Cheat Sheet

Apple Watch For Dummies Cheat Sheet

From Apple Watch For Dummies

By Marc Saltzman

From the Apple Watch name alone, you can tell that this new gadget from Apple can let you know what time it is. Your Apple Watch works as a companion to your iPhone (which you need to use the watch) and all that that device offers, and you can do myriad things with your Apple Watch — all by using your finger or voice. Apple Watch can help you keep in contact with close friends via the Friends ring; achieve your fitness and health goals with the Activity app; and find directions to any destination you choose. And don’t forget that Siri, your personal assistant, can help you with all your Apple Watch tasks.

Accessing Your Friends Ring to Contact Close Friends and Family on Apple Watch

While many people will rely on Apple Watch for incoming information — such as answering calls, looking at emails, glancing at weather information, and checking the time or place of a calendar event — you can also easily use Apple Watch for outgoing communication.

In fact, you have a few different ways you can do that. The easiest would be to simply raise your wrist and say something like “Hey, Siri, call Bob Jones at work” or “Hey, Siri, text my dad that I’m going to be late.”

But you’ll probably want to master the Friends ring, which gives you even more options, such as sending someone a fun tap or your heartbeat to let that person know you’re thinking about him or her. He or she feels that tap or heartbeat on his or her wrist (if that person is wearing an Apple Watch, which is required to feel these sensations). You can also send a finger-drawn sketch to someone special. Your Friends ring can also help you place a call and send and receive texts.

To use the Friends ring on your Apple Watch, follow these steps:

  1. Tap the Side button on your Apple Watch — no matter what you’re going on your watch.

    This opens your Friends list, which looks like a ring and shows you people you like to communicate with. This ring holds up to 12 people and can include their photos if you have them in your iPhone’s Contacts app.

    You can let Apple Watch suggest people you like to chat with or you can manually add people to your Friends ring via the Apple Watch app on iPhone.


  2. Twist the Digital Crown button to select someone to contact.

    Twist forward or backward to highlight different friends or family members on the ring. When you land on someone you’d like to reach out to, you don’t need to press the ribbed Digital Crown button to select the person. Just wait a second and you should see an expanded view of his or her initials and/or face.

  3. Select how you’d like to contact the person: Call, Message, or, if that person has an Apple Watch, via Digital Touch.

    The small icons underneath a contact are a phone (to call), a speech bubble (to message), or a hand with forefinger extended (for Digital Touch). Apple Watch’s Digital Touch feature lets you send someone vibrating taps, your heartbeat, or an animated sketch — but only to people who also have an Apple Watch. Because you’re likely familiar with how to make a call or send a message, try sending a Digital Touch.

  4. Tap the forefinger icon and then begin tapping on the screen.

    The person who receives these taps will see them and feel them on his or her wrist (thanks to haptic vibration technology).

    You can also press two fingers on the screen to send your heartbeat to a loved one. Or simply draw a pattern using your fingertip and the other person wearing an Apple Watch will see the sketch animate on his or her screen.

    Whenever you’re done with the Friends ring, you can press the Digital Crown button to return to your Home screen, the clock face, or the last app you were in – all of which can be tweaked in the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.

Using the Apple Watch Activity App to Meet Your Fitness Goals

Fitness crazes never really go away. People are always looking for new ways to lose some weight and to get into better shape. Apple Watch will come in handy for health-conscious people who desire fast results but also quick feedback about how well they’re doing. Unlike many other smartwatches, Apple Watch goes above and beyond what others can do.

For example, the built-in Workout app lets you select from one of many exercises and a ton of real-time information is then calculated and presented for you.

But the Apple Watch’s core fitness-related app is Activity. As the name suggests, the Activity app keeps track of everything physical you do throughout the day — and encourages you to keep moving with gentle reminders.


The Activity app gives you a visual snapshot of your daily activity. It’s broken down into three colored rings:

  • Move: The reddish-pink ring shows how many calories you’ve burned from moving.

  • Exercise: The lime-green ring shows how minutes of brisk activity you’ve completed that day.

  • Stand: The baby-blue ring gives you a visual indication of how often you’ve stood up after sitting or reclining.

Your goal is to complete each ring each day by reaching the suggested amount of exercise per day. The more solid each ring is, the better you’re doing — and the closer you are to reaching your fitness goals.

Before you begin any activity, however, Apple Watch wants to learn a little about you first — namely, your gender, age, height, and weight. For the numbers to be accurate — such as estimating your calories burned — the watch needs to know a few essentials about you. For example, an 8-year-old female burns calories at a different rate than a 65-year-old male.

The following sections offer a closer look at each Activity ring.


The Activity app’s Move ring tells you how well you’re doing based on your personal active calorie burn goal for the day. For example, the default goal is 600 calories per day, which is a couple hours of walking around a shopping mall. If that’s too easy to reach or, on the flipside, too ambitious, you can easily make necessary adjustments to suit your needs. Just press firmly on the Apple Watch screen and change the Move goal to something more achievable: Press + or – until you see your desired goal.

