’re curious about what’s new, the BBC News app will ensure you stay up to date without having to visibly check your phone. In fact, whatever you want to keep up to date with its latest version, there will be an app to download.
11. Decide on fall detection
Your Apple Watch can now detect if you’ve had a hard fall while wearing the watch and automatically brings up the option to call emergency services. You can dismiss this alert, but if you are immobile for a minute, the call will be made automatically. It’s a potentially life-saving feature that turns on automatically for users over 65, but it can be triggered incorrectly, especially if you regularly participate in high-impact exercise. Decide if you want to turn it on or off and choose appropriately in the My Watch section of the app.
12. Intensification of haptic feedback
Open the Watch app, tap Sounds & Haptics, then move the Haptic Strength slider all the way to the right and turn on Prominent Haptic. The powerful sizzling means you won’t miss any notification.
13. Sync your music
If you turn on the Heavy Rotation playlist, your Apple Watch will automatically add all the music you listen to most on your iPhone’s Music app and will do so when charging at night, which is really helpful. You can also select playlists to sync the next time you charge, which is worth doing if you already have a mix of running or the gym.
14. …and your podcast
Head over to the Podcasts section of the Watch app and you can choose which ones you want to automatically sync to your Apple Watch when charging — everything you have or just a few of your favourites.
15. Get Apple Music Subscription
This is an additional cost but well worth paying, considering how well the Apple Watch integrates music. Once you sign up, just ask Siri to play whatever music you can think of, or songs from any era, and your watch will duly charge you. It’s almost magical, and if you have an Apple Watch with 4G, you can do it without a phone in sight. It’s time to amaze your eldest relative. Hey Siri, play Michael Buble’s Christmas album. repeatedly.
16. Set up heart rate notifications
Apple Watch cares about heart health. It can take an electrocardiogram and tell you if your heart rate drops too low or too high for a long time for seemingly no reason — if you exercise you won’t get the high heart rate alerts. In the Heart section of the Watch app, you can set the level of your heart rate that will turn these alerts on, or turn them off completely. Receiving high heart rate alerts when you’re not moving is a sign that you may need to talk to your doctor.
17. Check the noise levels around you
The Noise app on your Apple Watch checks the decibel levels around you and lets you know if they are dangerously high. Although its main use is to indicate any regular periods of the week you spend in disturbingly noisy environments, it can provide important information about how loud the annual Christmas Day petty stalking can be.
18. Try Apple Fitness +
Fitness + is Apple’s premier guided workout app. You’ll also get three months of free access with your Apple Watch purchase, so it’s worth trying it out once the festive festivities are over. The range of workouts in the app is impressive and includes cardio, yoga, strength and HIIT workouts.