Some Favorite Apple Watch Apps

Best of the New Apple Watch Apps that Use Your Location

Apple Watch apps pack a lot of useful information in a small space. These are from Yelp (top row) and RunKeeper. Yelp, RunKeeper

A lot of the value and fun consumers will find in the Apple Watch will be in the implementation of third-party apps. No doubt there will be thousands of apps to choose from, but at this early stage of the game, you will find some of your favorites, some new apps, and some that are still missing.

Here are some of my favorite Apple Watch apps available now:

Twitter's brief-message format works well on the small Apple Watch screen.

Twitter's Apple Watch version lets you view and scroll your timeline, which is the most important function. You may also compose tweets, re-tweet, and favorite tweets. 

There are many rating services on the market, but Yelp continues to be my go-to, thanks to its mostly-useful and plentiful customer reviews, photos, and mostly up-to-date business and destination information. Yelp scales down well to the Apple Watch format, with quick tap-to-search functionality, view of ratings, and even a zoomable live map for directions.

Around Me
​The Around Me app, which shows you businesses and services within a set radius of your location, is a natural for Apple Watch. Quickly scroll the list to see many categories, including restaurant, theater, supermarket, bank, bar, and other major categories. Choosing a listing provides a map view and directions, and the ability to share the location with a friend.

Fitness and training are key reasons for the Apple Watch's existence, so workout apps will be important and plentiful. I was pleased to see the highly competent RunKeeper app as an early entrant. First of all, using Apple Watch for a training program lets you keep your phone in a pocket (hopefully protected from the elements) as you track your run on your watch.

The watch interface includes pace, time, distance in miles or km, and customizable interval training.

The Apple Watch comes into its own when used by a frequent traveler, and TripAdvisor's travel features leverage the portability and convenience of the watch. Select and see photos of destinations right on the screen. Read one of more than 150 million customer-written reviews. Search and sort destinations right on the watch face.

Weather Underground
​You may not have heard of Weather Underground, but it is the best weather app available. It includes a timeline graph that shows temperatures, chance of precipitation, and other weather parameters by hour. This is very useful for planning activities. The Apple Watch version includes a weather-now screen, hourly forecast, the aforementioned timeline graph, weather radar (cool to have that on your wrist), and weather alerts.

The Strava running and cycling app has a cult following among serious athletes. Its star feature is the ability to compete against others' personal bests for various road segments or events. But it's also a good tracking app for the basics such as time, speed, and distance.

I like golf GPS watches because you don't need to carry or fuss with a separate dedicated device or keep your smartphone at hand.

One of my favorite golf GPS apps, Golfshot, was quick to adapt to the Apple Watch. Golfshot did a nice job of putting quickly swipe-able summary screens at your fingertip, including:

  • A screen for hole number, par, overall hole distance, target, and green center.
  • Aerial view of the green with distance to front, back, and center.
  • Scorekeepting and current score and score relative to par.
  • Bunker and water-carry distances.
  • Shot distance tracking.

Hole19 is a full-featured, free golf GPS app with a database of more than 34,000 course maps (also free to update). Hole19 has all of the essential stats, plus you may track your putting performance.

The companion Hole19 smartphone app also lets you upload a video of your swing for analysis and recommendations from a teaching tour pro.