As with all of Apple’s devices, the Apple Watch just sort of works. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a better (or correct) way to use the device or that there aren't tips you should always keep in mind.
Whether you’re a long-time Apple Watch owner or a prospective buyer, continue reading to learn 10 mistakes that you’ll want to avoid making with your Apple Watch.
Not Wearing It Correctly
You can wear your Apple Watch pretty much any way you want — and a comfortable fit largely comes down to personal preference. That being said, there are certainly some downsides to wearing an Apple Watch incorrectly: it can result in inaccurate movement and heart rate data.
The perfect fit for good heart rate data should be snug but not overly tight. A good rule is to tighten it as much as you can without it being uncomfortable. You may also want to wear it fairly high on your arm, as wearing it too low could cause problems with comfort and heart rate accuracy.
Ignoring the Safety Features
Arguably the most important features of the Apple Watch relate to safety. While it can keep you connected and healthy over the long-term, an Apple Watch can also help save your life in a pinch — if you actually set up and use the provided features.
For one, add important health information and emergency contacts to your Medical ID. Familiarize yourself with Emergency SOS, which can let you contact first responders. (If you have a Cellular Apple Watch, Emergency SOS will work even without a cellular plan.) Make sure to enable irregular heart rate notifications and fall detection.
Not Updating Your Health Data
The Apple Watch uses a variety of metrics and sensors to determine how much you move and how many calories you burn doing it. But the Apple Watch’s fitness and movement accuracy is largely dependent on your health profile, as well as several other factors.
You should definitely keep your Health Profile data up-to-date inside of the Watch app, including updating your weight periodically.
You may also want to calibrate your watch by walking or running outside on a flat route for at least 20 minutes. This will help calibrate its GPS data for more accurate workouts.
Not Taking Care of Its Battery
Battery life is often a major concern for most smartphone, laptop or tablet users. But you could argue that it’s even more important on a wearable device that’s supposed to keep you updated and track your fitness and health.
So we recommend keeping your Apple Watch’s battery life in mind. Try not to keep it on the charger for extended periods of time (although overnight is fine). Also keep an eye on the temperature of your watch and its surroundings, since heat is one of the quickest ways to kill a lithium-ion battery.
Cleaning It Incorrectly
You should be cleaning your Apple Watch regularly, particularly if you wear it during sweaty or high-intensity workouts. With that being said, there’s definitely a right and a wrong way to clean your Apple Watch. And if you clean it incorrectly, you may end up damaging it.
For one, you should never use any soap, shampoo or another cleaner on your Apple Watch. (That also means you shouldn’t shower with it.) Instead, just use warm water to thoroughly clean the case and band and wipe it off with a microfiber cloth. Also, be sure to keep leather bands and accessories from getting wet.
Not Using Its Lesser-Known Features
You probably already know about the fitness tracking, heart rate sensors and communication features of your Apple Watch. But the truth is that the wearable is capable of a lot more than that — from macOS security to walking navigation.
- From the Control Center, you can easily ping your iPhone, for example.
- You can also use Apple Pay on your Apple Watch by simply double-tapping the Side button.
- Most music streaming platforms also let you control playback using your Apple Watch, a feature that’s criminally underrated.
Foregoing Its Health Motivation
One of the best things about the Apple Watch is how surprisingly motivating it can be when it comes to your health and fitness. If you aren’t taking advantage of the Activity, Workout and other health capabilities of your watch, you’re really missing out on one of its most powerful features.
Try sharing your Activity data with friends and competing with them. Also, keep an eye out for special Activity Challenges, which let you earn limited edition badges and stickers for workouts. And when it says you should try Breathing for a minute, you may want to take it up on that offer.
Not Personalizing It
The Apple Watch is, of course, a smart device. But it’s also much more of a fashion accessory than an iPad or MacBook. While it’s not strictly necessary, you should definitely personalize and customize your Apple Watch as much as you can.
That may include tweaking or tailoring the Watch Faces to your specific tastes and needs. It also could also mean buying additional watch bands so that you have a variety of options for different scenarios and events.
Not Being Mindful About Its Durability
Apple Watches are fairly durable devices. They can withstand quite a lot and still come out unscathed. But they’re ultimately electronic devices — and you should keep them as safe as your iPhone. For a device that sits on your wrist, that can be easier said than done.
We recommend removing your Apple Watch during contact sports, physical labor or other circumstances when it may get damaged.
The Apple Watch is also incredibly water-resistant, but it should not be worn while scuba diving. It may also be smart to throw a screen protector and a more durable case on your Apple Watch for added protection.
Not Keeping the Software Updated
Like all of Apple’s devices, Apple Watches receive periodic watchOS updates that contain new features, security patches and other under-the-hood changes. We recommend installing these as they become available.
To do so, just open the Watch app on your iPhone and navigate to General > Software Update. Make sure to keep your Watch on its charger and at 50 percent battery life. While the Apple Watch is updating, keep your iPhone nearby.