The 12 Best Apple Watch Apps of 2019

Get cool Apple Watch apps on your wrist

The Apple Watch is the most popular wearable on the market today.

 Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

One of the areas where the Apple Watch shines is in the way it brings the functionality of your phone to your wrist. You can answer texts, take calls, and change the song you're listening to without pulling your phone out of your pocket. But even outside of that, there are a host of Apple Watch apps that can change how you approach your day. And these are the best ones.

01
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Best for Sleep Tracking: Pillow

Pillow tracks how deeply and how long you sleep.

What We Like

  • Automatic sleep tracking

  • Audio recording

What We Don't Like

  • Full features locked behind premium version

Pillow does more than just track your sleep. The app monitors your heart rate and movement to wake you when you're in the lightest stage of sleep, which results in far less grogginess when you wake up.

The app also has a few fun features like audio recording, so you can listen to yourself snore or talk during your sleep. This serves an important function, though; it can be used to help diagnose sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. Just install Pillow on your iPhone and it will automatically track your sleep through your Apple Watch.

02
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Best for Weather: NOAA Radar Pro

NOAA Radar Pro is the best option for a weather app on the Apple Watch.

What We Like

  • Real-time weather tracking.

  • Can monitor multiple locations at once.

What We Don't Like

  • Requires payment of $4.99.

When you're tracking inclement weather, you don't want to wait for 15-minute updates like so many weather apps offer. NOAA Radar Pro provides you with real-time updates and a satellite overlay that displays current precipitation, cloud cover, and more.

You can set up multiple locations to monitor and be notified of changing weather conditions near your home or the homes of your loved ones. Just set up the app and designate where you live.

03
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Best for Music Identification: Shazam

If you need to identify a song on the go, just Shazam it.

What We Like

  • Intuitive interface.

  • Keeps a list of all searches.

What We Don't Like

  • Sometimes slow to identify music.

  • Identification is sometimes wrong if too far from speaker.

There are times when you don't realize you want to know a song until the last few seconds, but by the time you pull your phone out of your pocket, the song has ended and you're left trying to remember a few lines to search.

If you have Shazam on your Apple Watch, you don't have to spend time finding the app on your phone. Install and launch the app, then press the button and hold your watch close to the source of the song. Within a few seconds, the name will pop up if the song is in the database — and you'll be given the option to purchase it if you want. It's a great way to expand your music library on the go.

04
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Best for Payment: Apple Pay

Apple Pay is the best solution for shopping without pulling out your credit card.

 Apple

What We Like

  • Easy to use.

  • Token system adds another layer of security.

What We Don't Like

  • The initial setup can sometimes be complicated and confusing.

It's not the sexiest app in the world, but Apple Pay is the go-to option for wireless touch payment on the iPhone. Who wants to pull out their wallet when it isn't necessary? Just set up Apple Pay on your iPhone and all of your saved cards and settings will be available through your Apple Watch.

Apple Pay is already available on your Apple Watch and iPhone by default. You do not need to download an app from the store.

05
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Best Calculator App: CALC Smart

CALC Smart is a useful, powerful calculator on the go.

What We Like

  • Calculations can be shared.

  • The user interface is intuitive and powerful.

What We Don't Like

  • The $3.99 cost feels high for a calculator.

When it comes to watch-based calculators, CALC Smart is one of the best options out there. 

Open the app on your phone to find your most recent calculations saved for review. You can expand the calculator widget, search your previous calculations, use a tip calculator, and much more. While CALC Smart is great for students, it also shines in its functionality in day-to-day life.

06
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Best Meditation App: Headspace

Headspace lets you create a moment of calm in a hectic day.

What We Like

  • Headspace is a great way to get started with meditation.

  • Allows for quick, brief sessions whenever you have downtime.

What We Don't Like

  • The majority of features are locked behind a paywall.

If you're looking to keep your blood pressure low and improve your mood throughout the day, Headspace is the way to go. This guided meditation app is a must for those in busy professions.

Sync your AirPods to your Apple Watch, open the app, and choose what session you want to go through. Meditation sessions range from three, five, and ten minutes, with quick one-minute sessions for the really busy days.

