If you’ve purchased an Apple Watch recently, or just want to get more out of your investment, you’ll want to peruse this list of helpful applications for your Apple Watch.
These apps can do just about anything a tablet can do, only on a much more portable scale.
What is the Apple Watch?
The Apple Watch is one of the smartwatches we’ve been hearing about for a good long while now. The first smartwatch, which could be defined as a miniature “wearable” computer, dates back to the 70s with the first battery powered digital watch from Seiko.
What we consider a smartwatch today, however, is an entirely different animal. These watches are capable of running calculations, tracking fitness and health aspects of the wearer, keep track of calories burned while exercising, track sleep patterns of the wearer, and a whole host of other things.
Apple Watches stand apart from their competitors with a different styles, designs, and interfaces.
Apple Watches also have a much larger number of applications than many other smartwatches because of the proven success of Apples in general. These apps are more prevalent with Apple because developers are willing to take the risk on exclusive apps for Apple due to their success.
Apple watches come in a variety of colors and styles, including the $17,000 model that’s got red straps and an 18-karat gold case. Most of us will aim a bit lower for the models in the under $500 range.
The Best Apps for Apple Watch by Category
Health and Fitness Apps
One of the best apps for Apple Watch in the fitness and health realm, the WorkOutdoors app will help you track your location and your training progress.
It uses your Apple Watch’s GPS service independent of your iPhone, meaning you can leave the phone behind on your workouts. The app features things like bread-crumb tracking, customizable stat displays, and custom points of interest along your routes.
The WorkOutdoors app is one of the most customizable fitness apps available for your Apple Watch. The data all translates easily to a number of fitness apps on your phone or computer for over-arching training and fitness tracking.
Another one of the best apps for Apple Watch, the Streaks app helps you make small changes to life.
These small changes, like getting a few hundred more steps per day, or eating a few less calories daily, will make your life changes stick. You can use the wide range of data collection tools on the Streaks app for making these small habit alterations, a little at a time.
The Streaks App also lets you set reminders for walking the dog, taking your vitamins, or practicing a musical instrument. The app is designed to help with anything that will improve your way of life.
For the gym rat, Gymaholic helps you track your gym workouts. You can manually log workouts through this app, and view tutorials on how to use the various machines at your gym.
The great thing about this particular sleep tracking app is that, like its name suggests, the app works automatically. Many other apps have to be turned on and off, and who’s going to remember every night to do that?
Since Auto Sleep does what it says, it’s one of the easiest sleep tracking apps to use. Even better, the Auto Sleep App is as accurate as some of the higher end apps, and can easily be adjusted for sensitivity.
If you’re looking for an even more bare-bones app than the Auto Sleep, you can try this free sleep tracking app for your Apple Watch.
You can view a chart that displays your sleep patterns and can send your data to Apple Health. It does not turn off and on automatically, though, so you’ll need to remember to start and stop the app each morning and night.
Pillow uses heart rate, movement, and sounds to track your sleep patterns. The data is then presented in an eye-catching, easy-to-read chart. You have to manually start and stop the app based around your sleep times.
Travel and Commuting Apps
The iPhone app, CityMapper, gives point-to-point directions that can help you get around town in the car, or on public transit in any of the cities supported by the app. The Apple Watch version of the app is just as good at this, which makes it far more convenient for anyone trying to make quick or stressful direction changes.
Each step along the way is mapped out clearly, enabling you to get from point A to point B without all that extra stress of waiting for maps to load on your phone.
You can easily access information about your favorite spots, and public transit info for buses, trains, and even ferries.
This awesome little app helps you find the key places you need to go. Need a Chinese restaurant? Find Near Me will get you there. Need a laundromat, zoo, or ATM? Click on the list of places under the category you’re looking at, and the app will get you there with info on distance from your location.
You can also review restaurant reviews and contact info, along with directions to the place of choice.
If you fly a lot, App in the Air is a great option for you. It tracks your information, like your gate number, gate arrival deadline, and directions to that hard to figure out gate location.
The app on your Apple Watch tracks the immediate information, but the app in your iPhone also keeps track of your frequent flier points, live status changes, flight history, and pretty much everything else related to your flying experiences.
If you’re like many city-dwelling Americans, this transit app is going to come in handy. The app assumes that any time you engage it, you’re in a hurry and need the information fast. The app provides instant departure information, nearby transit stop locations, and a quick and easy “take me home” button that gives you the best route via transit to return to your place of residence.
