Apps might not be the first things that come to mind when you think about the Apple Watch, but many developers have put a great deal of time and effort towards creating great experiences for the smallest screens that Apple makes. These apps often emphasize quick actions — getting in and getting out.
From fitness to productivity, here are 10 of the best Apple Watch apps that you can download right now.
Things is a great task manager on the iPhone, and its Apple Watch app makes tracking the day’s tasks simple. The primary screen in Things puts your day’s tasks in front of you, which you can check off as you complete them right on your watch. You can also tap on each task to get a little more detail or to move that task to the next day. In an excellent, if small, piece of visual feedback, a circle under Today shows how many tasks you’ve completed, and continues to fill as you finish more to-dos.
Adding an item to your list is also dead simple. Just tap the + button and speak to your watch. When that task is created, you can tap on it to add a start date or deadline.
Overcast lets you control podcast playback on your iPhone from your Apple Watch. You can also go through your collection of available podcast episodes to play something new, with all of your playlists available to peruse. Controls for play/pause, skipping forward and backward, opening your playlists, and recommending an episode are all located on the same screen, but in a way that doesn’t feel busy.
Recently, Overcast added the ability to sync downloaded podcast episodes to your Apple Watch. This allows you to take your podcasts with you while leaving your iPhone at home. You can just tell Overcast to send a particular episode to the watch and after a few minutes, the episode will be available for standalone listening through your watch, either through Bluetooth headphones or the Apple Watch’s speaker.
Dark Sky is all about your forecast, letting you know what the weather will be like in your immediate vicinity, and warning you up to an hour in advance of rain or snow. As with the iPhone app, Dark Sky for Apple Watch offers a visual timeline of how much rain you should expect and how far into the future you should expect it. With Dark Sky’s most recent major update, the watch app received a major overhaul alongside the iPhone and iPad app, bringing everything onto a single screen that you scroll down, rather than multiple panes through which you need to swipe.
Spark is one of our favorite email apps for the iPhone, and it’s still great in its translation to Apple’s smallest screen. While some apps that combine email and calendars try to jam pack their watch apps with everything from the iPhone app, Spark keeps it simple, electing to focus on email in an effort to give you the best mail management experience on your watch.
On Apple Watch, Spark takes advantage of its iPhone counterpart’s intelligent mail sorting, letting you see at a glance when you have emails waiting that are personal or newsletters. Each of these sections gets a big colorful button that lights up when there’s a relevant message in that category. You can open and read each email, then quickly decide if you want to reply to it, snooze, archive, or delete it. In addition to these sections, you can also see you whole inbox, pinned emails, your archive, and your sent messages.
Another in the long line of Carrot apps, Carrot Fit tries to inject personality into your workouts — and by personality, we, of course, mean a hostile robot that yells at you and calls you a “meatbag.” Carrot Fit specializes in small workouts with “7 Minutes in Hell,” which condenses multiple high-intensity exercises into just seven minutes.
Just tap the big red Start button to begin your seven-minute workout. Carrot will threaten, insult, and, when it’s in a nicer mood, try to bribe you to get the results it wants to see. You can customize a bit of what 7 Minutes in Hell throws at you, determining how long each exercise lasts, as well as how long the rest period is. When you’ve successfully completed a workout, you’ll be treated to app upgrades and funny rewards.
While not as flashy as other workout-tracking apps, WaterMinder still fulfills an important fitness function: keeping track of your hydration. Getting in a nice long run is great right up until you collapse on the sidewalk because you forgot that humans need water to survive. WaterMinder keeps you on top of that, letting you easily log your water intake with a single button tap on your Apple Watch.
Based on your existing health data, Water Minder determines how much water you should be drinking on a given day. With each entry in the app, you’ll be able to watch your progress towards your goal. The app has pre-filled buttons for eight, 14, and 17 ounces per entry, while you can also set a custom smaller or larger amount.
Keep track of not just how long you sleep, but how well you’re sleeping with AutoSleep. The app automatically tracks your sleeping once you’ve set it up, and you don’t really need to do anything else if you wear your watch to bed. The app will track both how long you sleep and the quality of that sleep, and when you get up in the morning and unlock your iPhone, AutoSleep will send you a notification with the results of the previous night. You’ll get a detailed breakdown of how long you slept, how long you were awake for, and your average heart rate while you slept.
If you don’t wear your watch, AutoSleep will only track how long you slept. When you put your watch on in the morning, the app will know that you’ve finished sleeping.
Just Press Record
Record something on the fly without even needing to break out your iPhone with Just Press Record. Just open up the app and tap the big red button with the microphone on it to start your recording. You can browse your recent recordings and make new ones. You can even record when you’re not connected to your iPhone. When you reconnect, just tap Outbox and send your recordings over to your phone.
Once on your iPhone, everything you recorded on your Apple Watch can be synced with iCloud so you can access on your iPad and Mac as well.
Fantastical on Apple Watch offers a clean, simple interface while taking calendaring to the next level. While Apple’s own Calendar app lets you view and delete events, Fantastical lets you create new ones, giving you more flexibility and reducing the number of times you need to pull our phone out of your pocket.
If you use Apple’s Reminders app regularly, Fantastical is also great for its built-in Reminders integration. You can view all of your reminder lists, and check off tasks as they’re performed.
Already a great password manager, 1Password offers a great companion for its iPhone app on the Apple Watch. While not a full-featured password manager on your wrist, 1Password for Apple Watch shows you the one-time login key for accounts that use two-factor authentication. If you do a lot of work with those types of accounts, 1Password is definitely an app you need to check out.