Toning down the Apple Watch

By Zac Hall

April 14, 2021

Tips and feature requests to avoid being overwhelmed

Getting Started

Apple Watch is at the top of its class, but it isn’t a perfect product. The hardware and design is space age compared to the competition, and the software experience meets Apple’s mark. It’s also very personal because you wear it. Apple has known this from the start, so it designs personalization into the product. From watch colors and materials to strap choices and watch faces, it’s easy to make the Apple Watch uniquely yours.


How you use the Apple Watch is even more personal. The tech enthusiast in me wants to find a use for every Apple Watch feature, but this can create an overwhelming experience if you’re not intentional about your approach. It’s possible to want to reduce your reliance on the iPhone through the Apple Watch, only to find yourself even more annoyed by interruptions on your wrist.

Identifying utility from the Apple Watch while toning it down when the watch becomes too much has been something I’ve been working through recently. I’ll share where I’ve landed as well as a few feature requests for managing the experience for the better.

Start Simple

My first suggestion applies regardless of how long you’ve been an Apple Watch user: Start simple and build up. The Apple Watch becomes more capable with every software update and hardware revision. This is great for finding your use in the product, but more features inevitably adds to the complexity.


This can be a number of things when considering how you use the Apple Watch. From managing apps and alerts to changing watch behaviors, getting a handle on these can go a long way. The first step is spending some time in the Watch app on iPhone and discovering the preferences mentioned in this article. Let’s start with three app tips: • Install new apps manually • Remove apps you’ve installed & never use • Remove built-in apps you won’t need