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The Apple Watch and the iPhone can obviously be two different pieces of hardware, but the former cannot function without the latter. When you buy a new Apple Watch, enabling it is just the first step, the next is to pair it with an iPhone.
When it’s time to pair your Apple Watch with your iPhone, you’ll need to use the Apple Watch app for iOS. You should be able to find it pre-installed on your iPhone. If you just bought a new Apple Watch Series 7 or Apple Watch SE, here’s how to set it up.
Pairing your new Apple Watch with your iPhone
First, open your iPhone’s Watch app, which is essentially the hub for all things Apple Watch on your phone. Press the “Start Pairing” button. Your iPhone can also recognize your watch once you get close enough to it and ask you to set it, similar to AirPods.
Then, tap on the “Set for myself” option to set your own clock. This will bring up your iPhone’s camera viewfinder. If you already own a different Apple Watch, you will see a button asking you to add a new watch in the app before the “Set up for me” option appears.
Once your iPhone’s camera viewfinder appears, your watch should start showing an animation on your screen. Place the camera cursor around the clock.
That’s basically all there is to it when it comes to pairing your watch with your iPhone. Now is the time to customize your watch settings.
Setting up your new Apple Watch
You will then decide whether you want to set your Apple Watch as a new device or restore it from a backup of your old watch. If you restore it from a backup, you will be able to choose your backup on the next screen. To set up your device as a new watch, you will start by agreeing to Apple’s terms and conditions.
Setting your Apple Watch as a new watch also means that you will be asked to customize a variety of settings and preferences, from the font size of the watch to how apps are displayed. You can change many of these settings later, either in the iPhone’s Watch app or in the watch’s settings menu.
After agreeing to the terms and conditions, you will see a screen explaining that your watch shares settings with your iPhone for location services, Siri, Find My iPhone, and analysis and improvement. Touch the “OK” button to continue.
On the next screen, you can customize how the text appears on the watch. Drag the circle along the slider to increase or decrease the size of the text, and toggle the switch next to “Bold text” if you prefer. Hit “Continue” when you’re ready, or skip this step by hitting the “Set up later in the Apple Watch app” option.
Then Apple will inform you that the Apple Watch will automatically install the software updates. Press “Continue” or touch “Install updates manually” if you want to change this setting. In general, it’s a good idea to keep automatic updates turned on, as software updates generally provide important security and bug fixes.
You will now have the opportunity to set up Apple Pay. Press “Continue” to add your cards to your watch. You can also configure this later by tapping the button near the bottom of the screen if you want to skip this step for now.
Next, you will learn more about the Emergency SOS feature of the Apple Watch, which allows you to call emergency services by pressing and holding the side button. Tap the “Continue” button when you are ready to continue.
If you are setting up an Apple Watch Series 7, Series 6, or Series 5, the next screen will explain the always-on display feature of the Apple Watch. This allows the screen to stay on even when your wrist is down and the screen is idle. You can also disable it later in the Settings menu.
On the next screen, Apple will ask if you want to install watch apps that are companion apps to the ones you already have on your phone. Press the “Install all” button to load these applications on your watch immediately, or press the “Choose later” button to choose which applications you want to transfer.
Almost done! The last step will ask you how you would like to view your app library on the watch, as shown above. Grid view shows your apps as little bubbles on the clock app screen, while list view organizes them in an alphabetical list. Personally, I find the List View easier to navigate, although the Grid View is more visually interesting. You can always change this later in the Settings menu.
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