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Wearable Tech

Apple Stores to run Watch workshops

The free Apple Watch Basics workshop will kick off on April 24, the same day the watch itself officially launches.

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Apple is offering free workshops to help educate Apple Watch owners. Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

New owners of the Apple Watch can enroll in free workshops at Apple Stores to learn how to use the wearable device.

As of Thursday, the websites for some Apple Stores have been displaying an Apple Watch Basics class among their list of free workshops, as spotted Thursday by blog site MacRumors. The description for the class asks you to bring your Apple Watch and iPhone to learn how to get started with "glances" gestures, watch faces and more.

"Glances" display small slides of information that you access by swiping up the face of the watch. Gestures allow you to navigate the watch's interface by swiping or tapping. And Apple offers a variety of faces for its smartwatch, many of which are customizable.

Some stores are also showing a second class called Stay in Touch with Apple Watch, which is geared more toward using the device for communications. This workshop will show how to respond to messages and mail, share location, take a call and send a heartbeat to someone you care about. The Heartbeat feature lets you send your actual heartbeat to someone using the watch's built-in heart rate sensor.

Apple offers free workshops on other topics and products, including the iPhone, iPad, iCloud and the Mac. But the Apple Watch will demand some special training since it's an entirely new product category and packs a lot of features into a small package. Apple is offering short, hands-on demos of the watch available by reservation for consumers who want to check one out before a potential purchase. But people who end up buying the watch would likely benefit from more in-depth workshops.

The two workshops start April 24, which is when the Apple Watch goes on sale. But if your local Apple store is offering the workshops, you can reserve a spot now. I had trouble finding workshops at Apple Stores in the US. Only two stores that I stumbled upon displayed the Apple Watch Basics class; one of them also showed the Stay in Touch with Apple Watch class. But undoubtedly, more stores will start to list them as April 24 nears.

The workshops themselves take place every 90 minutes throughout the day and also are available on weekends. With heavy demand already popping up for the Apple Watch -- analyst estimates for preorders have ranged from 1 million to 2.3 million -- the workshops are likely to be a hot commodity. The problem is figuring out when to book the workshops, especially since you'll need your Apple Watch to attend.

Various Apple Watch models are now showing ship dates anywhere from four weeks to sometime in June. Either way, anyone who preorders an Apple Watch now certainly won't have one by April 24. In addition, it's possible that the device won't be available for in-store purchase until June. Up to then, all sales will be online.

The best bet for buyers may be to wait until you actually get the watch or receive a confirmed delivery date and then book a workshop. Of course, you can always schedule a workshop in anticipation of getting the watch on a certain date and then cancel or reschedule should it fail to arrive in time.

Apple did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment.