15+ Best Apps For The Apple Watch 2017 – Next Gen Apps
Apple Watch has been around for a little over a year and a successor is expected by the end of 2016. The wearable was part of Tim Cook’s effort to reignite excitement in Apple products and counter falling sales of the iPhone. While the smartwatch was a hit, sales have not been as strong as Apple would have wanted. To be fair, it feels like Smartwatches are not yet ready for proper mass market adoption. There are too many limitations and the dependence on Smartphone connectivity can be infuriating. Another big problem encountered by Apple users is the lack of apps for the Apple Watch.
Price when reviewed: $399
Best Apps For The Apple Watch
Apple has worked really hard to improve the watch’s functionality and experience by providing as many apps as possible. Currently, the Apple Watch app store has over 10,000 apps, an impressive number that puts the smartwatch ahead of most competitors. The problem is that most of those apps are not useful enough to appeal to many users.
As we look forward to the launch of Apple Watch 2, the company still has a lot of work to do in providing useful apps to their users. Thankfully, there are several apps for Apple Watch that have proven quite helpful. If you are an Apple Watch user or planning to buy the smartwatch, here are the best apps to complete your Apple Watch experience. If we have left out any that you feel deserves top ranking, feel free to mention it in the comments.
1. Apple Pay
It can feel like a bit of a geeky novelty to make payments with a flick of your wrist, but soon you realize just how much of a joy it is. Apple Pay is one of the default apps the Apple Watch comes with, and in terms of convenience, it is a winner.
With this app, your wallet lives on your wrist. All your debit and credit cards are on the watch and paying for things is ridiculously simple. Set up is quick and easy, and data security is guaranteed.
Here is a quick set up guide.
The best part about it all is that the app operated independently from your phone. You do not need to have your iPhone with you to make a payment using your Apple Watch.
2. Amazon App
Apple Watch does not just simplify paying; it also makes shopping easier with a slew of shopping apps. One of the best is from Amazon.
Using the Amazon App, you can browse for products, read product details and reviews and make purchases right from your smartwatch. Basically, almost all the features and functionality you would access on your phone or computer is available on your smartwatch.
Another notable shopping app is Target. With the Target App, you can create a shopping list on your watch and when you get to the store, the app will tell you where to find everything.
Other shopping apps you might want to check out include Ebates for coupons and store offers and Fancy for creating and sharing wishlists.
Runkeeper is one of the best-known fitness tracking apps. It launched an app for Apple Watch as soon as the smartwatch was released. Then, you had to carry your iPhone with you (strapped to your arm or in your pocket) to use the app. But with an update later that year, the app was able to function independently.
Today, you can do plenty of things with Runkeeper on your Apple Watch. You can track your heart rate, distance, pace, speed and duration all without the need of having your phone nearby. It is a multi-activity tracking app meaning you can use it for cycling, running, walking and so on. You just need to specify what kind of activity you are engaged in.
The app also works with music apps like Spotify and iTunes to pump up your workouts. It even shows you, after the workout, which music pumps you to the max. If you are looking for a way to keep track of your fitness and workouts, Runkeeper comes highly recommended.
HeartWatch is an app that takes advantage of one of Apple Watch’s most important features; the heart rate monitor.
The app is a dedicated heart rate tracker, allowing you to monitor your heart rate throughout the day. It shows you a variety of information including heart rate zones, heart rate fluctuations and the heart rate itself.
You can set a HeartWatch widget (what Apple calls a Complication) to automatically show you your heart rate on the watch face every time you glance at the watch.
HeartWatch also doubles up as a sleep tracker. By tracking your heart rate overnight, it can provide you with details on your sleep quality and quantity.
There is even a “sleep recharge” part indicating how much you have recharged your body based on how you have slept.
5. App in the Air
App in the Air is essentially a personal flying assistant.
The app will keep you updated on your flight information, real time flight status, airport navigation maps and gate changes.
In every sense, this is a virtual flying assistant on your wrist.
For people who travel by air frequently, this is a must-have app. You can download it from iTunes free of charge.
Did you know that there is a Google Maps app for Apple Watch?
While it does a decent job helping you navigate around places, Citymapper takes the prize when it comes to city navigation. Over time, the app has been adding various cities to its navigation system.
Currently, major cities you can navigate with Citymapper include London, New York, Paris, Berlin, Barcelona, Seoul and Brussels. You can see the full list here.
The app is indispensable if you are travelling to a big city, especially one that you are unfamiliar with. It gives you information on available public transport, street navigation and times for trains, buses and trams.
For the avid tourist or backpacker, Citymapper is a treasure.
