Apple Watch apps list
Your formerly naked wrist is about to be weighed down by these 63 Apple Watch apps, just dozens of the 1,000 WatchKit apps currently in development.
The official Apple Watch app list includes 20 built-in apps by Apple, made specifically for its iPhone-compatible smartwatch, and another 43 apps by top-name developers.
Ahead of tomorrow's Apple Watch pre-order, we explore how Twitter, Nike, Evernote, Siri and more apps look and function behind 38mm and 42mm sapphire glass, and if any of them are worth that steep Apple Watch price.
Messages are about to become a whole lot easier to respond to or ignore, as they move from the hip (your iPhone in your pocket) to the wrist with Apple Watch.
It flashes iMessages and text messages onto the wearable OLED, immediately telling you if it's the one you've been eagerly awaiting for a whole internet 10 seconds, or some marketing promo you signed up for, but haven't responded "STOP" to yet. Responding with your voice cuts down on the autocorrect typos. Dropping your current location into the message makes "Where are you?" responses obsolete too.
Full-time Apple CEO and part-time Dick Tracy wannabe Tim Cook said that he's wanted to make and receive phone calls on this wristwatch since he was five years old. It's one of the few major differences in our Apple Watch vs Android Wear comparison.
No, talking to your wrist isn't the ideal way to carry on a conversation, but quick access to loved ones in tight situations - when driving a car or holding a baby - make it convenient. Just seeing who is calling with the flick of your wrist makes it a worthy app.
Cut through the junk mail and surface the important conversations with email alerts on Apple Watch. The mail app includes the ability to scrolls through your inbox and read full messages.
This is where the side-mounted Digital Crown really comes in handy, allowing you to scroll while reading an unobstructed screen. Is a message worth responding to? Flag it send or beam it to your iPhone for a proper response. Not worth your time? Send it to Apple Watch's surely-eco-friendly virtual trash bin.
When is your next appointment? What's your day look like? Why do you have to pull out your phone and unlock it every time there's a new meeting to RSVP to? I'm never not there. Can't I just respond if I'm not going to be there?
Apple Watch's calendar app keeps nuisance questions like this at arms length. Glancing at the appointment times and details like location make your day-to-day a little easier to manage. Plus, whenever someone asks what your day looks like for and you're not in a good mood, you can simply say, "Talk to the wrist."
Fitness and map apps
Tim Cook recently said that "sitting is the new cancer," so it's only fitting that Apple Watch's Activity app reminds you about your movement and, too often, non-movement.
Three colorful rings make up its interface, and they're hard to ignore as they capture your steps, exercise minutes and sedentary moments in real time. Calories burned since midnight is another stat calculated one menu deeper. Yes, it's basic compared to the cheaper Fitbit Surge, but more colorful than the lackluster Google Fit ecosystem.
When you're moving and you really mean it, Workout is the Apple Watch app that steps up with coaching capabilities. It tracks running, walking and cycling in real time with stats for time, distance, calories, pace and speed.
In short, the difference between the Activity and Workout app is analogous to the difference between an activity tracker and more robust fitness tracker. We'll be sure to put Workout and the heart rate monitor through their paces in our final Apple Watch review.
Clutching a flashy iPhone to look at directions isn't always advisable in every neighborhood, especially one you're not familiar with. Peaking at an Apple Watch's turn-by-turn directions instead is a little less obvious and a little safer.
Yes, it uses Apple Maps, but that means it's also initiated by Siri and searches nearby restaurants, gas stations and stores. Apple Watch Maps also taps you on the wrist so that you subtly know to turn left or right. Constantly glaring at the screen is no longer necessary.
Passbook on the iPhone is great - when it works. However, at the airport, I'm typically toting a just-passable carry-on suitcase, being weighed down by an electronics-filled laptop backpack and violently shoving my pockets' gadgets into these stuffed bags due to a lack of TSA bins.
The last thing I want to do is navigate to the lockscreen for Passbook. It requires stopping my current phone activity, locking the phone, waking it up and sliding to open the Passbook lockscreen menu item. Passbook on Apple Watch solves this dilemma, and it's also good for movie tickets, sports tickets and even paying for things through Apple Pay.
Info at a glance
Siri reminds me of the Apple Watch itself. The much-hyped personal assistant was met with skepticism and some considered it an immediate "flop." However, it's not meant to run your entire life like a human secretary. It's great in more subtle ways, like setting a timer for cooking or doing laundry, or calling Home hands-free.
All of those Siri benefits come to Apple Watch without the hassle of locating your phone for the same menu-heavy tasks. You don't even need to tap the smartwatch. Simply saying "Hey Siri, call Home" works, as if your iPhone is plugged in (an unfortunate requirement of the "Hey Siri" feature on the phone).
Meteorologists may not always be correct, but the Weather app on Apple Watch at least looks fancier than the interface of rival smartwatches. The forecast is arranged like a watch face, with the conditions, temperature and chance of rain on an 11-hour dial.
This Apple Watch app uses location data to check the weather of the city you're standing in, but it can also see the forecast around the world. Siri helps out with that too.
Apple Watch comes with a built-in Stocks app with three key menus. There's a list of your favorite stocks that display each company's market share and daily percentage change. Tapping into a company reveals drilled-down information, like its highs and lows.
Sliding up a specific stock reveals a stock graph. It displays performance for the day, week, month or six months. The graph stops there. Beyond that, elite traders need to fetch their diamond studded iPhone to widen the chart.
