Well that didn’t take long: there are already over 3,500 Apple Watch apps available. Considering the device has only been on the wrists of consumers for around two months at the most at this point, that’s pretty impressive. Of course Apple’s built-in apps are all stellar. I particularly love the activity app with it’s colorful, informative rings. But what are the best, most essential third party Apple Watch apps that you should consider downloading?
Well I’ve chosen five of my personal favorites below. Of course this is purely opinion, and everyone will find different apps useful or cool based on their own interests, work and routines, but I tried to select some apps that could be pretty much liked by anyone.
That said, I only chose apps with good Glances (Glances are like peeks into apps that can be pulled up from the default watch screen). I did this because the Apple Watch is all about micro interactions. When you just need a Glimpse of something you look at your watch. When you need to see more or do more you head for your iPhone or MacBook (or whatever devices you use).
As a side note, there are other apps that I wanted to like but just don’t (yet): Twitter and Slice come to mind first. Slice, an app that tracks deliveries and monitors past purchases for price drops, is just plain inaccurate on my Apple Watch. If the info it showed me were more up to date I’d really be enjoying it right now. And Twitter is just too limited. Actually, I don’t mind it being limited technologically, but I wish I could choose what limited info I could see (like Tweets mentioning my account for instance, rather than just top trends or my firehose of a timeline).
Finally, there are other great apps that I love and would have liked to include here but just couldn’t. Since I’m trying to create a list I think a broad amount of people will enjoy, I had to exclude apps like Automatic. Automatic is a gadget, actually, that plugs into your car and lets you access the info contained therein. It’s great for tracking mileage for expense reports, helping you save gas by driving smarter and has plenty of other interesting features. Unfortunately, I didn’t think enough people would have that piece of hardware to make the app a good recommendation here (at least not yet). But that said, it should be mentioned because it is awesome — with the Apple Watch version of the Automatic app, you can forget about trying to remember where you parked; the app will show you a map and give you directions right on your wrist!
In my humble opinion, there is no better todo list app for the iPhone, Mac and now Apple Watch — Wunderlist is the absolute best (no wonder Microsoft recently bought the company). It has a good design, has the exact features I need (and no more) and is very versatile. I’ve been wanting to use Due for a long time now (and Due is another early Apple Watch app developer) but I don’t want to just be reminded about things, I want to be more organized than that. I love how I can create lists and folders of lists, set reminders and due dates if needed and make use of smart lists (lists that auto-populate, like a list of today’s items no matter what list they originally belonged to). The ability to tap to mark items as done right from my wrist is super convenient.
I’ve been drinking a lot more water lately and it’s all due to WaterMinder. Actually, I hated drinking water most of my life; if given the choice I would always choose soda, tea, a slushie… anything cold and flavored. But I knew drinking more water would be good for me, and, as I began running awhile back, necessary. So in order to track my intake and be reminded to drink more water I downloaded WaterMinder — and I haven’t looked back. I use this app religiously (mostly through the Apple Watch interface, and sometimes on my iPhone when it happens to be more convenient). Thanks to this app drinking water has become a bit of a game and I routinely turn down other (better) drinks to reach my goal. No joke: drinking all this water has me feeling a lot better than I did before — I had no idea what I was missing. And it’s all thanks to WaterMinder.
A large portion of what makes the Apple Watch to appealing is it’s ability to help people get — and stay — healthy and fit. So it only makes sense to include another health-focused app after WaterMinder. Lark has been around for awhile, but I’ve only recently gotten into it. Lark keeps you aware of how well you are eating, sleeping and exercising and it’s got a really fun, unique interface. Lark is different from other apps because to enter information and to receive feedback, you simply chat with the app itself. Lark is friendly, supportive and full of useful tips and insights. It doesn’t take long to use Lark (at all) and I find myself interacting with the app at least a few times each day. Using the Watch version of the Lark app is handy (or wristy, I guess, but that’s not a word) and fairly robust (more so than many other Watch apps).
Okay, so I enjoy keeping up with certain sports at certain times, but I’m nowhere near a hardcore sports addict. I don’t watch ESPN, I do tune in to my favorite football team almost every week during the NFL season, I occasionally go to an MLB or MLS game and I like to watch the NBA playoffs, the Super Bowl, etc. But not since I was a teenager have I kept up on the daily or weekly happenings of my favorite sports teams, which is kind of sad. I like following my favorite teams, but honestly I don’t have the time to tune in to every game.
Once, long ago, I had the ESPN app installed on my iPhone, but deleted shortly after it arrived because I never opened it. But the ESPN Watch app is quite nice. It lets me take a lean-back approach to following my favorite teams. Relevant sports scores and news flow my way, I glance at them and then dismiss them. It’s the perfect amount of sports information for me. And the design is really nice. If there were more apps to choose from at this point in time (certainly if there were more native apps available), I’m not sure I would’ve chosen this app for this list, but at the moment I feel it’s one of the best and I’m genuinely enjoying it.
With the Apple Watch excelling at displaying notifications, it only makes sense to include Hooks in this list — it’s the perfect way to wrap things up. By default the Apple Watch can notify you about calls, messages and emails, but what about other stuff you might care about? Hooks is basically like notifications for “everything else” out in the world you might care about like knowing when a new episode of your favorite TV show is on, sports scores, new tweets from specific users, keyword searches from Google or Product Hunt — all kinds of stuff. If you want an even more robust notification experience, hooks is the app for you.