How to Personalize Your Watch Face and Complications in watchOS 2

watchOS 2, the first major update to the Apple Watch’s operating system, was released in September, just five months after the device’s debut. If you didn’t face any download issues getting watchOS 2 on your Apple Watch, you are well on your way towards looking for the new features the update brings.

One major change we’d been anticipating for months is the ability to personalize watch faces with the photos we’ve taken, and third-party complications are another fantastic addition that will add more variety and more functionality to the look of the Apple Watch. A third addition, time-lapse video watch faces, is sure to wow your friends and will give you some dynamic scenery to look at each time you raise your wrist.

To help you get started, we’ve created this how-to guide to show you how to set up each of the new watch face features.

This guide assumes you know how to customize your Apple Watch’s watch face. If you don’t already know the process, head over to our how-to guide on that topic for reference.

Photos Watch Faces

Adding photos to your watch face only takes a few minutes to set up. In watchOS 2, you can either select a specific photo to display all of the time, or choose a photo album to see a different image every time you wake your watch.

  1. Make sure you have synced an album to Apple Watch. If you have not yet done so, follow our instruction guide.
  2. With the watch face showing, firmly press on the screen to call up the customizations.
  3. Swipe to the left until you see Photo Album and tap to select it.
  4. If you wish to only show a specific image at all times, select the Photo watch face. Then tap Customize.
  5. Rotate the Digital Crown to zoom outward and view all images on your Apple Watch.
  6. Select the photo you wish to add to your watch face.

You cannot customize complications when using a personal photo as a watch face. The watch face will display only the date and time.


With watchOS 2, you can add a pre-made time-lapse video to your watch face. Apple has provided six locations: Mack Lake, New York, Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai.

Once you’ve selected a time-lapse video as your watch face, it will play for approximately three seconds and then stop every time you wake your Apple Watch. Just lift your wrist to see the video play out. Videos will be different based on the time. If you check your watch at 9:00 p.m. you’ll see the night sky. When you check it in the morning, you’ll see a sunny sky.

You cannot customize complications with the time-lapse watch face. The watch face will display the date and time.

Third-Party Complications

Apple has given third-party app developers the ability to add certain features to watch face complications, like flight status, precipitation, and more.

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Select Complications from the main menu.
  3. Available complications will be listed. You can remove complications you do not wish to be shown by tapping the red remove button next to the app. You can also organize the list by touching and holding the three bars on the left side of the app until it hovers. Then, drag it to your preferred position in the list.
  4. With the watch face showing on Apple Watch, firmly press the screen to call up the customizations.
  5. Select a watch face that allows you to customize the complications and tap Customize.
  6. Swipe to the left to edit the complications and tap the module you wish to edit.
  7. Rotate the Digital Crown until you get to the third-party complication you wish to add. Then, tap the screen to save the customized watch face.

Head over to the forums to find out which apps support complications in watchOS 2.

Live Photos

Live Photos are exclusive to iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. They allow users to capture a few seconds of bursts before and after a picture is taken. If you have a compatible device, you can add Live Photos to Apple Watch the same way you do with regular photos, and they’ll animate each time you raise your wrist.

  1. Make sure you have saved favorites or synced an Album to Apple Watch. If you have not yet done so, follow our instruction guide.
  2. With the watch face showing, firmly press on the screen to call up the customizations.
  3. Swipe to the left until you see Live Photo and tap to select it.
  4. Rotate the Digital Crown to zoom outward and view all images on your Apple Watch.
  5. Select the photo you wish to add to your watch face.

You cannot customize complications with Live Photos. The watch face will display the date and time.

Now that watchOS 2 adds more watch face possibilities, you can really personalize your look for every occasion.

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3D Touch in iPhone 6s is a ‘Breakthrough,’ Was ‘Really Hard’ to Make

Apple today spent about ten minutes introducing 3D Touch as one of the headline features of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, but a new Bloomberg interview with company executives Jony Ive, Craig Federighi, Phil Schiller and Alan Dye reveals that Apple spent several years working on the challenging new display technology.

