Introduction - Apple Watch For Dummies (2015)

Apple Watch For Dummies (2015)


I’m excited to present you with Apple Watch For Dummies — your definitive guide to unlocking the power of your smartwatch.

In this book, you find out how to take full advantage of Apple Watch’s many features — all in a language you can understand. You don’t need a degree in electrical engineering to follow along with this book. Whether you’re tech-shy or tech-savvy or perhaps somewhere in between, my goal is to teach you — in plain English — how to master your new gadget.

Apple Watch For Dummies covers all the things you can do with your sleek wrist-mounted companion, ranging from productivity and connectivity features to information, personalization, and navigation; health and fitness applications; entertainment options; and much more. And, of course, this book contains many visual examples of what you can do and what your watch should look like in certain situations.

About This Book

I wrote this book with one focus in mind: to cover all you need to know about Apple Watch in a language you can understand. I break down the geek-speak into street-speak.

After all, technology can be confusing, especially when it’s a brand-new product like Apple Watch. Therefore, consider this book your definitive guide to unlocking Apple Watch’s capabilities. Kind of like with our brains, it’s estimated we use only about 10 percent of what our consumer electronics products can do — whether it’s a computer, smartphone, tablet, TV, or camera — so it’s my modus operandi to fill your head with the other 90 percent.

If you’re more of an intermediate to advanced user, however, I also include a number of tips and tricks on how to get the most from your Apple Watch. But feel free to also experiment, which can be part of the fun. Apple Watch is a brand-new product, so it’ll likely take some time to figure out all it can do.

Keep in mind that Apple will probably add new features to Apple Watch over “time” or when a new operating system update is available. But don’t fret: This book covers not only just the basics but also advanced capabilities. And after you learn — and apply — a good number of the tasks discussed in this book, you should no doubt be comfortable with whatever new things the watch can do in the future.

On that note, Apple Watch is in its infancy, so you’re probably as excited as I am to see how this platform will mature. Think about how far the iPhone is today compared with the first generation in 2007. Ditto for the latest iPad when contrasted with the original in 2010. The best, as they say, is yet to come. But this book covers everything you need to know right now.

Keep in mind that wearable technology like Apple Watch is a relatively new category. Don’t be stressed out if it takes you some time to learn the new platform. You’ve probably used a computer for most of your life and a smartphone and/or tablet for the better part of a few years, but a smartwatch is an entirely different animal altogether.

You’ll need to acclimate to the limited screen size, how to interact with the watch via your fingertips and voice, and what apps work best on your wrist (just as you’ll discover some things are simply better on a phone). Because Apple Watch might have a possibly steeper learning curve than other technology, give yourself a while to master it. Just know I’m here to help in a language you can understand, which means you can put away your geek-to-English dictionary.

How to Use This Book

While this book is meant to be a handy and informative resource, I hope you find the tone conversational. And as with other For Dummies books, you can read Apple Watch For Dummies in any order you like. I’d suggest you start with the first chapter or two in order to learn the various parts of the watch and its user interface, but after that, feel free to jump from chapter to chapter if one topic interests you more than another. Perhaps start by thumbing through the specific topics in the Table of Contents and then go to a particular chapter that piques your curiosity.

For example, you might wonder about the fitness capabilities of Apple Watch — how it counts your steps and the number of stairs climbed, calculates distance traveled, determines your calories burned and heart rate, and so on — so you can turn to Chapter 8 right away. Or maybe you’re anxious to master text messages, emails, and calls on your new device? That would be Chapter 5 — on keeping in touch with those who matter. On the other hand, Chapter 10 focuses on using Apple Watch for making mobile payments at retail by waving your wrist over a contactless terminal to complete a transaction.

You get the idea. Each chapter can stand on its own.

While chapters are divided by task, be aware that each one also has a few subtopics within it. For example, Chapter 6 is on using Apple Watch to stay informed, but the information is broken down into such topics as calendar appointments, maps, live sports scores, stock quotes, and weather information.

But if you’re “old school” and would like a more linear read, go ahead and flip through it from beginning to end — just don’t expect a plot twist near the end. (Spoiler alert: The butler did it.)

In some cases, I cross-reference subjects with topics from other chapters whenever relevant, but you can skip over them if you like or you can pursue them.

I also cover how to best use your voice instead of your fingertips — after all, I wrote the book Siri For Dummies (shameless plug alert!).

