My wrist feels naked without the Apple Watch and on the few occasions when I’m not wearing it my life feels more disconnected (which is exactly why I take it off every now and then). In my opinion everything that’s great about the Apple Watch — not including the best Apple Watch bands — can be summed up in one word: apps. Apps top the list of Apple Watch features because they tie together all the other individual features (sensors, display, digital crown, etc.).
No other smartwatch platform comes close to matching the amount of apps — and content — available on Apple’s watch platform. I still find myself wishing there were an app for this or that that doesn’t exist (these are the times I briefly wish I was a programmer), but overall I’m really happy with the Apple Watch ecosystem. There’s a lot to choose from — so much so that it can be hard to find the best Apple Watch apps.
Great apps on the Apple Watch also make my Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus more enjoyable and useful.
And now that WatchOS 3 has arrived (this was such a great Apple Watch update) the Apple Watch has become all the more indispensable in my life. Apps run (a lot) faster and that matters a lot for a device that excels and providing very quick glimpses at important information like notifications and alerts.
I’ve had an Apple Watch since the original version first became available and I’ve spent countless hours hunting for the best Apple Watch applications (seriously, I’ve sunk an embarrassing amount of time into it). And I found that there are A LOT of Apple Watch apps not listed in Apple’s official App Store. To see what I mean just do a search for Apple Watch apps on Product Hunt or check out the Apple Watch apps database on WatchAware. You’ll quickly be overwhelmed.
So these are some of my favorite and most used apps — somewhat in order — but there are several apps I’ve chosen to leave out of this list. Not included are official Apple apps — those are too obvious and listing them here wouldn’t be helpful. Also I left out games because I wanted this list to be focused on usefulness (that and I might want to make a list of the best Apple Watch games later on).
I’m constantly changing which apps live in my Apple Watch dock (I really wish I could fit more than 10 at a time), but at the moment here’s my VIP lineup: the Philips Hue app, the DO Button app, WF at Hand, Hindsight, Habitify, ETA, Nuzzel, BriefMe, PCalc Lite (I’m not a dork, it’s just handy… shut up), and the Bible app. But just because these apps are docked, that doesn’t mean they are what I use the most… Several of the best Apple Watch apps have excellent complications which act as shortcuts directly into the app and therefore I don’t need to put them into the dock (they’d just be wasting space there, actually). If you’ve got a Series 1 or Series 2 Apple Watch model then you’ve got the benefit of a speedy dual-core setup and don’t have to worry as much about apps being in the dock (so they are pre-loaded with info on launch).
Before you dive into my list of the 50 best best apps for Apple Watch, you might enjoy watching the short video I made on why I love the Apple Watch (which happens to show off and demo some of my favorite Apple Watch apps). I’ll embed it here below:
- ETA – Get the best route (and time) to your favorite destinations.
- Foursquare – I know, you’ve heard of it, but it’s the preeminent “do something” experience.
- BriefMe – Super-quick news stories — only the 10 most important at any given time.
- Capitan – Holy COW this is a smart shopping list app. SMART!
- Glancify – Create your own complication/widget by scraping info from the Web.
- Timepage – The seriously beautiful calendar app from Moleskine.
- Cardiogram – Put that heart monitor on your wrist to use: see what your ticker is telling you.
- Todoist – Very full-featured and easy-to-use todo list management.
- Workflow – Automate the repeatable processes in your life.
- Do Button – Create digital buttons to easily get things done using IFTTT.
- Hooks – Stay up-to-date on anything important that matters to you.
- Lark – A (friendly) nutritionist and weight loss coach on your wrist.
- Dark Sky – Out of lots of weather apps this is the most accurate and powerful IMHO.
- Acorns – SO easy to save and invest little chunks of change — and see your progress at a glance.
- iTranslate – Speak to translate your words into other languages on your wrist!
- Deliveries – Know when your packages will arrive or when they get delayed.
- Memoir – Helps you relive and share your best memories.
- App in the Air – I love this app for traveling. Track flights, wait times and more.
- Nuzzel – More in-depth news coverage; stories liked by your social circles.
- Fantastical2 – The most full-featured (and expensive) calendar app around.
- Habitify – Track the habits you want to improve.
- OmniFocus – The in-depth GTD (get things done) app.
- Hindsight – Track how long it’s been since you did anything (got a haircut, took a pill, etc.).
- Elevate – A different take on a brain training app (one I actually like).
- Tripcase – All your travel info at a glance.
- Tipity – SUPER convenient tip calculator for the Apple Watch!
- MindNode – Mind maps on your wrist (I couldn’t imagine it at first either, but wow!).
- Canary – See security camera alerts on your wrist including a picture.
- Hue – Turn your Philips Hue lights on or off using your Apple Watch.
- Numerics – Visualize all your business statistics (sales, views, etc.). Very powerful.
- Where To? – Find the best places around you.
- Night Sky 4 – Hold it up against the night sky to understand what you’re seeing.
- Focus – A really simple and clean productivity timer.
- WF at Hand – Quickly check your bank account balances on your wrist.
- Mic’d – Simple audio recording app made specifically with the Apple Watch in mind.
- HotelTonight – Book an awesome hotel room at the last minute.
- Splitwise – Really easy way to split bills and pay IOUs between friends.
- Chipotle – A burrito button on your Apple Watch. Need I say more?
- The Converted – Easily convert anything (currency, measurements, etc.).
- Timers – Easy interval timers for everything (from workouts to cooking).
- Citymapper – Making city travel as stress-free as possible.
- Findery – Discover intriguing things around you wherever you are.
- Quicket – Great for booking last minute flights and checking into the best seat.
- Ping – Improve your golf swing.
- WaterMinder – A really great way to keep track of your water intake.
- Timeline – Get some context behind and around breaking news events.
- PCalc – An easy-to-use calculator (there’s a free lite version too).
- Round Health – Remember your medications.
- Neato – The only robot vacuum with an Apple Watch app for cleaning alerts.
- Watch Widgets – Customize your Apple Watch face using emojis, text and more.