Explore everything your Apple Watch can do in watchOS 7!

Take Control of
Apple Watch

Jeff Carlson

Get to know your Apple Watch and customize it to help you focus on what you care about most. Tech expert Jeff Carlson helps you understand the watch mindset, pick the watch model that’s right for you, set up and share its faces and their complications, get the notifications you want, handle communications, and learn how the controls and core apps work.

All Take Control books are delivered in three ebook formats—PDF, EPUB, and Mobipocket (Kindle)—and can be read on nearly any device.


Since its introduction in 2015, the Apple Watch has become the world’s best-selling watch, as well as the most popular wearable digital device. During that time, Apple has also added numerous new watch product lines, vastly expanded the device’s capabilities, and enabled developers to create entirely new apps and tools. The Apple Watch hides an enormous amount of technical complexity behind that unassuming touch screen, and with help from author Jeff Carlson, you’ll unlock every last bit of its power.

Take Control of Apple Watch is an expanded and updated reworking of Jeff’s earlier book on this topic, Apple Watch: A Take Control Crash Course. This new book covers all Apple Watch models through Series 6 and SE, as well as all the new features introduced in watchOS 7.

Jeff walks you through getting to know the Apple Watch (including how to pick one out if you haven’t already), along with topics that teach you how to navigate among the watch’s screens with the physical controls, taps on the screen, and Siri. You’ll also find advice on customizing watch faces and sharing them with others, taking advantage of the blood oxygen sensor in the Apple Watch Series 6, getting the notifications you want, handling text and voice communications, using Apple’s core apps, and monitoring your heart rate, hearing, and monthly cycle to improve your overall health. A final chapter discusses taking care of your Apple Watch, including recharging, restarting, resetting, and restoring.

Among the many topics covered in the book are:

  • Picking out your own Apple Watch—covers models up through Series 6 and SE
  • Important actions you’ll want to take when first setting up your watch
  • Making watch face complications work for you
  • Key settings that most people will want to know about
  • Using the Control Center and Dock
  • Understanding how the watch interacts with your iPhone
  • Staying connected using a cellular-enabled Apple Watch model
  • Tracking your exercise, even when you leave your iPhone at home
  • Placing and receiving phone calls on the watch
  • Using the Walkie-Talkie feature to chat with other Apple Watch owners
  • Sending default (and customized) text messages
  • Seeing email from only certain people
  • Adding items to your reminder lists with Siri
  • Glancing at what’s next in your daily schedule
  • Loading your watch with photos and using them to create new watch faces
  • Triggering the iPhone’s camera remotely using the watch
  • Paying at contactless terminals using Apple Pay
  • Putting tickets in your watch
  • Using health-related features such as the blood oxygen sensor, ECG, Cycle Tracking, and Noise apps
  • Getting navigation directions (and using the Compass app)
  • Controlling an Apple TV, or Music or iTunes on a Mac with the Remote app
  • Unlocking a Mac (and authenticating certain actions in Catalina or later) with your watch
  • Adding apps to the watch via your iPhone or the watch’s built-in App Store
  • Resetting a messed-up Apple Watch and force-quitting an app
Jeff Carlson

About Jeff Carlson

Jeff Carlson is a contributing editor of TidBITS, a frequent contributor to Macworld and DPReview, and the author of best-selling books on the Mac, digital photography, and, in earlier incarnations, web design and Palm organizers. He consumes almost too much coffee. Almost.

This book started as Apple Watch: A Take Control Crash Course and was published even before the first Apple Watch arrived. Since then, the watch has become a major product in Apple’s lineup and I see people wearing them everywhere. The book you’re reading now is a complete overhaul and expansion of that humble little guide into a full Take Control title. This version incorporates the changes in the new watchOS 7. Noteworthy changes include:

