April 15, 2024

The best Apple Watch features to try on day one

If you just unwrapped a new Apple Watch this holiday season, there are a variety of tips and tricks that can help you get the most out of your new wearable device. Read on for guidance on our favorite Apple Watch features for health, activity, personalization, and more.

Set up activity rings on your Apple Watch

For many people, the Apple Watch is first and foremost a fitness-focused wearable. The key to this is a trio of rings, each represented by a different color: red for moving, green for exercising, and blue for standing.

By default, the green exercise ring closes when you log 30 minutes of intense activity, the blue support or swing ring closes when you move for at least one minute of 12 different hours, and the red movement ring closes when you reach your personal goal. of active calories burned in a day.

Apple also includes the ability to customize your exercise and posture goals. Maybe you are recovering from an injury and 12 hours on your feet coupled with 30 minutes of exercise is too much for your body. People have also asked Apple to integrate rest days into the Apple Watch’s ring system, and this feature at least gives users more control over their goals.

apple watch rings

Here’s how to change your Apple Watch’s movement, exercise, and position goals:

  1. On your Apple Watch, open the Activity app.
  2. Scroll down and find the “Change Goals” button.
  3. Use the + or – buttons to adjust your targets or use the Digital Crown.
  4. Tap “OK” to confirm your changes.

The exercise ring can be lowered or raised in intervals of five, up to a minimum of 10 minutes or a maximum of 60 minutes. The purpose of the stand can be changed in one-hour intervals, up to a minimum of six hours. You cannot increase the stand goal beyond the default 12-hour mark.

Customizing your watch face

The centerpiece of your Apple Watch is the watch face. On your watch face, you can add bits of information known as complications, including things like weather, activity data, heart rate information, and much more. The easiest way to create an Apple Watch face is with the Apple Watch app on iPhone.

You can find the entire library of watch faces in the “Face Gallery” tab of the app, and as you create them, you can add faces to your personal collection. Once you create multiple watch faces, you can swipe between them from your Apple Watch, making it easy to adjust on the fly for different scenarios.

Apple Watch App Store

You can find apps made specifically for Apple Watch in the watchOS App Store. Simply press the Digital Crown on your Apple Watch and find the App Store icon. Here you can easily find and install dedicated Apple Watch apps without using your iPhone at all.

Sharing your activity

One of the ways I love to stay motivated with my Apple Watch is by sharing my activity data with friends and family. When you do this, you can see when your friends complete workouts, how much they’ve progressed toward their goals, and when they earn new rewards.

To share your Apple Watch activity data with others, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Fitness app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap the share icon in the bottom right corner.
  3. Tap the “+” button in the top corner.
  4. Start typing a name and then tap the name you want to add. If the other person has an Apple Watch the name will turn red.
  5. Tap the Send button and then wait for your friend to accept your Activity request. Once accepted, you will receive a notification on your Apple Watch.

Set up health monitoring features

The Apple Watch is not only useful for deliberately tracking your fitness progress, but also for passively monitoring it in the background.

Fall detection

Apple Watch fall detection.

One of those features is called Fall Detection and it uses the gyroscope and accelerometer to detect if you’ve fallen and, more importantly, if you’ve fallen and can’t get back up. By default, fall detection is disabled for users under 65, but you can enable it manually by following these steps:

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Emergency SOS.
  3. Look for the Fall Detection option.
    • Apple warns that more physically active users can activate fall detection even when they haven’t fallen. This is due to high-impact activity and may appear as a fall.
  4. Tap Confirm.


In the Apple Watch app on iPhone, you can also enable a set of features that will let your Apple Watch help you take care of your heart. Simply open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and look for the Heart category. In this section, you can enable the following features:

  • Install the ECG app to take EKGs from your Apple Watch (Series 4 and later).
  • Set notifications and cardiovascular fitness levels, which are a strong indicator of your overall health.
  • Irregular Rhythm Notifications to receive a notification when Apple Watch identifies multiple heart rhythms that may be atrial fibrillation.
  • High heart rate notifications to receive a notification when Apple Watch detects a heart rate that increases to a certain level while you appear inactive.
  • Low heart rate notifications to receive a notification when Apple Watch detects a heart rate below 50 bpm for 10 minutes.

blood oxygen

If you’re using an Apple Watch Series 6, you also have support for taking blood oxygen readings with your device. Apple Watch can also take measurements in the background so you have data to reflect on periodically. Simply open the Watch app on your iPhone, find the Blood Oxygen category, and enable the setting you want.

Control your notifications

Apple Watch makes it incredibly easy to stay on top of your notifications. Every time an app sends a push notification, you’ll receive a tap on your wrist and hear a sound. For many people, however, this can feel overwhelming and unnecessary.

To manage notifications on your Apple Watch, open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and choose the Notifications category. Here you can view a list of apps and manage notifications as needed. My recommendation is to limit notifications on your Apple Watch as much as possible, otherwise you might feel overwhelmed.

Check out Apple Fitness+

Apple Fitness+ offers access to a library of hundreds of on-demand workouts in popular categories like running, cycling, HIIT, rowing, yoga, and more.

Apple Fitness+ features deep integration with Apple Watch, displaying live data from your Apple Watch on the screen during your workout. Plus, if you recently purchased a new Apple Watch, you probably have three months of free access to the service.

You can find Apple Fitness+ in the Fitness app on your iPhone or Apple TV. It’s also available on iPad and you can download it from the iPadOS App Store to get started.

Apple Watch Accessories

Lastly, you may want to accessorize your new Apple Watch with accessories like charging docks and watch bands. These are some of our favorites.

The best charging docks for Apple Watch:

Best Apple Watch Bands:

FTC: We use automatic affiliate links that generate income. Further.

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