Transit can help save you a few seconds, which can make the difference between catching that train or bus or not, and having to wait around for a while before the next one comes.
If you’ve ever been late to meeting because of that extra two seconds it took you to get through the turnstile, you understand the value of a few seconds.
Transit is primarily for Americans but does work in over 50 cities outside of the United States.
If you’re ever had issues with checking your weather report, and then stepping outside in a light jacket when you needed a warm coat, you’ll love the Dark Sky app. This Apple Watch app tracks the forecast, for your personal location. Your immediate vicinity is where the Dark Sky works, not out at some airport twenty miles away.
Dark Sky will keep you up to date on the forecast in your area, including an hour’s notice of incoming rain or snow. You can also get a seven-day forecast.
Dark Sky is known for being more accurate than many other weather apps on the market.
The saucy Carrot weather app dishes out your weather forecast through customized settings.
This app isn’t for the easily offended, though, as the app actually laughs at any weather misfortunes you experience during your day.
The algorithms of the djay 2 let users turn their Apple Watches into a mixing machine like the pros use.
Your Spotify Pro account integrates your playlists and information, giving you a pretty much limitless supply of tunes for your party. You can use the app on your iPhone to intensify the results, or you can let the features on the Apple Watch app lead the way.
With the Apple Watch app, you can fade from track to track, add special effects, turn on auto-mix, or pause and sync your list.
Lifeline is a game app for your Apple Watch. It’s been described as a bit of a “choose your own adventure” on your wrist. You control the fate of an astronaut’s survival. You make decisions along the way, while the story plays out in real-time.
The script is humorous, entertaining, and intelligent, and keeps you engaged as long you stay tuned in.
If you’re more of a camera and video guy, the FiLMiC Pro is your Apple Watch app. You’ll notice some potentially low ratings for the app, but you’ll also notice not that many users have rated this recording app for your Apple Watch.
The FiLMiC Pro is a powerful iOS camera app used by film-makers, and journalists. You’ll just need a great editor to great professional level video with this stellar app.
A trivia game designed for multiplayer use, this straight forward game is perfect for the Apple Watch.
You play against real people, answering multiple-choice questions within a category you choose. There’s a pretty massive collection of questions, so you’re unlikely to hit the same questions for a while.
Runeblade, a game app for the Apple Watch, is an award-winning fantasy adventure game. You can get the base app for free, but of course, there are lots of add-ons you can purchase to improve your gaming quality.
Runeblade is a bit simpler than your typical role-playing game, or RPG, but that’s mainly because your Apple Watch is a simpler machine than a smartphone or tablet. Basically, that makes this a fun game for killing a few minutes here or there in transit.
Personal Finances and Calculator Apps
The Pennies App is a personal budgeting and financial tracking app for your Apple Watch. We love that you can keep lists, create a budget, and input values any time you spend or receive money.
If you’re rebuilding your finances, paying bills for the first time on your own, or in need of just getting that spending under control, the Pennies app can help.
If you need a constant reminder to keep your spending in check, you can set up the Pennies app as a complication for your watch dial.
Reviewers have called the PCalc the best calculator app for the Apple Watch. The app had large buttons that make navigating the app easy on your watch dial. Overall, the app is easy to navigate and use. There’s even a third screen that can be used for doing your calculations on.
You can either do the paid version of the PCalc app, or go for the free PCalc Lite app, which doesn’t have as many features, but is still functional.
A runner up to the PCalc, the Calzy 3 calculator app is a revamped version designed for the iOS 11 system. This calculator app has the operators on the same screen, which makes for easier calculations and less swiping. That means that Calzy 3 is a much faster app to use than others, though you’ll need a more precise tap on the screen to hit the numbers accurately.
Calzy 3 also keeps a running total while you do your calculations. Calzy 3 also offers some great features on the iPhone app, like a customizable keypad, and currency rounding.
Overall, Calzy 3 isn’t as comprehensive as some of the other calculation apps, like PCalc, but it is a great, basic app for calculations at your wrist.
The Best Apple Watch Apps
It’s important to track your health, your fitness training, sleep patterns, and eating habits. It’s also important to know what to wear as you step outside.
These awesome apps will help you do that, and keep you entertained while you wait on the train. One tip - be sure to keep track of your Apple Watch’s data capacity and don’t overload it to the point you can’t use it well.