How to Pair Your Apple Watch With Your iPhone and Install Apps

by

In just over a month, we will finally have the long-awaited Apple Watch in our hands, or technically, on our wrists. The first thing you'll need to do once you get a hold of the new gadget is pair it with your iPhone and prepare to install apps for it.

To make sure you are ready for the big day, we have a how-to guide for pairing your iPhone with your Apple Watch. It won’t be hard, but it will use technology to pair the two devices in a way we’ve never seen before on an Apple product.

Apple Watch will require connection to an iPhone 5, 5s, 5c, 6, or 6 Plus running iOS 8.2. With varying methods of connectivity between the devices, Apple has developed a interesting system to pair the two devices using a camera feature.

apple_watch_pairing_auto

Steps for Pairing Apple Watch with iPhone

  1. Launch the Apple Watch App on your iPhone
  2. Tap "Start Pairing" on the main screen
  3. Hold Apple Watch up to your iPhone's camera so the screen is in alignment with the yellow outlined box on your iPhone's screen
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions provided in the Apple Watch app

apple_watch_pairing_manual

Alternate Method for Pairing Apple Watch Manually

If you do not wish to use the camera feature, you can alternatively pair Apple Watch with your iPhone manually.

  1. Launch the Apple Watch App on your iPhone
  2. Tap "Start Pairing" on the main screen
  3. Tap "Pair Apple Watch Manually" at the bottom of the camera viewfinder screen
  4. Tap the "i" icon on Apple Watch to see its name
  5. Select that name on the Apple Watch iPhone app from the list that appears on the screen
  6. Follow the on-screen instructions provided in the Apple Watch app

Download Apple Watch Apps

For the time being, third-party Apple Watch apps are actually hosted on the iPhone, with the apps able to serve various types of extensions to the Apple Watch for notifications and interactivity. Later this year, Apple will allow developers to begin developing apps that will run natively on the Apple Watch.

Once your Apple Watch is paired with your iPhone, you will have access to a host of settings to configure and personalize your Apple Watch. You will also be able to download apps from a special Apple Watch App Store, which will be updated regularly with new content from developers. An App Store for Apple Watch is built right into the Apple Watch companion app for iPhone, where Apple is expected to present a variety of Apple Watch-compatible apps in a manner similar to that seen for the regular App Store, which will presumably also include Apple Watch content.

apple_watch_app_store
Apple Watch will be available for pre-order in the first wave of nine launch countries on April 10, both online and in Apple retail stores, and will the device will launch in those countries on Friday, April 24. Prices start at $349 for the aluminum Apple Watch Sport model, $549 for the stainless steel Apple Watch model, and $10,000 for the gold Apple Watch Edition model. Starting April 10, you will be able to make a reservation or stop by to try on Apple Watch at an Apple retail store and pre-order your selection at that time.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6, watchOS 7
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
71 months ago

The question is how people without iPhones will be able to install apps on their watches?


They won't :apple: Watch requires a iPhone.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
71 months ago

I applied some common logic, high IQ and an experience of software development :) And a test using a photo of iWatch in front of iPhone camera :)


Well, look at the big brain on Brad!

So, was your test successful? Did the photo of the Apple Watch have enough verisimilitude to fool the companion app? I'm guessing you didn't get very far in your test.

Here's the test I want to see: Once you have an actual Apple Watch in hand, try the pairing process. However, instead of showing it your new watch, you show it the photo. If it still pairs, I'll be convinced.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
71 months ago

It's just a funky UI gimmick. It doesn't recognize anything when you show a picture of a watch to this app. Clearly it searches instead for Bluetooth for pairing.


Just curious: what your level of technical expertise is to say this?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
71 months ago
Take my money apple
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
71 months ago

Interesting - I wonder how that camera pairing system works? I'd assume it has little to do with the camera itself and more to do with the Bluetooth connection underneath. Still an intriguing way to pair the two devices.


The camera likely just picks up the numbers from the pin code for Bluetooth off of the watch screen similar to how it picks up the numbers on the credit card for Apple pay. Basically it's just Bluetooth pairing without having to manually enter the pin
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
71 months ago

The camera likely just picks up the numbers from the pin code for Bluetooth off of the watch screen similar to how it picks up the numbers on the credit card for Apple pay. Basically it's just Bluetooth pairing without having to manually enter the pin


Stop making sense.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Announces New 27-Inch iMac With 10th-Gen Processors, Up to 128GB RAM, 1080p Webcam, True Tone, and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 8:07 am PDT by
Apple today announced a new 27-inch iMac with faster 10th-generation Intel Core processor options, next-generation AMD graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, a higher-resolution 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, a T2 chip, higher fidelity speakers, studio-quality microphones, and more. A breakdown of the new 27-inch iMac's features and specs:10th...

