The 15 Best Smartwatch Apps for Android

Great Android Watch apps for your connected wearable

Wear, formerly Android Wear, is Google's smartwatch platform that powers watches from dozens of manufacturers. Some smartwatch manufacturers include great functionality right out of the box with their default apps, but you can turn even a budget-priced, bare-bones smartwatch into a powerhouse with the right smartwatch apps.

Finding the Best Smartwatch Apps for Android

Google's pared-down version of Google Play is available right on your wrist, which makes it easy to discover new smartwatch apps for your Wear device. In the Wear version of Google Play, you'll find a list of popular apps, a few handy categories, and even a list of apps on your phone that have smartwatch versions available.

Since it can be so tough to sift through the thousands of smartwatch app options on such a tiny screen, we've assembled the 15 best Wear apps to help increase your productivity, access important information, and stay entertained when you're away from your phone.

All the apps in this list are available for free from Google Play. Some of them have a premium version that you can buy and others have optional in-app purchases, but you can use the basic version of each app without paying anything.

01
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ParKing

Wear OS ParKing app displayed on a watch.

Lifewire

What We Like
  • Can automatically determine when you park, or you can tell it which location to remember.

  • Options to help you remember where you parked in underground and indoor parking structures.

What We Don't Like
  • The interface doesn't work right on some devices, making it difficult to access the find my car button.

  • Automatic parking feature requires a Bluetooth device, such as a Bluetooth car stereo, in your car.

ParKing is a handy little app that's designed to take the hassle out of remembering where you parked your car. When you launch the app on your smartwatch, all you have to do is tap the little car icon to log where you parked. When it comes time to find your car, you'll be able to zoom in on a Google Maps view of its exact location.

02
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Google Keep

The Google Keep app displayed on a Wear OS watch.

Lifewire

What We Like
  • Simple way to create and access notes and reminders.

  • Create notes and reminders on your watch and access them later from any of your other devices.

  • Capable of connecting with both Android and iOS devices.

What We Don't Like
  • Syncing issues can prevent you from seeing or accessing your notes.

  • Lacks an option to open notes on your phone from the watch interface.

Google Keep, which shows up on your Wear smartwatch as Keep Notes, is a lightweight note-taking app that's available on a wide variety of devices and via a web interface.

The version of Google Keep for your smartwatch lets you access your notes on the go and jot down notes wherever you are. Notes created on your watch are synced to the cloud, so that you can access them from your other devices later.

03
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AccuWeather

AccuWeather app displayed on a Wear OS smartwatch.

Lifewire

What We Like
  • Accurate forecasts are displayed in a minimalist fashion well suited to small displays.

  • Includes an option to launch the companion app on your phone for more detailed forecast information.

What We Don't Like
  • Weather information at both the top and bottom of the screen makes scrolling through hourly and daily forecasts touchy.

  • No support for switching between multiple locations.

The AccuWeather app brings the same forecasts you can access on the web or your phone to your Wear smartwatch. You don't get the MinuteCast information, radar, or other bells and whistles because the information is pared down for the limited screen real estate available on smartwatches. What you do get is a weather app that's easy to read at a glance.

04
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Wear Casts

Wear Cast Wear OS displayed on a smartwatch.

Lifewire

What We Like
  • Download podcasts directly to your smartwatch. Go for a run and leave your phone at home.

  • Options to either automatically or manually download new podcast episodes.

  • Podcast discovery feature if you're looking for something new.

What We Don't Like
  • Requires a phone to import podcasts, so it isn't completely independent of your phone.

  • Requires Android 7.0 and newer on your phone. It doesn't work with some older phones.

Wear Casts is a standalone Wear app, meaning it works independently from your phone (except for getting podcasts to the watch). You can use Wear Casts to download podcasts to your watch, pair Bluetooth earbuds, and listen to podcasts whenever you want, even if your phone isn't within Bluetooth range.

Since Wear Casts doesn't require a constant Bluetooth connection to your phone, it's easier on your batteries than some other apps.

05
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Listens for Alexa

Listen for Alexa WearOS app displayed on an Android smartwatch.

Lifewire

What We Like
  • Allows you to use your smartwatch to do almost anything your Alexa is capable of doing.

  • Great for extending Alexa functionality into rooms where you don't have an Alexa, but you have smart devices.

What We Don't Like
  • Not compatible with all skills and lacks some functionality of an official Alexa device or app.

Amazon has an official Alexa app for Android phones, but it isn't compatible with Wear. That's where the third-party app Listens for Alexa comes in. This app brings Alexa to your wrist, and it includes most of the functionality of an actual Alexa device.

You can even use this app to control any smart home devices that you usually control with your Echo.

06
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Bring!

Bring smartwatch app displayed on Wear OS

Lifewire 

What We Like
  • Makes it easy to generate shopping lists right on your watch.

  • Store your loyalty card details, so you don't need an app for that.

  • Option to share your shopping lists with family members.

What We Don't Like
  • No option to add items via a bar code reader.

  • Searchable library of items only includes generic descriptions, not specific brands or products.

Bring! is a shopping list app that lets you create, edit, and even share lists right from your smartwatch. It includes a library of items with easy-to-understand icons, and you can add items to the list using your smartwatch's voice transcription functionality.

07
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Citymapper

Citymapper smartwatch app displayed on Wear OS.

Lifewire

What We Like
  • Offers detailed trip timing for public transit options, walking, and bicycling.

  • Supports routes that mix transportation types, like a cab ride to a subway station.

  • Provides Uber details, so you can go that route if it would save either time or money.

What We Don't Like
  • Very limited availability. It only works in about 30 cities worldwide.

  • Departure times aren't always accurate, so make sure to double-check.

