Apple Watch Hardware - dummies

By Marc Saltzman

Okay, so you’re all geared up to test drive all that Apple Watch can do, but if you’re using it for the first time, you may not even know all the parts of the watch and what they do.

Fair enough. Let’s start with a look at the various parts of the watch on the outside and what they do.

Watch face

Whether you opted for the 38 mm or 42 mm model (referring to its vertical height), the Apple Watch face is entirely digital; therefore, you won’t find any buttons of any kind. Use your fingertip to move around the icon bubbles and tap an app to launch it. You can also tap, press, and swipe inside an app to perform a task.

Side button

Along the side of the watch is a button in the center. From the Home screen and in any app, press this button to pull up your Friends ring (close contacts). This is where you can choose to call someone or send a text or email or use Digital Touch to send a tap, sketch, or heartbeat.

Digital Crown button

Seasoned watch owners are familiar with the small rotary dial on a watch’s right side (usually), which is used to either wind it up (for the old-school ones anyway) or set the time. Apple Watch has one too. Called the Digital Crown button, this dial can be pressed, tapped, or turned forward or backward, with each change resulting in a different action.


Back sensors/charger

On the back of Apple Watch are four sensors to monitor your heart rate (measured in beats per minute). A larger circle surrounding the four smaller heart rate sensors is used to charge up the Apple Watch battery.


Watch band

Every wristwatch has a band to keep the screen snug on your wrist. You chose a specific band when you bought Apple Watch — whether a leather strap, a link bracelet, a classic buckle, or a silicone band — but you can change bands later if you desire.

You don’t need to press hard on these buttons. You want to minimize the wear and tear of your new (and pricey!) gadget. Just a simple press on the buttons will do. Also, try to avoid touching the screen and buttons with wet or damp hands. Electronics and water don’t exactly go well together.