8 Third-Party Home Screen Widgets That You Can Try Out Now on iOS 14

Wednesday August 5, 2020 12:56 pm PDT by
One of the biggest new features of iOS 14 is Home Screen widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. The widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. When the iOS 14 beta was first released in June, widgets were limited to Apple's own apps like Calendar and Weather, but several third-party developers have begun to test ...

Everything New in iOS 14 Beta 4: Apple TV Widget, Search Improvements, Exposure Notification API and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 11:14 am PDT by
Apple today released the fourth developer betas of iOS and iPadOS 14 for testing purposes, tweaking and refining some of the features and design changes included in the update. Changes get smaller and less notable as the beta testing period goes on, but there are still some noteworthy new features in the fourth beta, which we've highlighted below. - Apple TV widget - There's a new Apple TV...

Apple May Launch This Year's 'iPhone 12' Lineup in Two Stages, With 6.1-inch Models Debuting First

Monday August 3, 2020 3:14 am PDT by
Apple last week confirmed that its "‌iPhone‌ 12" launch will be delayed this year due to the ongoing global health crisis and restrictions on travel. Apple last year started selling iPhones in late September, but this year, Apple projects supply will be "available a few weeks later," suggesting a release sometime in October. We're expecting a total of four OLED iPhones in 5.4, 6.1, and...

Apple Explains Why You Might See 'Not Charging' When a Mac is Plugged In

Monday August 3, 2020 1:42 pm PDT by
If you have a Mac and have seen a "Not Charging" warning when plugging it in to power, Apple last week released a support document that explains why. Macs running macOS 10.15.5 or later have a Battery Health Management feature to preserve the life of the battery, and occasionally, the Battery Health Management option will cause the Mac to pause its charging for calibration purposes.Depending ...

Supposed iPhone 12 Display Unit Leaks

Thursday August 6, 2020 8:13 am PDT by
An image supposedly of an iPhone 12 display unit has been shared online by leaker "Twitter user Mr. White". Compared to images of an iPhone 11 Pro display piece, this new unit has a reoriented display connector, reaching up from the bottom of the display, rather than from the left-hand side on iPhone 11 Pro. This may be due to the logic board moving to the other side of the device. A...

Google's $349 Pixel 4a vs. Apple's $399 iPhone SE

Wednesday August 5, 2020 1:45 pm PDT by
Google this week launched its newest smartphone, the $349 Pixel 4a, a low-cost device that's designed to compete with other affordable devices like Apple's iPhone SE. We picked up one of the new Pixel 4a smartphones and thought we'd check it out to see how it measures up to the iPhone SE, given that the two devices have such similar price points. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel ...

Apple-Acquired Dark Sky Officially Shuts Down Android App

Saturday August 1, 2020 3:43 pm PDT by
Apple in March purchased weather app Dark Sky, and at that time, Dark Sky's developers said that the app's Android version would be discontinued on July 1, 2020. However, instead of shuttering the app on that date, the app's developers announced that the discontinuation would be delayed for another month. Now that it's August, Android users are no longer able to access the app, and...

Samsung Launches Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Z Fold 2, and Galaxy Buds to Compete With Apple's iPhones and AirPods Pro

Wednesday August 5, 2020 10:07 am PDT by
Samsung today held a virtual Galaxy Unpacked event where it unveiled its next-generation smartphones that will compete with Apple's 2020 iPhone lineup, set to come out in the fall. Samsung announced the launch of the Galaxy Note 20 and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, the two newest devices in the Note lineup, and, more notably, the Galaxy Z Fold 2, Samsung's latest foldable smartphone. The...

Alleged 'iPhone 12' Images Depict Circular Array of Magnets in Chassis

Wednesday August 5, 2020 4:39 am PDT by
New images shared on Weibo appear to show a circular array of magnets housed inside an "iPhone 12" chassis. The unverified images depict 36 individual magnets in a circular arrangement, suggesting they could be related to mounting or charging. EverythingApplePro, who shared the Weibo-originating images on Twitter, also posted an image of an alleged iPhone 12 case with a similar array of...