Even if you're skeptical of the metaphysical side of meditation, there are scientifically-proven benefits to controlling your breathing. Even taking a few minutes out of a busy day to focus on your breath can help improve your mood. 

07
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Best Nutrition Tracker: Lifesum

Lifesum is a great way to keep track of your caloric intake throughout the day.

What We Like

  • Great for tracking water consumption.

  • Quick and easy to use.

What We Don't Like

  • The database isn't complete.

  • The app can be buggy and glitchy at times.

Tracking what you eat is one of the most important elements of losing weight and improving your fitness levels, but it can be hard to do. Lifesum makes the process of tracking meals easy; search for the food in the app, scan the barcode, or snap a photo. If the food is anywhere in Lifesum's impressive database, it's added to your daily record.

While the app is free, there's a paid version that adds new features like custom meal recommendations (and recipes!) based on your weight loss or weight gain goals. Lifesum is also a fantastic tool for measuring the all-important water intake.

08
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Best for Password Management: 1Password

1Password is an easy way to manage your various passwords.

What We Like

  • The app is easy to use.

  • Two-factor authentication is included by default.

What We Don't Like

  • There is no free plan.

You should use a different password for each of your accounts and change your passwords every six months. If that seems like a lot to keep track of it, try out 1Password, which can generate a custom password for every account you have. The best part? You don't have to remember it. All you need to keep track of is a single, master password for the app.

The Apple Watch version of 1Password is perfect for when you're on-the-go or need to use a different computer than usual. Just sync your watch to the computer and you can log in to any of your accounts after you verify your identity.

09
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Best for Selfies: Camera Remote

Camera Remote lets you activate your iPhone camera from afar.

What We Like

  • Allows use of higher-quality rear iPhone camera at a distance.

  • Functions as a viewfinder.

What We Don't Like

  • The app can be complicated to set up.

  • The view isn't always clear on the Apple Watch screen.

If you want to grab a time-lapse or a photo in less-than-ideal light, any amount of motion can ruin the shot. That's where Camera Remote comes in. This app lets you activate your phone's camera from your Apple Watch.

Just set the shot up beforehand and step back. Press the camera button on the app and you'll be able to grab that perfect picture without any danger of motion blur or shaking. It's great for taking a group selfie from a distance or setting up a more complex shot.

The Camera Remote app is a default part of your Apple Watch, so you just need to set it up. There's no need for a download.

10
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Best for Travel: Find Near Me

Find Near Me helps you navigate a new city like a local.

What We Like

  • Works like a virtual tour guide.

  • Great for finding places in a pinch.

What We Don't Like

  • May not recommend smaller, lesser-known businesses.

The Find Near Me app searches for locations around you based on a set of categories. If you're looking for a bar, just tell the app that's what you need. If you want to find the best place in your area for a cheeseburger, specify that in the app. It's great for finding those lesser-known destinations that give you long-lasting memories of a city. 

11
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Best for Sports: ESPN

The ESPN Apple Watch app gives you information on your favorite teams with just a glance.

What We Like

  • It's easy to organize your favorite teams so you see them first.

  • At-a-glance information of the most important games of the day.

What We Don't Like

  • You can't stream games to the Apple Watch app, although you can with the iPhone app.

Few things in life are as disappointing as leaving in the middle of a big game, but sometimes you have obligations—but no one says you can't keep track of how your favorite team is doing while you're about and about.

The ESPN app lets you track your favorite teams with just a glance. It also provides updates about important breaking news in the world of sports so you're always in-the-know, even if you're stuck grocery shopping or sitting through a business meeting.

12
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Best for Navigation: Apple Maps

Apple Maps is the go-to GPS app for your Apple Watch.

What We Like

  • Clear and easy to read while on the go.

  • Real-time traffic data helps you stay abreast of potential slow areas.

  • The Apple Watch app is great for navigating through cities on foot.

What We Don't Like

  • The traffic data can sometimes be slow to update.

If you're part of the Apple ecosystem, then Apple Maps is likely your go-to resource for getting from place to place. The Apple Watch app continues Apple Map's tradition of clear interfaces and real-time information.

The app is great for getting around a new place whether you're on foot, on a bicycle, or taking public transportation. With real-time traffic information, you'll know if you need to take an upcoming detour to avoid an accident or other obstacles in your way.