It goes without saying that you’ll benefit most from this book if you have your Apple Watch with you, along with your nearby iPhone — which is required for many of the smartwatch’s features to run — and if you ensure the battery is full on both devices so your lessons won’t be interrupted. Oh, and it doesn’t matter which Apple Watch you own — such as Apple Watch Sport (aluminum case), Apple Watch (stainless steel case), or Apple Watch Edition (18-karat gold case) — because this book is relevant to every model.

After trying many of the Apple Watch features I teach you in this book, expect to reach for your iPhone less and less. You’ll likely hear this from seasoned Apple Watch users: Keep your iPhone tucked away in your pocket or purse but still access what you want by simply tapping or talking into your wrist. It’s all about convenience.

The various tips and tricks throughout — as well as some interesting tidbits — will help you get the most from your Apple Watch. For example, you can use your Apple Watch to control music, audiobooks, and podcasts on your iPhone. Also, your watch knows the difference between a tap and a press. And did you know your watch can tap you with a slight vibration whenever a new message arrives for you to read? You learn how to do that — and much more — throughout this book.

But you don’t need to wade through these extra Apple Watch factoids if you prefer to stick to the basics. Most of this extra content is labeled as Technical Stuff or Tip (see the “Icons Used in This Book” section). Then again, you might be more interested in these “sides” than the main course. (I’m sometimes like that when I visit my favorite restaurant.)

Also, be aware that this book has many figures, so you can see the steps — or the outcome of them — as you would on your own watch. This visual information should make it easier to follow along.

Foolish Assumptions

When writing this book, I made only two major assumptions:

· You own one of the Apple Watch products.

· You want to know how to get the most from it.

The watch won’t come with an instruction manual, so consider Apple Watch For Dummies the closest thing to one — and a whole lot more too, if I may say so myself.

Oh, I actually made one more assumption: I assumed you also own an iPhone, which is required to gain the most from your wirelessly connected watch. For example, Apple Watch doesn’t have a SIM card, so you won’t be able to use it on its own to make calls, receive texts, check email, and so on.

Icons Used in This Book

The following icons are placed in the margins of the book’s pages to point out information you may or may not want to read.

tip This icon offers suggestions to enhance your experience. Most are tied to the topic at hand, while others are more general in nature.

remember This icon reinforces the importance of information related to Apple Watch. You might consider bookmarking the page or jotting down the information elsewhere.

warning Apple Watch is a promising new wearable platform, but this icon alerts you to important considerations when using it, including health, safety, or security concerns.

technicalstuff This icon warns you about geeky descriptions or explanations you may want to pass on — but don’t expect a lot of these throughout this easy-to-read guide.

Beyond This Book

We’re almost ready to dive into this book so you can master your Apple Watch. It should be noted that a lot of excellent online information tied to Apple Watch exists, so the following are a few good websites to check out and potentially bookmark for future visits:

· Dummies ( The official website for all the Dummies books, including sections on Apple Watch, iPhone, and Siri.

· Apple Watch For Dummies ( This is where you can learn more about the Apple Watch collections, gain information about other smartwatches, and discover how Apple focused on time accuracy for Apple Watch.

· Apple Watch For Dummies Cheat Sheet ( This site offers information discussed in this book but presented in different ways.

· Apple Watch ( Apple’s website for all things Apple Watch, including specifications, features, and an online store.

· Wikipedia: Apple Watch ( A communally updated resource for Apple Watch, including links to other resources.

· Gizmodo (Watch Section) ( A look at all watch-related information, photos, and reviews, including a ton of Apple Watch content.

· 9to5Mac ( A handy resource for all things Apple Watch, along with other Apple products.

· Engadget ( Popular portal for consumer electronics, including coverage of Apple Watch news, reviews, and features.

· The Loop ( Coverage of gadgets, apps, and other techy trends but with a strong focus on Apple products.

· C|Net’s Apple Watch page ( Apple Watch news, reviews, and features tied to Apple’s first wearable.

Where to Go From Here

If you’ve never used an Apple Watch — perhaps you bought this book in anticipation of purchasing one or receiving it as a gift — it might be best to power up the watch, turn it on, and follow the prompts to set it all up. Chapter 2 goes into this if you prefer to wait or feel free to dive in with the watch before you fully crack the spine of this book. Your call based on your comfort level.

Regardless of which model you own — or plan on buying or receiving — you don’t need to know anything to begin reading Apple Watch For Dummies. All you need is your willingness to learn this exciting new wearable gadget, which should help add convenience, speed, and style to your everyday tasks.

Ready to start? Turn the page….