The Best Apple Watch Apps Available Now

When it comes to Apple Watch app, you have what appears to be an infinite number of choices of different apps to download. Some, are apps that were designed with the Apple Watch in mind, with minute attention to detail that makes them intuitive to use and exceptionally useful. Others can seem sort of thrown together, where you’re not quite sure how to use them, but even if you did figure it out they aren’t really suited for the wearable.

Wading through the App Store and figuring out which apps are must-haves and which ones are must-nots can be a bit tricky (we suggest you download these first). After going through a ton of different Apple Watch apps over the past year, we’ve worked up a list of what we consider to be some of the best out there.

Google Maps

If you’re a Google Maps user, then putting its app on your Apple Watch is a no-brainer.  The Google Maps app for Apple Watch is exceptionally usefully, especially in situations where you’re walking rather than driving or taking public transportation.  With the app, you’re able to get turn-by-turn directions projected onto your wrist, along with a gentle vibration when it’s time to make that turn (in case you’ve become just a little too engrossed in what’s going on around you). 

If you’re headed to the office or home, then you can start directions right on your Apple Watch, with no need to ever pull out your phone.

If you’re going anywhere else, you need to start the directions on your phone, but once you start moving you’ll be able to follow along on your wrist. A Force Press on the Apple Watch face will also allow you to switch between different modes of transportation. S if your journey starts on the train, you can switch to walking directions when you get off at your stop, or vice versa.

7 Minute Workout

Sometimes you only have seven minutes to workout. This app offers quick routine that you can do between meetings to get your body moving and help you stay in shape, even if you don't have enough time to make it to the gym.

Facebook Messenger

If you typically use Facebook Messenger to chat with friends, then the Apple Watch version of the app can definitely come in handy. Once on your Apple Watch, the app displays incoming messages, just like SMS messages you might receive. Also, like SMS, you’re able to respond to Facebook messages right on your wrist. Available responses include Facebook’s iconic thumbs up as well as the pre-canned messages you might already have stored on your Apple Watch to use for SMS messages. Additionally, the app also allows you to send your current locations to friends, making it easy to find your buddy at a concert or other event.

Shazam

Shazam is one of those Apple Watch apps I find myself using much more often than I would have expected that I would. The app performs the exact same function as the iPhone version: it listens to a song that’s playing and tells you who the artist is. When a particular track comes on the radio; however, it can be hard to pull out your iPhone, navigate to the app, and start having it listen before the song is over.

With the Apple Watch app, the icon is much easier to find (for me), and the app launches quickly enough that I rarely miss capturing a tune. 

Nike+ Running

Runners will love Nike’s Nike+ Running app. The app tracks each of your runs, and helps you train for things like 5ks or marathons. Similar to Nike’s iPhone app, the Apple Watch app will track the location of your run on a map, and provide information about your run such as the total distance you traveled, amount of time you were running, and how many calories you burned along the way. You can also look back at your last runs and see how this one compares, and see Cheers from friends while you’re out on the road.

 

1Password

If you haven’t already tried out 1Password, you should. The service stores the passwords for all of your services (think your banking info and email password), and then allows you to access them using one single password. So, while you might have a crazy 30 character password set up for your checking account, and another crazy one set up for your Gmail, you’ll be able to get into both by just using your one password. The Apple Watch app brings that same functionality to your wrist, which can be particularly useful in situations where you’re traveling (or using a coworker’s computer), and need to get access to one of the services you have setup with 1Password.

CARROT Weather

No one likes being ill-prepared for the weather. CARROT Weather offers detailed weather reports in creative ways. You’ll get details on exactly when a rainstorm is expected to begin and end at your locations as well as a clever remark about the current or upcoming weather conditions. The Apple Watch comes with a built-in weather app, but this one can be particularly useful for those extra details that the traditional Apple Watch weather app doesn't provide.

Sleep++

Curious how you’re sleeping at night? Sleep++ is an app that transforms your Apple Watch into a sleep monitor.  When worn at night, the app will track how long you managed to stay asleep, as well as information like how restless you were during that slumber. Given the Apple Watch's current battery life, this one can be an awkward one to use just because it means you'll almost certainly wake up with an almost-dead Apple Watch. That said, you could easily throw in the charger when you're making breakfast in the morning or taking a shower, and you should be good to go all day.

BBC News

The Apple Watch’s tiny screen isn’t exactly suited to read huge news stories, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth getting at least a small amount of your news sent to your wrist. BBC News’ Apple Watch app can share Top Stories with you or stories based on your personal preference. Sure, you might want to pull out your iPhone to actually read them, but it can be a nice way to keep yourself informed throughout the day without having to go too far in detail or have the news you want to read get lost in the shuffle.

Slack

If you work for one of the countless companies that are currently using Slack for their business communications, then you’ll love the service’s Apple Watch app. With Slack for the Apple Watch, you’re able to see your direct messages and mentions right on your wrist. You can’t compose a response on the Apple Watch, but if you tend to answer questions with relatively similar answers often, you can save some prewritten responses that you can select from your wrist and send.  The app also supports voice input using Siri (for those quick responses you don’t have saved already), as well as emoji.

Camera Remote

This one is a must-have for selfie takers. The app works just like you might expect, and serves as a remote shutter button for your iPhone. With the app, you can set your iPhone up wherever you want. Once positioned, you’re able to see what the camera sees on your wrist and frame the picture perfectly. Once you’re ready to capture a shot, you can press the shutter button on your wrist rather than having to go up and touch the camera. The result? Much better selfies. Even more exciting, the app also has a countdown option, so you have the opportunity to put your hand down once you press the shutter and don’t end up with a ton of shots of you touching (or looking down at) your iPhone.

Philips Hue

This is one of those apps that you don't really need perse, but one that will absolutely impress your friends the first time you use it. The Hue app works with Philip’s line of smart lightbulbs and allows you to control the light via your wrist. Is there anything better than being able to turn off your lights while you’re already safely tucked in bed? Probably not.

Spy Watch

Ever want to be part of an international spy organization? Yeah, we thought so. Spy Watch is a role-playing game that works sort of like a choose your own adventure book. Throughout the day you’ll be presented with a number of different tasks on your wrist where you have to choose between two possible actions. What you choose will determine what happens next in the game.

Find Near Me

Sometimes you really need a bank, or a let’s face it, a bar. With Find Near Me you can quickly locate businesses near you by type. Once you find somewhere you’d like to check out, the app also offers details about the location such as its phone number, address, website, and even sometimes reviews. If Find Near Me ends up not being quite your cup of tea, we also really enjoy ​Trip Advisor’s Apple Watch App. That app offers suggestions of where to “eat, play, and stay" on your travels, which can come in handy if you’re on the move and want to get a few quick suggestions.