Citymapper is a must-have if you use public transit in one of the cities it covers or you're planning on visiting a supported city. It brings a ton of information about bus, train, subway, ferry, and even taxi data right to your wrist.

The downside is that it's only available in a limited number of cities, and it's useless if you don't live in any of them and don't plan on visiting.

08
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Sleep as Android

Sleep as Android sleep tracking app displayed on a Wear OS smartwatch.

Lifewire

What We Like
  • The Sleep as Android smartphone app has a ton of options, including a lucid dreaming mode.

  • Integration with the Sleep as Android phone app allows your watch to track minor movements and disturbances as you sleep.

  • The only game in town for real sleep tracking on Wear.

What We Don't Like
  • It doesn't work at all without the Sleep as Android app on your phone.

  • Setup is somewhat confusing, as you can't download it to your watch directly from Google Play.

One major function that Wear smartwatches lack when compared to dedicated fitness devices like Fitbit is sleep tracking. There's also a major lack of sleep tracking apps on Google Play that work with Wear, but Sleep as Android fits the bill nicely.

Sleep as Android includes a ton of features, some of which aren't even available from dedicated fitness devices. For example, the lucid dreaming mode can determine when you enter Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, and it provides an auditory cue to help you realize you're asleep without fully waking up.

The only real downside to Sleep as Android is that the smartwatch app doesn't work independently from your phone. So you have to make sure your phone is charged up, paired to your watch, and nearby whenever you go to sleep.

Use the Apps on Your Phone section in the Google Play store on your watch to download this.

09
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Google Authenticator

Wear OS Authenticator app displayed on a watch.

Lifewire

What We Like
  • It's your Google Authenticator, but on your watch.

What We Don't Like
  • It doesn't work without your phone.

If you already use the Google Authenticator app on your phone, then this is a great accessory app to add to your arsenal. It provides easy access to all of your authenticators via a swiping motion, and the numbers are big enough that they're easy to read even on small smartwatch screens.

The only downside is that it relies on your phone to work, so it can't act as a backup for the authenticator on your phone.

10
of 15

Calculator

Calculator Wear OS app displayed on a smartwatch.

Lifewire 

What We Like
  • Loads and works quickly.

  • Places the operations buttons in a sliding drawer on the side so that the number buttons can be as large as possible.

What We Don't Like
  • No scientific calculator function, so you need to look at premium apps if you want that or graphing functions.

If you're a whiz at mental math, then having a calculator on your wrist might not have that much appeal. For the rest of us, Google's basic calculator app is an awesome answer to the clunky calculator watches of the 1980s, and it takes the headache out of calculating tips.

11
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Mr. Time

Mr. Time watch face designing app displayed on a Wear OS smartwatch.

Lifewire

What We Like
  • Access to a ton of free watch face designs.

  • New designs are added regularly.

  • If you don't see anything you like, you can create your own watch faces.

What We Don't Like
  • Bluetooth errors can prevent you from downloading new watch faces.

  • It feels sluggish on some devices.

Many free and paid apps provide access to new watch faces, but Mr. Time is at the top of the heap. It includes free watch faces, premium watch faces you can buy, and you can even design your own.

12
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Hole19

Hole 19 golf tracking app displayed on a Wear OS smartwatch.

Lifewire

What We Like
  • Access range information when you're golfing. You don't have to pull your phone out before every shot.

  • Decent course coverage, including a lot of small local courses.

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't work without a phone.

  • Includes nice analysis tools you can check out after your round, but you need to use your phone for that.

Hole19 is primarily a golf range finding and score tracking app that runs on your phone, but it has an accessory smartwatch app that lets you access essential information from the convenience of your wrist.

If your local course is included in the more than 40,000 courses that Hole19 covers, you can use both the smartphone and smartwatch app for free. There is a paid version, but it primarily provides high-resolution graphics rather than unlocking additional course information.

13
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Infinity Loop

Infinity Loop Wear OS game app displayed on a smartwatch.

Lifewire

What We Like
  • Simple game mechanics work well with the limited screen space.

What We Don't Like
  • No cloud saves, so if you have to reinstall, you lose your progress.

Despite the minimal screen space available on Wear smartwatches, some decent games are available for the platform. Infinity Loop is especially well suited to play on small screens, as this puzzle game uses the basic mechanic of tapping puzzle pieces to rotate them until they form a pattern.

It's easy to pick up, and it's basic compared to the great smartphone games out there, but it is a nice little time-waster that you can play without pulling out your phone.

14
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Water Drink Reminder

Water Drink Reminder Wear OS app displayed on a smartwatch.

Lifewire

What We Like
  • Automatically generates reminders on your watch and phone to take a drink.

  • Makes it a lot easier to stay hydrated if you have a habit of not drinking enough water.

What We Don't Like
  • The default slurping noise it makes to remind you isn't appealing.

There are many benefits associated with staying adequately hydrated, but most people have trouble remembering to take a few sips here and there throughout the day.

Water Drink Reminder is designed to remind you to drink at regular intervals so that you take in an optimal amount of water based on your height and weight. It runs on both your phone and smartwatch, so there's less of a chance of missing a reminder.

15
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Google Maps

Google Maps app on a Wear OS smartwatch.

Lifewire

What We Like
  • Automatically reorients the map based on the direction you're facing.

  • Makes it easy to find local points of interest.

What We Don't Like
  • Very pared down in comparison to the regular Google Maps app.

  • Limited options and functionality.

Google's own map app is an easy sell on Wear. It's simplistic compared to the full smartphone app, but it makes it easy to orient yourself and find local points of interest when you're walking around on foot. It also allows you to drop a pin at your destination and launch full navigation on your phone.

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