7. Pro Camera
Pro Camera packs much more functionality than the built in camera remote.
Using the app on your Apple Watch you can control your phone’s camera and settings including remote trigger, timer setting and number of photos to be shot.
It also provides a viewfinder preview as well as a photo preview.
If you love taking photos with your iPhone, you will find Pro Camera most useful.
You can also pair it up with other photo apps such as Instagram, Hydra and Heyday.
8. Carrot Weather
With Smartphones, it has become easy to keep up with weather updates. With Apple Watch, staying ahead of the rain or sunshine has become even easier.
The iPhone app for Carrot Weather is known for its humorous weather updates. It brings the same hilarity to the Apple Watch, though in far fewer characters.
On the small screen of your watch, you can get quick summaries of 24-hours and 7-day forecasts as well as the current weather status. It uses color coding to make it easier to read the weather quickly, even when on the go.
Other features include local time display, easy swiping to change to another location and the usual dose of twisted banter.
9. BBC News
You do not have to keep removing your 5-inch phone to keep up with current news.
A number of news apps are available for Apple Watch with BBC News leading the pack.
The BBC News app comes with features such as Top Stories, My News (as set on the companion iPhone app), Most Read and important notifications.
If BBC News is not your go-to source of world and local developments, other great options include NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Time Mobile, Bloomberg and Washington Post.
Most of these apps just show news summaries with the option of sending the whole story to your phone.
As the name suggests, the app is for those on a busy schedule.
It helps you read and replay to emails quickly and efficiently.
It turns your inbox into an easy-to-read news feed, extracts all links and images for easy viewing and shows and approximate read time for each email.
You spend half the time catching up on your urgent emails, perfect for those who want to keep connected even when on the go.
11. MyPlate Calorie Tracker
Improve your diet using this app by LIVESTRONG.COM.
The app promises to help you manage your diet and health by keeping track of your calories.
With an upgrade to Gold Membership, you get additional features such as advanced metrics, access to Gold Member boards and forums, clean eating tips and recipes and priority support.
In addition to food calories, you can also keep track of your water intake, create custom recipes from a vast food database and manage your weight loss.
Whether you want to lose weight, eat better or simply improve your health, this app will help you achieve your goals.
No need to keep remembering passwords to every site you sign up on. With 1Password your passwords are kept in a central secure location.
You just have to remember a single password, which secures all your other passwords.
While the app itself is free, you need to buy the pro features to integrate it with Apple Watch.
This will cost you $9.99.
If you are constantly forgetting your passwords or have to use simple passwords for easier remembrance, keep your digital life secure using this app.
Evernote already has millions of users who cannot live without its productivity and not-taking features. Now, it brings its powerful features to the small screen of you Apple Watch.
To enhance the experience, everything is kept as simple as possible.
You can easily dictate notes on your watch, find past notes through voice searches, set up to-do lists and help with reminders.
It works perfectly with the iPhone companion app to provide a seamless transition from your phone to your wrist. You can open a note on your watch and finish reading it on your phone and the other way round.
If you use Evernote on your iPhone, you will love this one made specifically for Apple Watch.
14. Pandora Radio
Carry the music you love with you on your wrist.
With the Pandora Radio app, you can access your favorite radio stations, thumb songs and get notifications for new music.
There are two ways you can play music using Apple Watch:
- Either connect the watch to your Bluetooth headphones
- or play the music on your phone and control playback from your watch.
The Pandora Radio app allows you to carry your music wherever you go, whether jogging, shopping or traveling.
Remember when you had to take out your phone to Shazam a song?
That feels so 2014.
Now, with the Shazam app for Apple Watch, you do not have to take your phone out to check what song is playing.
Just put your wrist closer to the source of the music and you are good to go.
The app will show you the title and even lyrics of the song currently playing.
Other Notable Apps
There are more apps than we can fit into a single article.
Others that we found to be quite useful include Sky Guide for those who follow stars and constellations, Dictionary for those who want to work on their language on the go, Reminders Nano to remind you to buy milk, the popular Vine app for seconds-long videos and many more others.
A lot is yet to be done when it comes to creating apps for Smartwatches. Developers need to make more and better apps.
Many of the apps we have listed above tend to have limited functionality, something that keeps the iPhone tethered to our pockets. So a long way to go for Apple and developers in creating the ultimate (and independent) smartwatch experience.
If you are you currently using an Apple Watch, which essential apps would you recommend to someone just buying their first Apple Watch?
Feel free to mention any important ones we may have left out.
See recommended smartwatches on Amazon
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Apple Watch Series 2