Join Garrick Chow for an in-depth discussion in this video Managing and customizing notifications, part of Apple Watch Tips and Tricks (2015).
- One of the main appeals of having a smart watch like the Apple Watch, supposedly, is that you can get all the notifications you normally see on your phone on your wrist. It saves you from having to bring your phone out multiple times during the day every time you get an alert sound or a vibration from one of the various apps on your phone. These notifications can range from things like text messages to Facebook alerts to mail messages and so on. On your iPhone if you go into the Apple Watch app to Notifications you'll see which apps can send you notifications on your Watch.
By default the Watch is set to mirror notifications you receive on your phone. So for example if you have the Calendar app set to remind you of upcoming events, those notifications will show up on your Watch as well. Which device alerts you, your Watch or your phone, depends on which device you're using or not using, meaning if you're using your iPhone when a notification comes through it will appear on the phone and not on your Watch. If your phone is locked or asleep and your Watch is unlocked and on your wrist you'll get the notification on your Watch. So notifications won't appear on your Watch if you're not wearing it unless you use your Watch without a passcode.
Notifications will only appear on your Watch for a few seconds before closing so if you receive a notification and you look at your Watch you can then read it or dismiss it, or you can tap it to interact with it. If you miss seeing a notification on your Watch when it first pops up, you'll see a little red dot appear above the Watch face letting you know you have unread notifications. Swipe down on the Watch face to see your notifications and use the digital crown to read through them. Tapping on a notification will either open the app on your Watch if the notification has to do with something that can be viewed or performed on your Watch, or you'll see a message telling you to open the app on your iPhone to view or respond to the notification.
One quick way to tell which kind of notification you're seeing is if the App icon is round or square. Round icons like you see here indicate that you can take action on your Watch. Square icons will indicate that you'll need to switch to your phone. Now once you've been using your Watch for a while you'll probably realize that you don't really want to receive every single notification that normally pops up on your phone. It's easier to ignore notifications on your phone but if your Watch is tapping you on the wrist every time a new notification appears, it can start to get a little annoying or tedious. To manage your notifications go to the Apple Watch app on your phone, then tap Notifications.
Now this Notifications Indicator switch here is the switch that enables or disables the little red notification dot that appears above the Watch face when you have missed notifications. The Notification Privacy switch is for hiding the details of notifications. With it on you'll still receive the notifications but you won't see any of the details until you tap on the notification. So for example with this enabled you might receive a text message but with Notification Privacy on all you'll see when you look at your Watch is the name of the person texting you. In order to see the content of the text you'll have to tap it.
So if you're worried about people looking over your shoulder at your notifications you can turn this option on. Below that are the built-in apps on your phone that use notifications. With the exception of Activity, where you can customize several types of notifications and reminders, and I'll cover these settings later in the course, the rest of the built-in apps are set to the Mirror my iPhone option meaning they'll follow the same rules you set up for them under Notifications on your phone settings. But if you want to set up different rules for certain apps on your Watch, tap Custom, which will give you Alert options specific to that app.
So here in the Calendar app I can choose to see alerts or not, with Show Alerts on I can then specify which type of calendar events to see alerts for and what type of alert to receive. For example I could select Upcoming Events to turn alerts for those on or off, and with it on I can choose whether to be alerted by sounds or haptic alerts or both. Underneath the built-in app list you'll find all the other apps you have installed that can send notifications. The more apps you have installed on your phone that include Apple Watch interactivity, the more apps you'll see here.
Now you can't customize the notifications from these apps, they all just mirror your phone settings and you can only turn them on or off. Chances are you'll probably want to turn a good portion of them off otherwise you'll find yourself getting notifications from all the games, workout apps and other apps you have installed on your phone that you've enabled notifications for. So one thing you'll probably want to do right off the bat is to take some time and go through and disable notifications for many of these apps. You'll still receive the notifications on your phone, which is much less annoying than getting a tap on your wrist every several minutes from another app that wants your attention.
- Customizing haptic strength
- Backing up and restoring an Apple Watch
- Clearing notifications
- Silencing the Apple Watch
- Fast-switching between apps
- Using Handoff
- Dictating messages with Siri
- Working the Activity and Workout apps
- Playing music
- Making payments with Wallet and Apple Pay
- Receiving calls and texts
- Taking screenshots