  • A major (but too-frequently hidden) way of interacting with the Apple Watch is now gone. watchOS 7 removes the force touch gesture for bringing up additional controls. The book has been updated throughout; for example, to clear notifications, a new Clear All button appears instead of requiring you to force-press the screen.
  • In the same necessary spirit, this book covers topics specifically with an emphasis on watchOS 7. Although most features throughout are similar between watchOS 6 and watchOS 7, some actions (like buttons that replace Force Touch) aren’t available in the previous operating system. Furthermore, watchOS 7 works only with Series 3 and later watches. So if, for example, you’ve inherited an old Series 2 watch that can run only watchOS 6, some of the instructions here won’t match.
  • If you own an Apple Watch Series 6, measure your blood oxygen Level as another means of helping you keep tabs on your overall health.
  • In addition to new watch faces, watchOS 7 adds the capability to share watch faces with friends, and load complications layouts you’ve received from others.
  • The language translation capabilities introduced in iOS 14 extend to the watch, so when you give Siri a try, you can ask Siri to translate phrases for you.
  • When you edit Control Center icons, you can now remove icons you don’t use (such as Walkie Talkie) to declutter the interface.
  • More options to stay healthy with the Apple Watch have been added. The watch can help you Sleep Better by tracking your sleep quality and setting up a sleep schedule, remind you to thoroughly wash your hands, and of course give you credit for dancing when you work the workout.
  • Use Family Setup to configure and manage other watches for members of your family who don’t have iPhones, such as kids.
  • If you find yourself with multiple Apple Watch models, learn how to pair another watch with the same iPhone to keep all your data consistent.
  • Read Me First
    • Updates and More
    • What’s New in Version 1.1
  • Introduction
  • Apple Watch Quick Start
  • Understand the Apple Watch
    • The iPhone Connection
    • Charge the Apple Watch
    • Apple Pay and Wallet
    • Security
    • Which Watch?
    • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Cellular Connections
    • Watch Bands
  • Apple Watch First Tasks
    • Switch to the App List View
    • Turn Off the Option to Auto-Add Apps
    • Set the Watch’s Default Wi-Fi Network
    • Set the Appearance and Feedback
    • Set Up Medical ID
    • Activate Find My Apple Watch
    • Give Siri a Try
  • Interact with the Apple Watch
    • The Digital Crown
    • The Side Button
    • Interact with the Screen
    • Talk to Your Wrist
    • Haptic Feedback
  • Personalize the Apple Watch Face
    • Pick a Watch Face
    • Set Up and Use Complications
    • Save a Custom Face
    • Use Your Own Photos
    • Share Watch Faces
  • Use Control Center
    • Connection Info
    • Cellular
    • Wi-Fi
    • Airplane Mode
    • Battery Level
    • Ping iPhone
    • Flashlight
    • Do Not Disturb
    • Silent Mode
    • Theater Mode
    • Water Lock
    • Audio Output
    • Announce Messages
    • Walkie Talkie
    • Sleep Mode
    • Edit Control Center Icons
  • Work with Apps
    • Locate and Open Apps
    • Access the Dock
    • Add and Organize Dock Apps
    • Turn Off Animation
    • Customize the Home Screen
    • Install Apps
    • Remove Apps
  • Manage Notifications
    • Act on a Notification
    • Keep Notifications Private
    • View Missed Notifications
    • Clear Notifications
    • Choose Which Notifications You Receive
    • Choose Feedback for Alerts
    • Receive Mail from VIPs Only
  • Communicate with Friends
    • Reply to Messages
    • Chat Using Messages
    • Communicate by Phone
    • Speak Using Walkie-Talkie
    • Find Your Friends
  • Communicate Using Mail
    • Read Email
    • Reply to a Message
    • Write Email
    • Personalize Mail Browsing
  • Stay Healthy with the Apple Watch
    • Activity Tracking
    • Monitor Your Heart Health
    • Measure Your Blood Oxygen Level
    • Monitor Your Hearing
    • Share Activity
    • Work the Workout
    • Calibrate the Sensors
    • Track Your Cycle
    • Breathe
    • Sleep Better
    • Thoroughly Wash Your Hands
  • Use Apple Pay and Wallet
    • Set Up Cards for Apple Pay
    • Use Apple Pay in Person
    • Use Apple Pay on a Mac
    • Work in Wallet
  • Use Maps and Directions
    • Find a Location Using Siri
    • Find a Location Using the Maps App
    • Get Directions
    • Return Home
    • Compass
    • About the GPS
  • Manage Calendars and Reminders
    • Open the Calendar App
    • Views in the Calendar App
    • Use Siri with Calendar
    • Respond to a Reminder
    • Use the Reminders App
  • Experience Media on the Apple Watch
    • Now Playing
    • Listen to Music, Podcasts, and Audiobooks
    • Control Media Remotely
    • View (and Capture) Photos
  • Use Family Setup
    • Add a Watch Using Family Setup
    • Configure Schooltime Mode
  • Customizations and Important Settings
    • Watch Orientation
    • Wake Screen Options
    • Adjust Appearance
    • Sounds and Haptics
    • Rename Your Watch
    • Nightstand Mode
    • Accessibility
    • Passcode
    • Wrist Detection
    • Pair Another Watch
    • Unlock Your Mac
    • Use Emergency Features
  • Care and Feeding of Your Apple Watch
    • Recharge the Watch
    • Restart the Watch
    • Reset the Watch
    • Restore the Watch
    • Updating the Watch’s Software
    • If the Watch Goes Missing
    • Cleaning
  • About This Book
    • Ebook Extras
    • About the Author
    • About the Publisher
    • Credits
  • Copyright and Fine Print

Jeff Carlson discusses Apple Watch updates on MacVoices

Posted by Joe Kissell on October 13, 2020

Jeff Carlson joined Chuck Joiner on MacVoices in a two-part interview to discuss his updated book Take Control of Apple Watch.

In Part 1, Jeff discusses new features such as sleep tracking and Family Setup.

In Part 2, Jeff covers the Series 6 blood oxygen sensor, sharing watch faces, the hand washing alert, and new apps.

MacVoices Interviews Jeff Carlson about Apple Watch

Posted by Joe Kissell on April 22, 2020

Chuck Joiner interviewed Jeff Carlson on MacVoices to discuss his new book Take Control of Apple Watch in a two-part episode.

In Part 1, Jeff discusses how his old Crash Course evolved into a full-blown Take Control book and explains why everyone should have an Apple Watch!

In Part 2, Jeff covers health features, the App Store, and more.


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Take Control of Apple Watch”

You may also like…