The Apple Watch: Unboxing, Initial Setup, and an Introduction to Using with VoiceOver

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

In this first of a series of podcasts dedicated to Apple Watch, David Woodbridge takes an in-depth look at the device. The demonstration includes:

  • Unboxing both an Apple Watch Sport and an Apple Watch
  • Setting up the Apple Watch using the iPhone app and the Watch itself.
  • Using the Apple Watch iPhone app, including the various accessibility settings for VoiceOver users.
  • Navigating and using the Apple Watch interface
  • Customizing the Apple Watch

Podcast File



Submitted by Rocker on Saturday, April 25, 2015

Awesome podcast David! We as blind folk can count on you as our go to early adopter! I'm impressed with the initial performance of the watch! Very snappy interface out of the box. I'm looking forward to more watch podcasts. BTW: I hope the black hat comes off soon...Rocker

Submitted by Aliya on Saturday, April 25, 2015

Hello everyone. At first David thank you too much for this very useful podcast. Unfortunately I couldn't quite understand why VO turned off after setting up apple watch. Is it necessary to enable VO in apple watch app? And would Voice over work if I'll unpair the watch from iPhone? I mean if I go out only with my watch can I use it?

Submitted by Justin on Saturday, April 25, 2015

you can turn on VO either in the app itself or in the watch settings. I'm not exactly sure why the app said VO off during the initial accessibility look. The watch and the phone need to be paired every time you use it. I personally never leave without the phone, but the watch and phone are always tethered unless you unpair the watch from the phone.

Submitted by Justin on Saturday, April 25, 2015

Also, the watch can do software updates, which means new features are gonna be added, hopefully. Great podcast david as always!

Submitted by Macky on Saturday, April 25, 2015

Superb job as always on the podcast David. I have one quick question though... During the setup process, there was an unlabelled button at the point where you had to choose between add all available apps, add selected or do it later. Does the two finger double tap and hold gesture to re label elements work on the watch as it does on the iPhone?

Submitted by Rockraj on Saturday, April 25, 2015

How long do it take to charge the Apple Watch for the first time question and how long does it take to charge Apple Watch and I recommended after the first time in the United Kingdom

Submitted by David Woodbridge on Saturday, April 25, 2015

In reply to by Macky

That unlabelled button was in the Apple watch app on the iPhone, so yes I could have labelled it in the normal manner.

Submitted by David Woodbridge on Saturday, April 25, 2015

In reply to by Rockraj

Watch had 90% or so when got it out of the box. A few hours to charge, at least 80% within two hours.

Submitted by Justin on Sunday, April 26, 2015

It'll be the same on a US adapter. charging times are the same on US or european style plugs for the apple watch. The only thing that is/could be different is if you have a usb wall adapter with a higher current output than the one that comes with the watch, then charging times will be slightly faster.

Submitted by Eric Davis on Sunday, April 26, 2015

Don't use an adaptor that is not properly rated for the watch or you run the risk of causing bad things to happen. You could damage the cable or the charging port on the watch. I know that this sounds like I am stating the obvious: Please take this as a warning only. I would hate to see any one have a watch break or not charge properly.

Submitted by Yahya abu Halwan on Sunday, April 26, 2015

Thank you David.
Is there any arabic voice in Apple Watch? if no, when will Apple add the Arabic voice?
thank you so much.

Hello David! First of all, congratulations for your brilliant potcast! Tell me please, does Watch voice over have the Romanian voice? Does it contains the same languages from the voice over iphone? Thank you and we are waiting more potcasts about the Watch!

Submitted by David Woodbridge on Sunday, April 26, 2015

In reply to by tibi

These are the languages supported by VoiceOver on the Apple watch:
English (U.S.), English (UK), English (Australia), Spanish (Mexico), Spanish (Spain), French (France), French (Canada), German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Chinese (Traditional, Hong Kong.


Submitted by ming on Sunday, April 26, 2015

well done david. hope you will demonstrate the features in the apple watch and how it connect with other apps like whatsapp, face book and mail... esectra!

Submitted by tibi on Sunday, April 26, 2015

Thank you David for your answer with the Romanian voice. Letțs hope they will add new languages for voice over. When will you publish those podcast memos about the apple Watch? And based on your experience with the Watch and voice over , how many hours do you use it after a charging process?

Submitted by Ekaj on Sunday, April 26, 2015

This is a great first walkthrough of the Apple Watch, and I'm looking forward to more. The accessibility features sound awesome. This seems like a very cool product. I was a bit confused by some things discussed and demonstrated here, but I think that's because I don't currently own an i-device and am therefore unfamiliar with them. I think one thing that really intrigues me about all this is the haptic feedback. I got a free iBill currency reader just prior to the New Year and had a brief look at the haptic feedback mode on there. My cell phone also vibrates when it rings and when the voicemail indicator sounds, but other than that I've never really seen how exactly haptic feedback works.

Submitted by Chris on Sunday, April 26, 2015


Can the Apple watch be used for anything at all without being paired with the iPhone or is it pretty much useless? Secondly, can the premium voices be used. If not, this is a dealbreaker just like the Apple TV because I cannot stand compact Nuance. just my thoughts.