To access and use the Move tab in the Activity app, follow these steps:

  1. Press the Digital Crown button to access your Home screen.

  2. Tap the multicolored Activity app.

    Or raise your wrist and say “Hey, Siri, Activity.” Either action launches the Activity app and you should see the Activity app’s main (summary) screen.

  3. Swipe once to the left to go to the Move tab.

    Move tells you how much you’ve moved during the day. The large number in the middle of the watch screen is your current estimated calories burned. The small number underneath is your daily goal, while the reddish-pink ring visually shows how close you are to hitting your daily goal.

    You can change your caloric goal in the Activity app by pressing on the watch screen (Digital Touch) and selecting a new goal. Press + or – to set your desired goal. You can also change your Exercise and Stand goals in the same fashion.

  4. Swipe down on the screen to see a History graph with each hour of the day presented and how well you’ve done per hour (highlighted by a vertical line).

    The taller the pinkish bar, the more you moved that hour.


Whether you want to do something active in one shot — such as jogging on the treadmill after work — or a little bit here and there, it’s recommended you do at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. What constitutes “exercise,” you ask? How is this different from mere “moving”? Any activity at the level of a brisk walk or above is considered exercise, says Apple.

To access and use the Exercise tab in the Activity app, follow these steps:

  1. Press the Digital Crown button to access your Home screen.

  2. Tap the Activity app.

    Or raise your wrist and say “Hey, Siri, Activity.” Either action launches the Activity app and you should see the Activity app’s main (summary) screen.

  3. Swipe twice to the left to go to the Exercise tab.

    You should see a large number in the middle of the screen. This is the total exercise time calculated for the day so far. Underneath this number is the total goal for the day (such as 30 minutes). The greenish-yellow ring also shows you how close you are to your overall daily goal. To change your goals, press firmly on the screen and tap + or – to set your desired goal.

  4. Swipe down for your History graph, which shows your hourly activity level — measured in minutes — for when you were most active.

    As you might expect, the higher the line on the graph, the better. Even if you exercise a little here and a little there, every bit helps and goes toward your daily time goal.


Many people have jobs where they sit for a good chunk of the day. Sound familiar? Apple’s Stand ring within the Activity app will remind you to move at least once per hour so you get up and walk around. By default, you’ll be notified about 50 minutes into each hour of sitting idle.

To access and use the Stand tab in the Activity app, follow these steps:

  1. Press the Digital Crown button to access your Home screen.

  2. Tap the Activity app.

    Or raise your wrist and say “Hey, Siri, Activity.” Either action launches the Activity app and you should see the Activity app’s main (summary) screen.

  3. Swipe three times to the left to go to the Stand tab.

    The first part of the Stand tab shows a large number in the middle of the screen. This shows how many hours you’ve stood up for (at least one minute per hour). The smaller number underneath the large number is the total goal hours (such as 12). The blue ring visually shows you how you’re doing for the day.

  4. Swipe down to access the History graph.

    You should see the day laid out chronologically and a full vertical bar for any hour you stood (for at least a minute per hour).

Getting Turn-by-Turn Directions on Your Apple Watch

Apple Maps — or simply Maps — is one of the built-in Apple Watch apps. As you might expect, it allows you to get directions from your current location to a destination of your choosing — with the app calculating the best route.

You should see — and feel — the turn-by-turn navigation instructions to guide you along the way, and you can always search for nearby businesses, such as a restaurant or a gas station, simply by asking Siri for it.

To use the Maps app on your Apple Watch, follow these steps:

  1. Press the Digital Crown button to go to your Home screen.

  2. Tap the Maps app.

    Or raise your wrist and say “Hey, Siri, Maps.” Either action will open the Maps app.

    When the app launches, an overhead map of your current location appears on the Apple Watch screen, and you can swipe in a given direction to move the map around or you can twist the Digital Crown button if you want to zoom in and out to see nearby streets or businesses.


  3. Tap the blue icon in the lower left of the screen to return to your current location.

    This recenters the map to your specific location.

  4. To find a location, press and hold the screen to activate Siri and then speak an address or business name.

    This is the only way to “type” in an address or business name because Apple Watch doesn’t have a built-in keyboard.

  5. Tap the blue word Done in the top right of the screen after you see the correct location to which you wish to travel.

    If you want to see more information on a particular business, you can press the screen on the business name to see further details, provided by Yelp, such as the address and phone number (which you can call), hours of operation and if it’s open at that exact moment, and its star rating (average user rating out of five stars).

    You’ll also see an estimate on how long it might take to get there by foot or by car.

  6. Tap Start to map your route.

    Follow the instructions as you make your way to your destination. If you need to turn right, a steady series of a dozen taps are felt on your wrist at the intersection you’re approaching. To turn left, you should feel three pairs of two taps. If you’re walking, you can also glance down at your screen for visual cues — if it’s safe to do so and not while walking across a street.