“Ultimately, this is our focus,” says Ive, squeezing a new iPhone 6S. “This is what galvanizes our efforts right across the company.” And 3D Touch, he adds with emphasis, “is something we’ve been working on for a long time—multi, multi, multi years.”

Schiller noted that, from an engineering standpoint, creating hardware that is capable of 3D Touch’s functionality was „unbelievably hard,“ coming at a „tremendous amount of cost and investment in manufacturing“ for Apple. For that reason, the company had to ensure it got the technology right.

Accordingly, Apple set out to do just that.

Working with Corning, Apple created pliable iPhone cover glass. Swipe it, and the phone works the way it always has. But press it, and 96 sensors embedded in the backlight of the retina display measure microscopic changes in the distance between themselves and the glass. Those measurements then get combined with signals from the touch sensor to make the motion of your finger sync with the image on screen. […]

To make what is counterintuitive feel normal, each on-screen “peek” and “pop” is accompanied by a 10-millisecond or 15-millisecond haptic tap, little vibrations that say “good job” to your fingers when an action is complete.

And, after a multi-year, tedious design process, Apple is now satisfied with 3D Touch.

Apple is feeling confident enough that it’s integrated 3D Touch into everything on the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus—the phone, the weather app, iTunes, messaging, and the Web. Facebook and Instagram plan on incorporating it into their iOS apps shortly after the phones arrive in stores on Sept. 25.

The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus also feature a faster A9 chip with an embedded M9 motion coprocessor, improved 12-megapixel rear-facing camera with 4K video recording, faster Touch ID, stronger glass and Series 7000 aluminum, Live Photos, always-on Hey Siri and more.

Bloomberg‘s longform How Apple Built 3D Touch article is a worthwhile read.

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Clashem turns iPhone into an arena of epic video battles

There is now an iOS app where you could possibly see a flashy snowboarder fighting a guy who can spit ping-pong balls into distant beer cups. The best part is, you decide who wins. Red Bull Media rolled out a free mobile app called Clashem, where users try to win fame five seconds at a […]

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Alympus is the newest best reason to jailbreak your iPhone right now

iOS engineers must keep their eyes on the jailbreak scene. In the past, popular jailbreak tweak Auxo showed what iOS’s approach to multitasking should be like years before Apple made its best ideas part of the core operating system. Let’s hope this pattern holds with Alympus. It’s a new tweak that radically improves, for the […]

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How to Use the Activity and Workout Apps on Apple Watch [iOS Blog]

One of the main features the Apple Watch has to offer is the ability to track your daily activities and workout routines. The Apple Watch has a comprehensive set of health and fitness tools to help you keep track of your movement, reach workout goals, and get more activity into your life. One of Apple’s main goals with the Apple Watch was to provide users with tools to keep them healthy, and the Activity and Workout apps on the Apple Watch are part of that effort.

If you’ve been a couch potato for too long, Apple Watch might be just what you need to motivate you to get moving and get healthy. The following video and tutorial will show you how to track your daily activities and how to monitor your workouts using the Activity and Workout apps.

Tracking Daily Activities

Thanks to the motion sensors built into Apple Watch, it’s always keeping track of your movement when it’s on your wrist. Whether you are sitting around doing nothing, or participating in a decathlon, Apple Watch knows your movements and will keep you informed.

  1. Open the Activity app on Apple Watch.
  2. Swipe left to the „Move, Exercise, and Stand“ screen and tap Get Started.
  3. Enter your personal information (gender, age, weight, and height).
  4. Turn the Digital Crown to set the information and tap to Continue.
  5. Tap Start Moving.
  6. Or, use the Apple Watch app on your iPhone to enter the information, under the „Health“ section of the app.

Once the information is entered, Apple Watch will do the monitoring for you. When you take a brisk walk, run, or take a spin class, your movement heart rate data will be tracked on your Activity Rings.

The Move Ring
The Move ring tracks calories you’ve burned by moving. Depending on how regularly you get around, Apple Watch will adjust your goals. So, if you are fairly sedentary, a short walk up and down a few flights of stairs will help you on your way to filling in your ring. However, if you regularly walk 12,000 steps in a day, your Move ring will be harder to fill. During the setup process, you choose your typical level of activity to get a ballpark movement goal, adjust it manually if you wish, and then let the Apple Watch tweak things over time.