Submitted by Siobhan on Monday, April 27, 2015

First, we don't know if the premium voices can be used. Second, no you need the phone at all times, or within I think it's forty feet. As for the person who so beautifully titled their comment, dammit, Not really a productive way to ask a question. Having said this, If there was a way to add every language, I'm sure they would. However no one knows how big the device storage is, so don't you think it's a decent idea to start wit what they have? I'm sorry, this is absolutely crazy. Someone is unhappy there isn't every language, someone else isn't sure they want the watch without the premium voice, can we not get past the fact that it's the Launch day? Good grief. For Chris Right I wasn't picking on you, simply mentioning you. david great podcast. Please, I urge you to do more podcasts of any sort, when you have the timeof course. :)

Submitted by David Woodbridge on Monday, April 27, 2015

In reply to by tibi

Hi, I take the Apple watch off charge at 6am, now writing this just before 8pm in Australia, and still have 29% charge left and been using it most of the day. Charge over night, but you can fully charge it within 2 or so hours.

Submitted by David Woodbridge on Monday, April 27, 2015

In reply to by tibi

My partner is away at a conference for the next 5 to 6 days, so when my boys at school, planning on doing 4 to 5 podcast demos on the Apple watch per day, but probably staggered posting when ready.

Submitted by Justin on Monday, April 27, 2015

I doubt the premium voices will be available right now. Think of how much space is on the watch, how much space the premium voices take. But, I'm really looking forward to the next podcasts about the watch. Can't wait!

Submitted by Justin on Monday, April 27, 2015

Also, same goes for languages. I'm sure more will be added, but like I said with premium voices, think about the space on the watch. Normally, they just put th text or whatever on the watch's memory for languages. Now they've got to put the TTS voices on there as well, which takes more space. I don't know how much compact voices take, but I'm sure it's not really all that much space.

Submitted by Toonhead on Monday, April 27, 2015

I must wholeheartedly agree with Siobhan on this one, some of you always have to complain that an apple product doesn't have this or that. Instead of focusing on what it doesn't have, why not look at the cool things these products do? I'm sorry it doesn't support every language right from the start, I'm sorry it doesn't have premium voices right from the start. This product is quite literally brand new, the thing has never been made before. If you're expecting for it to be able to do everything from launch day, you're going to be sorely disappointed. and that's really how it seems to be, this thing of some of you never being happy with the stuff you do have. I'm thankful we have VoiceOver in the first place. Apple did not have to even give us that, but they did. Show some appreciation!

Submitted by Justin on Monday, April 27, 2015

Agreed. I personally think that if it doesn't have as many languages as iOS currently does, it's fine. Let's be happy with what apple does provide instead of complaining about languages and premium voices. Heck I'm just glad it works now. worry appeased!

Submitted by Chris on Tuesday, April 28, 2015


I'm definitely glad this is accessible. If people want to use this, go ahead. Don't let me stop you. I personally cannot tolerate compact voices. I did not mean to start an argument with my last comment. I was just expressing my opinion. I still want to know if this can do anything independently from the iPhone? Anything at all? This is a major factor for me. I don't want to buy a $350 accessory that is a piece of glass and plastic when not connected to an iPhone. Again, just my thoughts.

I will wait for the next model or software update.

Regarding compact voices, it shouldn't take up too much space. From what I can tell, the compact voices use somewhere between 500 kb to about 2 mb. This really shouldn't be an issue unless the internal storage on the watch is ridiculously small that they need the majority of it for the operating system. The other reason we may not have all the languages is due to Apple's contract with Nuance. I doubt it, since from what I can tell, the watch OS is a version of iOS. Plus, they have nearly all the Nuance voices in OS X. I don't know. In my view, it really shouldn't be hard to just add the other 22 language tts voices. Who knows, Apple is weird with their voices.

Submitted by Toonhead on Tuesday, April 28, 2015

From the articles I'm reading here the storage space of the first generation Apple watch is only 8 gb. That's not a lot when you consider all the apps that will be available. I was thinking, and I think a better way to express things is to say that some of your guy's expectations for the Apple watch is just way too high for the current abilities it has. Remember, you can't use the Apple watch without the iPhone at all, so if you're thing is to have HQ voices and many many different languages you're probably better off sticking to the iPhone at this stage. Guys remember, this is a brand new thing. Apple has never attempted this sort of thing before, this is brand new to them so please don't expect everything right out of the box. I'm actually waiting to see what the second generation has to offer.

Submitted by AJ on Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Hi! Guys about the question about the apple watch can be used with out un iPhone? The answer is yes you can use it even if not connected to un iPhone. But limited function like viewing the photos that has been sink, listen to music, use apple pay and pass book,help and the activity app, of course to tell the time. By the way the timer, world clock, stopwatch are also working with out the iPhone. Remember this is a watch not a computer. This only helps us to minimize our used of iPhone.

Submitted by Kareem Dale on Saturday, June 6, 2015

Club AppleVis Member

<p>Is this podcast still available? I can&#39;t seem to get it to play. Others are playing but when I click onthis link, it&#39;s not working.</p>

Submitted by Fatima.Hamoud10 on Friday, April 15, 2016

In reply to by David Woodbridge

Hi David. That was a nice podcast. Can you do a podcast on updating software on Apple Watch? While the software is updating on your Apple Watch, does voiceover on your iPhone tell you weather your Apple Watch is "60% updated, 70% updated and so on," and when your Apple Watch is done updating it's software, does your iPhone say something like "update for your Apple Watch is complete?" The reason I am asking is because I am wondering how visually impaired users would know when the software is updating on their Apple Watches.