Got a New Apple Watch Series 8 or Apple Watch Ultra? Here Are 9 Things You Should Do

BY Darryl

Published 24 Dec 2022

Got a New Apple Watch Series 8 or Apple Watch Ultra Here Are 9 Things You Should Do

The Apple Watch might seem like a very confusing device when you first get your hands on it. But the utility it offers when paired with an iPhone is unmatched, and it is leaps ahead of the competition. If you want to get the most out of your newly unboxed Apple Watch, follow this guide thoroughly. 

The Apple Series 8 is an incremental upgrade to Series 7. But the Apple Watch Ultra is the best Apple Watch ever to exist. Nonetheless, no matter which Apple Watch model you own, most of these recommendations will help you extract the best out of your Apple Watch. Read along, and don’t miss out on anything!

1. Switching From Existing Apple Watch 

If you have already been using an Apple Watch and are just upgrading to a new one, the process to do so is effortless. However, before you begin setting up your new Apple Watch, ensure to unpair/disconnect your existing wearable from your iPhone. Only after you’ve unpaired can you proceed further. We suggest you refer to our guide on switching to a new Apple Watch, as we have listed everything you need to do in an orderly fashion.

2. Get New Watch Bands and a Case

Silicone band for Apple Watch 7

You can easily swap the default Apple Watch band for any compatible band of your choice. If the default band is uncomfortable or you’re just bored of how it looks, there’s a heap of options to choose from. You can get a dozen bands, match them with your outfit, or get separate models for various activities. Both Apple and third-party sellers offer plenty of options. 

If you’re confused about which one to get, refer to our guide on the best Apple Watch Bands, which should provide you with some clarity. Moreover, the steps to change the Apple Watch bands are very undemanding, and switching to a different band should not take more than a minute. 

3. Learn more about watchOS

Until the Apple Watch Ultra, most of the Apple Watch models had a very similar physical appearance. However, there are stark differences in looks and features between the Apple Watch Ultra and any other Apple Watch sold by Apple. 

The Apple Watch Ultra features a larger and two times brighter display with up to 100M of water resistance, MIL-STD 810H Certified military-grade protection, extra mics, speakers, an 86-decibel siren, and a lot more. 

On the other hand, the Apple Watch Series 8 is an incremental upgrade. Still, it does come with welcome changes like slightly better battery life, a dedicated temperature sensor, an in-built compass, Crash detection, etc. 

However, the only constant, no matter which Apple Watch model you get, is watchOS. Once you’ve set up your Apple Watch, check out our guide on all the new watchOS 9 features.

watchos 9

4. Learn Navigation and Change App Layout 

Again, things can get confusing if you’re a first-time Apple Watch user. Especially if you do not know from where to access what, let’s begin with the basics. 

A swipe down on the screen will reveal the Notification Center. A swipe up on the screen will display the Control Center. Swiping left or right on the main screen will switch the watch faces (only works if you have added multiple watch faces). 

Let’s move on to the physical buttons. Except for the Apple Watch Ultra, all other Apple Watch models have two physical buttons – The Digital Crown and Home Button. In addition to these two, the Apple Watch Ultra has a dedicated Action button. 

Apple Watch Buttons

Digital Crown

  • Single Press: See Watch Face or launch Home Screen. 
  • Double Click: Return to the previous app used.
  • Press and hold: Activate Siri or unlock the screen after a water workout. 
  • Rotate: Scroll, Zoom, or Adjust whatever is on the screen.

Side Button

  • Single Press: Show or Hide the Dock (Recent or favorite apps based on your settings). 
  • Double Click: Launch Apple Pay or reveal cards saved in Apple Wallet. 
  • Press and hold: Launch Emergency SOS or turn off the watch. 

Action Button

It can be customized to access your most used features instantly. 

Once you know your way around the Apple Watch, you can go ahead and rearrange the apps or even delete some apps on the Home Screen. In addition, you also have the choice to sort these apps in a Grid or List view. To do so, head to Settings app > App View > Select List or Grid View. You can also long press on the Home Screen to do the same. 

List and Grid View on the Apple Watch

5. Set up Emergency SOS 

The Emergency SOS feature on the Apple Watch is a life safer (quite literally). When you use Emergency SOS, your Apple Watch will call your local emergency service and share your location. 

To use this feature, you must press and hold the Side Button of your Apple Watch until an Emergency SOS slider appears on the screen alongside a couple of other options. Once it does, drag the Emergency SOS slider, and your device will initiate a call after a countdown. 

You can also add or remove Emergency Contacts who will be informed about your location whenever the SOS feature is used. To know more, refer to our guide on how to set up and use Emergency SOS on Apple Watch

6. Use the ECG App 

Since Apple Watch Series 4, all Apple Watch models come with ECG sensors except the Apple Watch SE and SE 2nd generation. There are several reports of the ECG feature saving the lives of Apple Watch users throughout the globe, so it is not just a gimmick.

Refer to this guide to set up and use ECG app on your Apple Watch

7. Unlock your iPhone or Mac using Apple Watch 

If you’re new to Apple products, you must’ve heard about its impeccable ecosystem. No matter what people say about Apple’s walled garden, no alternative ecosystem works as seamlessly, especially in cohesion, as Apple products do. 

One of this ecosystem’s features is the ability to unlock your iPhone or Mac with the Apple Watch. The former was introduced during the 2021 pandemic, while the latter has been here for a while now. Refer to our guides on unlocking your iPhone with your Apple Watch and unlocking your Mac with your Apple Watch

8. Set Up Activity Goals and Compete With Friends

While setting up your Apple Watch, you need to set a daily activity goal. It is highly possible that you weren’t aware if the goal was set too high or too low. In that case, you can change the goal from the Activity app on your Apple Watch. 

To do so, open the Activity app on the Apple Watch> Tap Change Goals > Adjust Move Goal > Next > Adjust Exercise Goal > Next > Adjust Stand Goal > OK

Apple does a great job at gamification of its features, and healthy competition (pun intended) provides a lot of encouragement to do better. You can add your friends to the Activity app and view if they meet their daily activity goals. 

To add your friends and view their Activity rings, open the Fitness app on the paired iPhone > Sharing > Get Started > Plus button > Tap the To: Section > Add contacts > Send > Done. When your friend accepts the invite, their names appear in the Sharing tab. 

9. Enable Fall Detection

Fall detection is one of those features that everyone should have enabled, chiefly older people. Also, Apple enables the feature by default if you are older than 65 years. Once enabled, your Apple Watch will call emergency services and message emergency contacts if you fall and remain unresponsive for more than a minute. 

You can enable Fall Detection right from your Apple Watch. Head to Settings on your Apple Watch > SOS > Fall Detection and toggle it on. Also, you can either select “Always On” or “Only on During Workouts” based on your requirements. 

Note: If you disable Wrist Detection, Apple Watch won’t trigger the SOS functionality even after it detects that you have had a hard impact fall. 

Fall Detection

Enjoy Your New Apple Watch

These tips will get you started on your journey with the Apple Watch. But there is a lot more to explore. Ensure you’re wearing your Apple Watch whenever you’re exercising. Also, it can help you track your sleep. No doubt, it will take some time to get used to the Apple Watch being on your wrist at all times. 

You will one hundred percent appreciate the view and answer calls from your wrist, use your Apple Watch as a viewfinder, and many other features packed with the Apple Watch. Please let me know your favorite feature of the Apple Watch in the comments below, and enjoy your new purchase.