Apple Watch

Update The Software Of Your Apple Watch

The first Apple Watch update appeared a few days ago. This update brings with it “improved performance” for Siri, different elements of activity tracking, accessibility and third party support. 1.0.1 also brings Brazilian Portugese, Danish, Dutch, Swedish, Russian, Thai and Turkish language support. And a few minor security issues were addressed. In short, you might want to run this one… To do so, first make sure your phone is close (less than 20 feet in my opinion) and that the watch has at least half a charge.

To run the upgrade, start by opening the Apple Watch app on your iPhone. From the default screen (My Watch), tap on General and then tap on Software Update.

From the Software Update screen, tap on Download and Install and let the watch do it’s thing (note, you’ll be prompted for a passcode if you have one configured). The update usually takes around 15 minutes. Don’t reboot or get the phone more than 20 feet from the watch during the update. Enjoy your Brazilian Portuguese!

Mac OS X

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Apple Watch

Sync Photo Albums To Your Apple Watch

I keep looking for more and more ways to have my Apple Watch be really functional without having it talk to my phone when I need the function it’s performing. One of those can easily be looking at photos. One of these is to sync some photos to the watch so that if my battery dies or I leave my phone on my desk, I still have access to photos if I want to get to some. To sync pictures from your

First, open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone. Then tap on Photos in the list of apps under the default My Watch tab.


From the Photos screen, choose to be notified of alerts. I leave this set to Mirror My iPhone. Then, set the Synced Album to any album on the phone that you’d like to sync to the watch. This might be Camera Roll, the default, or you can select any album that you’ve created. After I did this, I’ve created a new album call watch that syncs all the pictures I want on my watch.


Tap on Photos Limit to configure how much space you allow the photo album to fill up on your watch. You can select 25, 100, 250 or 500 photos, which nets 5MB, 15MB, 40MB and 75MB respectively. Then tap

Then wait. The photos will be sync’d to your Watch.

Apple Watch Apps

10 Calculator Apps for Your Apple Watch

Now that I’ve found the right calculator for me, I should point out that I still take my phone out of my pocket to use a calculator. That’s a habit thing though, not a problem with the size of the objects on the Apple Watch.

Calculator for Apple Watch

Calculator for Apple Watch is a free, basic, standard little calculator app. It’s the app that could be built into the Apple Watch.

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 9.29.10 AM


Calcbot is a slight step up from Calculator. Here, we gain the ability to convert some basic things as well, such as kilograms to pounds, Fahrenheit to Celsius and a few other little things. There’s also a little tip calculator for those who need it.

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 9.50.58 AM


If you need more functions, you can also do some scientific functions, fractions, percents, etc with this one.

Oh, and Calculator+ supporting using handwriting!

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 9.54.09 AM


Similar to Calculator+ but adds constants and conversions. See the ellipse. That opens up a lot of different options. And you have a glance to see recent calculations from the iOS app, which can be cool if you’re in a meeting!

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 9.57.36 AM


Scientific calculator (the only one where the numbers are separate on the screen). Also has history and the options available in PCalc, but adds speakable items!

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 9.58.42 AM

XE Currency

Simple currency converter. A few of the more traditional calculator apps have some currencies, but XE has all the world currencies.

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 10.03.27 AM

Calculator Free

As with a few of the calculator apps, this one has themes, so you can match it up with your band. But it also has a tip calculator, basic conversions and some of the bigger buttons (’cause lets face it, it’s a small screen).

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 10.12.23 AM

Calculator Pro

All the calculator things, matched to your watch band – but you have to buy it.

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 10.05.46 AM

Cruncher – Watch Calculator

Very basic calculator but with big buttons. Buttons are big because there are multiple objects within them. If you need bigger buttons give this one a shot.

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 10.20.44 AM

Inflation Calculator

Another specialty calculator. How much is $20 from 1980 worth today?

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 10.22.55 AM

Bonus: There are tons of calorie counters out there for both Apple Watch and iPhone.

Bonus 2: There are tons of tip calculators out there for the Apple Watch, but I didn’t include any of those here.