The Exercise Ring
The Exercise ring tracks how many minutes of brisk activity you have completed in a day. Brisk exercise means movement that gets your heart rate up. So, a leisurely stroll to your boss’ office across the building does not count. However, if you were to skip to his or her office, you might make some progress on your Exercise ring.

The Stand Ring
The Stand ring is there to remind you that you need to move your body. Once per hour, Apple Watch will remind you to take a walk for a minute. Even if you are at a standing desk, you will be reminded. The idea is to get away from your desk for a minute, whether you are standing or sitting, and the Apple Watch wants to see you up and around in at least 12 hours of your day.

How to View Your Progress

  1. Swipe up on the Watch face, then swipe to the Activity Glances.
  2. Tap the Glance to open the Activity App.
  3. Swipe to see individual activities.
  4. Swipe up on an activity or turn the Digital Crown to see the activity as a graph.
  5. Or, you can view the information on the Activity app on your iPhone. Some watch faces include Activity as a complication option, letting you see your miniature activity rings at any time and access the Activity app with a tap right from there.

How to View Activity Achievements

You will earn achievements for completing fitness goals, like working out every day of the week, doubling your daily move goal, and completing all of your activity goals for the entire week. You can keep track of which achievements you’ve earned in the Apple Watch app.

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap the Achievement tab.
  3. Tap an achievement to see your progress.

How to Manually Adjust Your Goals

Apple Watch will update your goals every Monday based on your previous week’s activities. However, you can manually change them whenever you like.

  1. Open the Activity app on Apple Watch
  2. Firmly press on the display screen until you see a prompt to change your move goal.
  3. Adjust your goal according to your realistic ability.

Controlling Notifications

Apple Watch will send you friendly reminders about your daily activities. If you’d rather not get notifications, you can turn some or all of them off.

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap My Watch.
  3. Tap Activity.
  4. Toggle the switches for each reminder on or off according to your desire.

Tracking Workouts

In addition to keeping track of your daily activities, Apple Watch will help you monitor your workouts. You can set specific goals based on length of time, calories burned, or distance. Once activated, Apple Watch will track your heart rate and movement and help you get through your workout.

Starting a Workout

  1. Open the Workout app, then tap the type of workout you will be doing, including running, cycling, rowing, and more. As you select workouts, Apple Watch will track your preferences and put the most used ones on top.
  2. Swipe left or right to choose a calorie, time, or distance goal.
  3. Turn the Digital Crown to set the number.
  4. When you are ready to start your workout, tap Start.

Pausing your Workout
You can pause a workout at any time by firmly pressing the display screen. Do this if you stop for any reason during your workout when you don’t want things like your heart rate tracked. Tap Resume to continue.

Ending your Workout
To stop a workout early, or if you’ve gone past your goal and still wanted to do more, but now it is time to stop, firmly press on the display screen. Then, tap End. Turn the Digital Crown to view your result summary. Tap Save to keep the information or Discard to delete it.

Apple Watch’s Activity and Workout apps are great for getting you motivated and keeping you on track. The Activity app on Apple Watch will show you your progress and allow you to fine-tune your daily activities in order to ensure that you keep moving and stay healthy.

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How to Get Your Apple Watch Up and Running [iOS Blog]

If you are one of the lucky few to receive your Apple Watch on launch day, you are probably excitedly going through the steps to setting up and customizing your device. With a completely new operating system to get used to, we’ve got a couple of tips for getting your Apple Watch ready for daily use.

Apple Watch Overview

Apple yesterday released a user guide for its wrist-worn device that provides a detailed overview of the case for those who aren’t yet familiar with various features. For starters, you can easily identify the Digital Crown/Home button on the side of the watch case. Press it to go to the Home screen while viewing an app, or to display the watch face.

You can also double-click the Digital Crown to access your most recently used app. To activate Siri, press and hold it. Zoom in and out or scroll by turning the crown.

