How to Use the Apple Watch App Store

Download WatchOS apps right from your wrist

App Store on the Apple Watch Series 5

 Lifewire / Rob LeFebvre

Until watchOS 6, Apple Watch owners have had to find their apps on their iOS devices, like the iPhone and iPad. Now, there’s an Apple Watch Store right on their wrist, making it super easy to find apps specifically for the watch on the go. 

Here’s how to get the Apple Watch version of the app store, and how to use it once you do.

  1. If your Apple Watch isn't already running the latest watchOS, you'll first need to use your iPhone to update your Apple Watch to watchOS 6. Once that’s done, raise your wrist to activate your Apple Watch and click the Digital Crown to get to the grid of apps on your watch face. 

  2. Press the watch's crown (the dial-like button) and swipe around on your Apple Watch to find the App Store icon—it looks just like the one on your iPhone or iPad. Tap on it to launch the app, and you’ll see a Search field and the words App Store just above it. 

    Swipe on Apple Watch, App Store icon, App Store on Apple Watch screen
  3. Scrolling down will show you featured Apple Watch apps (like Meditopia) and curated lists like Listen on the Go (a list of audio streaming apps), and Close Your Rings (a list of apps to help you exercise). Tap an app or category to see all the apps there in one scrollable list (you can turn the Digital Crown or just swipe on your watch face to scroll).

    Meditopia, Listen on the Go, Close Your Rings categories on the App Store for Apple Watch
  4. As on the iOS (or the Mac) App Store, each app has an icon, a Get button, a short description, a Star rating, and preview images.

    Get button, Screen previews, About section for Meditopia app on Apple Watch
  5. Scrolling a little farther in the app entry will show you a longer About description, the name of the developer (you can click this to see a list of the other apps the developer has made for watchOS), and a log of the updates for that specific app.

  6. There are buttons below that for Ratings & Reviews, Version History, Information, Supports, and Privacy Policy. Tap each button for more information. 

    Meditopia informational buttons, app information, and Support
  7. Finding specific apps to download for your Apple Watch is pretty easy, too. Simply tap on the Search field at the top of the main Watch App Store screen and then choose Dictation or Scribble. You can also scroll down and see various trending searches on the Watch App Store. 

  8. If you choose Dictation, say the name of the app (or the type of app, or whatever you’d typically type in on a keyboard) and then tap Done. You’ll get a scrollable/swipeable list of apps that match your search term. Tap the Get or Price button to sign into the App Store on your Apple Watch, then enter your Apple ID password (via Scribble or typing on your paired iPhone). 

    Dictation or Scribble Search options, account, Double Click to Pay on Apple Watch App Store
  9. If the app is free, it will download the app directly to your Apple Watch. If there is a cost, it will ask you to confirm your purchase with a double click to the watch’s side-button. If you search for an app you’ve already downloaded on any device, you’ll see the little “download from cloud” button familiar to iOS App Store users. 

  10. Once your Apple Watch installs any app you asked it for, you’ll find its icon on the main Watch home screen grid. Simply tap the icon to use the app itself on your Apple Watch. 

Now you can get watch apps right on your wrist via the Apple Watch App Store, and then delete them off your wrist without having to use your iPhone to do so ever again.