Apple Watch

Improve The Battery Performance On Your Apple Watch

When I first got it, the battery on my Apple Watch didn’t last throughout a day. I knew that I had to charge it every night before I bought it, but I thought it would have lasted me all day. Now it does. Don’t kill the functionality that you want from an Apple Watch.


Instead, pick and choose the things you don’t mind loosing, otherwise the watch might just be somewhat useless to you. So here’s a list of the things I experimented with:

  • Put the device into Power Saving Mode: OK, so this basically kills the use of the watch. You could also put the watch into airplane mode. This stuff is really if you won’t be using the watch for awhile. You know, like on a flight.
  • Disable the heart-rate monitor on the watch during your workouts. This only helps during workouts and has a negative impact in that you aren’t tracking heart rate and you get less accurate active calorie data. But if you’re running an ultra-marathon, you probably wanna’ do this. To do so, open the Apple Watch app, tap on the entry for the Workout app and then tap on Power Saving Mode.
  • Reduce notifications. To do so, open the Apple Watch app and then tap on Notifications. From here, check out this article for more information on managing notifications.
  • Disable wrist detection. I’m remiss to tell anyone to disable this option, but it is one way to make the watch battery last longer; especially if you gesticulate a lot! To do so, open the Apple Watch app and then tap on General. Then just slide the Wrist Detection entry into the OFF position.
  • Similarly, the Reduce Motion option reduces the number of automations when opening and closing apps. I love these animations and I’ve found that unless you’re doing a lot on the watch that this doesn’t really help with battery as much. But if you spend a lot of time during the day opening and closing apps, then this can be a nice bump.
  • Pick a watch face that isn’t a power hog. Watch faces with animation kill the power. I use the default watch face, which is bit of a drain because it pulls weather and shows your activity. But if you are really active, you might benefit from a very basic watch face that isn’t polling information on your phone to, for example, update the weather all the time. To switch between watch faces, Force Touch (press and hold) on a watch face and then swipe horizontally to select a new one.
  • Reduce the brightness on your device. One of the reasons that the Apple Watch is so awesome is that the screen is the prettiest on the wearables market. Reducing the brightness will only make the screen less and less awesome. But if you need more battery life, it will help! To turn down the brightness, open the Apple Watch app, tap on Brightness & Text Size and then slide the BRIGHTNESS entry to the level of brightness you can deal with. You can also go grayscale, on that same screen. It’s kinda’ sad to go this route, but if you’re about to do a Marathon with the watch, you might as well. You can always go back to a normal screen afterwards.
Apple Watch

A Guide To The Apple Watch

And so ya, I guess I have an Apple Watch… Here’s my own little guide on the darn thing. It’s fun.

Apple Watch

Sync Music To Your Apple Watch So You Can Listen Without A Phone

By default, the Apple Watch acts as a control mechanism for the Music app on your iPhone. The Apple Watch can play music without an iPhone present as well. But first you’ll need to sync a playlist to the watch. To do so, open the Apple Watch app and scroll down to the Music app listing.


From there, you’ll see an option for Playlist Limit and Synced Playlist. First, we’ll limit the amount of space on you watch that the music from your playlist can take up. Tap Playlist Limit in the MUSIC STORAGE section.


Here, I’ll tap on 2.0 GB. This will limit the amount of storage that can be taken up by the music from the playlist that we sync to the device. Then tap < Music to go back to select a playlist.


At the Synced Playlist option, select a playlist from your phone. I’m going to select one I created for this purpose called Local.


Once you do so, the music from the playlist will start syncing to the watch. You can then play it to a bluetooth device without having your phone present. For those who didn’t want an Apple Watch because they wanted to go on runs without a phone on them, you’re in luck. Now you just need a pair of bluetooth headphones.

Apple Watch

Manage Notifications on the Apple Watch

The Apple Watch will display notifications for any app that can push notifications to the watch. You can configure which can, by opening the Apple Watch app on your phone and tapping on the Notifications section. From here, you’ll be able to disable Notifications on the watch and control each app.