The side button, which sits just below the Digital Crown is used to show or hide friends, turn on or off Apple Watch, and access Apple Pay (with a double-click).

The back side of the case houses the speaker, heart rate sensor, and microphone. You will also be able to remove your watch band by pressing the band release buttons on the back of the case.

Setting Up Apple Watch

  1. Charge Apple Watch (if it needs it). Your watch should generally arrive with at least 50 percent charge to get you going right out of the box.
  2. Press the Home button on the Digital Crown to start up the watch and following the prompts to select a language and proceed.
  3. Pair your Apple Watch with your iPhone.
  4. Open the Apple Watch app on iPhone to access your apps and customize your experience. During the setup process, you will be asked whether you want to automatically install all Apple Watch-compatible apps or manually select apps for installation.

Customizing Apple Watch

The Apple Watch app on your iPhone lets you customize notifications, app layout, and more. You can also use it to set up Apple Pay and access the App Store so you can download compatible Apple Watch apps. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and tap „My Watch“ to access the customizable settings.

For Apple Pay, you’ll need to set up each card manually as you did on your iPhone, and the process will generally involve a confirmation step such as an activation code sent via email/text or a call to your bank to verify each card for use. Once your cards are set up, you can use Apple Pay from your watch even without your iPhone present.

Fine-Tune Apple Watch Settings

You may want to tweak the settings a bit if you discover that the alerts are too loud, the text is too small, or the screen is too bright, so head to the Settings app to make these adjustments.

Adjust Brightness

  1. On Apple Watch, open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down to Brightness & Text Size.
  3. Tap the Brightness symbol.
  4. Turn the Digital Crown to adjust.
  5. Or, access the settings from the Apple Watch app on the iPhone under My Watch

Adjust Text Size

  1. On Apple Watch, open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down to Brightness & Text Size.
  3. Tap Text Size.
  4. Turn the Digital Crown to increase or decrease the size of the font
  5. Toggle the Bold Text switch to the On position to make text bold. Apple Watch will reset after turning on or off Bold Text.
  6. Or, access the settings from the Apple Watch app on the iPhone under My Watch.

Adjust Sound

You can increase or decrease the volume of the ringer and alerts on Apple Watch, or mute everything.

  1. On Apple Watch, open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down to Sounds & Haptics.
  3. Tap the volume button under Ringer and Alert Sounds.
  4. Turn the Digital Crown to adjust the volume.
  5. To mute Apple Watch, toggle the mute switch to the On position.
  6. You can also mute Apple Watch by swiping up on the watch face. Swipe to the Settings glance, then tap the mute button.
  7. Or, Access the settings from the Apple Watch app on the iPhone under My Watch.

You can quickly mute a new alert or notification sound by placing the palm of your hand over the watch display and holding it there for three seconds. This feature is great when you forget to silence your Apple Watch before going into a meeting.

You must turn the feature on to use it.

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap My Watch.
  3. Tap Sounds & Haptics.
  4. Toggle the Cover to Mute switch to the On position.

Turn on Do Not Disturb

You can silence every aspect of Apple Watch, including screen lighting, using Do Not Disturb. You can specify a time period for the feature to turn on and off, designate certain contacts that can be filtered through, and quickly flip it on for a temporary silence.

  1. Swipe up on the watch face
  2. Swipe left or right to access the Settings glance.
  3. Tap the Do Not Disturb button.
  4. Or, on Apple Watch, open the Settings app.
  5. Tap Do Not Disturb.
  6. Toggle the switch to the On position.

You can also silence both your iPhone and Apple Watch at the same time from the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.

  1. Open Apple Watch app on iPhone
  2. Tap My Watch.
  3. Turn on Do Not Disturb.
  4. Then, turn on Mirror iPhone.
  5. Any time you change Do Not Disturb on iPhone or Apple Watch, the other will match it.

As a brand-new platform, there is a lot for users to learn about Apple Watch, and it takes some getting used to with multiple types of interaction methods. This guide is just a starting point for after you take it out of the box and before you leave the house, and we’ll keep you updated with more how-to guides to help you get the most out of your Apple Watch.

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