The app with the most options is Activity. This is where you can disable stand reminders, progress updates, indications that the goals are complete, summaries and of course achievement notifications.


Most of the other built-in apps can mirror an iPhone or be disabled. You can also manually control the built-in apps, which by default mirror alerts from your iPhone.


The Notifications Indicator option in that Apple Watch app will disable the whole red dot at the top of the screen thingy. I don’t recommend that. If you get a lot of notifications, the better thing to know is how to disable all the notifications at once. To do so, Force Touch to invoke the Clear All screen. Tap it and all those notifications get cleared at once. Now, hopefully you can find all the things you didn’t see.

Apple Watch

Setup Bluetooth Headphones And Speakers On Your Apple Watch

You can sync music to your watch. You can then play that music over a bluetooth speaker or headset. To configure that speaker or headset, open the Settings app on your Apple Watch. Then tap on Bluetooth.


From the Bluetooth screen, the watch will search for devices and then list any devices located. Speakers and headphones both seem to appear as headsets rather than show their Bluetooth identifiers. When it opens, tap on the device name.


Once you’ve configured a speaker, open up the Music app from your home screen.


Then play music. Enjoy.

Apple Watch

Apple Watch Gestures

Here’s a list of gestures you need to know on the Apple Watch:

  1. Lift your wrist to show the display: This is probably the easiest of the gestures. Once you’ve put on the watch, simply lift your wrist and you’ll see the display. You’re not gesturing, but you are. Just not on the face of the watch. But many of these are clicking places anyway…
  2. Click on the crown: Access your your home screen. You can control the home screen like this: Manage Apps On The Apple Watch.
  3. Double-click on the crown: Go back to your last app.
  4. Click on the side button: No matter where you are, the side button will take you to your friends list. Customize this list so your top 10 contacts can receive things like, I don’t know, your creepy heartbeat.
  5. Double-click the side button to open Apple Pay: Clicking the side button opened your address book. But double-clicking opens Apple’s system for paying via NFC: Apple Pay. If you’ve setup Apple Pay, double-click the side button to see an image of your credit card. Move your wrist close to an Apple Pay credit card reader (like at Subway) to pay for all the stuffs. No card, no password, no germs. Just a sandwich hand crafted by the people that brought you Jared. And probably cloned him…
  6. Hold down the side button: This brings up a screen that let’s you lock, power off or put the battery reserve on on your watch. You can also force-touch the Power Off button to factory reset the watch. Be careful with that one. If you can actually force touch the right place on the button. Good luck with that. It’s like the worlds best drinking game. But sober.
  7. Press and hold the crown to talk to your best friend, Siri. She’ll start listening while you’re holding the crown. Tell her something, like all about your feelings (wait, you’re not the Green Arrow, you don’t have to constantly talk about those) and then she’ll do whatever you told her (within reason).
  8. Swipe down to control notifications: By default, you’ll see the watch face when you initially look at your Apple Watch. Swipe down at the main watch face screen to see a list of notifications. This should be easy to get used to as it’s how things work on your iPhone. Click on push notifications to open them, or swipe to clear them.
  9. Swipe up to access glances: Glances show information from a lot of apps at once. Swipe up from the watch face, to show glances for battery, music, fitness, 3rd party apps, etc. Swipe vertically to scroll between them. The easiest glance is the first, which shows the control center, similar to what’s on your iPhone. Here, throw the watch into Airplane mode, etc. No flashlight. When you hit a glance that needs to communicate with the phone you’ll see the dots that indicate that it’s communicating.
  10. Force press to access menus and options to otherwise available: Press harder on the screen and on buttons to  force-press. Many apps have different options available to a Force Press, such as changing your goals in the Activity app, shuffling through music in the Music app, searching for a location in Maps, and force resetting the device from the restart screen. Many 3rd party apps will have an option and built-in apps are slowly being documented as people find them.
  11. Put your hand over the face of the watch to silence it: Yup, you’re sitting in a meeting or at a movie and notifications are bugging you. You don’t want to crash the plane. So, silence the watch. The next time you lift your wrist you’ll be back at a display.