There's nothing incredibly glamorous about the Apple Watch settings menu, but like Google's Android Wear menu, it has options to enable and disable Airplane mode and Bluetooth. There's also a way to set Do Not Disturb and mute.
What has to be the standout feature of this often-underappreciated menu is the ability to ping your lost iPhone. I'st a whole lot easier to do it from an always-with-you Apple Watch than to borrow a friend's phone and log into the Find My iPhone app.
Apple is often at the intersection of technology and music, as much as the founders of Tidal dislike that thought. So it's no surprise that Apple Watch expands the iTunes ecosystem by letting you control the music on your iPhone. Better yet, you can leave it at home by storing some of your songs on the smartwatch itself.
That's right: Apple Watch works without an iPhone in a few cases. Through a pair of wireless Bluetooth headphones, you can listen to about 2GB of music on the go. That's around 200 songs, plenty for a 10K marathon.
Pump up the volume to the main speakers in your house with Remote, an Apple Watch app designed for Apple TV, and Mac and PC iTunes programs. Scroll through your entire iTunes library using the digital crown and remotely select and skip songs, playlists and videos.
The Remote app is a good replacement to that way-too-tiny Apple TV remote. It's been lost in my couch cushions for several months. RIP Apple TV remote.
Some of the best DSLR cameras can be controlled remotely with an iPhone app, so why not control your iPhone camera app with its own remote gadget? After all, it is the most used camera in the world.
That's exactly what Apple Watch delivers with the handy Camera Remote app. It beams the iSight camera of the iPhone to your wrist, complete with a live preview of what the iPhone sees. That's perfect for distant phones, especially if your eyes are going bad because you've been staring at a smartphone for far too many years.
Photos on the Apple Watch don't make much sense to me yet. It's far too small at 42mm and even smaller at 38mm, but there's an app for that anyway. It involves using the digital crown to zoom into individual images from a gallery, and swiping to move through a slideshow.
I'm always looking to AirPlay my iPhone photos to an Apple TV with a larger display to show a group of friends, or immediately publish them to the web for an even larger group of friends (the internet). With a restriction of just 75 MB for photos without an iPhone, this app may be the first one I delete.
Let's contrast something. Setting a phone's timer for a midnight snack cooking in the oven seems like a good idea. Then the timer goes off for a solid minute in an otherwise silent house because, surprise, you left your phone in another room!
Apple Watch straps the alarm to your wrist and the digital crown sets the right time. Siri also helps out, expanding upon one of my favorite uses for Apple's personal assistant.
Alarm apps are nothing new, but this Apple Watch app makes it easier to set and dismiss the nuisance-sounds you bring onto yourself. It lets you manage, label and edit multiple alarms right from your wrist and allows you to import existing iPhone alarm times.
The app uses the digital crown to cycle to your desired wake up time, and it wisely separates the AM and PM on the top left and top right sides of the watch.
Apple Watch finds a way to make its Stopwatch app at least a little bit exciting vs the Android Wear app. It gives picky users the choice of digital, analog and a hybrid view.
It also throws in a graph view, which charts previously-boring, and still-fairly-boring, lap times at the bottom of the OLED. This real-time chart provides a nice rising visual and displays the average lap time to boot.
World clock needs to come to an Apple Watch face near you. It's a fine-looking app, one in which Apple asks, "Doing business in another time zone? Calling a friend overseas?" That's exactly why this should be a default watch face. Traveling internationally demands it.
Social and sharing
Apple is also promoting 42 third-party apps from key partners like Twitter, American Airlines and Nike. They will be available through its App Store in time for the Apple Watch launch along with the 1,000 other apps submitted by developers.
Twitter is a lightweight social media network, so why not have a lightweight Apple Watch app to go with those 140 character tweets? Okay, there's one reason why not. Those audible notifications sound and "gentle taps" for every new tweet are bound to get annoying, just like the iPhone app's high-pitched tweet-sound notification. But disabling that, I like the idea of checking the timeline and trending topics, and receiving direct messages, retweet and favorite alerts.
There's no official Facebook app for Apple Watch, but its filter-friendly photo and video network lets you browse your feed and favorite photos with the a double tap on the Force Touch screen. When someone hearts your posts or tags you in a new picture, that notification is sent to your wrist. Apple Watch is the fastest way to know you want to untag yourself in a picture. You also can leave comments - in the form of emojis. Remember, there's no on-screen keyboard for Apple Watch - yet.
Evernote for Apple Watch makes a lot of sense, especially for those moments I have what I believe is a brilliant thought, but no way to write it down in an instant. It's the fastest way to do just that thanks to the smartwatch's built-in microphone. Dictation is its biggest feature, but the app also lets you review recent notes, reminders and find what you've jotted down based on location.
Selling off everything you own to afford a classier Apple Watch? This miniaturized eBay app may come in handy. No, you can't fully communicate with prospective customers and answer the annoying questions you already answered in the description. But, so far, it lets you scout your watched auctions and relays outbid notices.
Expedia is more than just a travel site with a catchy jingle. It's also on the cutting-edge with an Apple Watch app that provides a detailed itinerary on your wrist. Have a flight to catch? See the gate, terminal and time information at a glance. What's the hotel check-in and, more importantly check out time? The hotel address and phone number are here too, so don't dive into your email for it. Of course, this all requires you to book through Expedia. Otherwise the app is pretty useless.
The Apple Watch app for TripAdvisor lets you explore new destinations once you deplane or check into that hotel. The site is filled with smart user reviews and best of lists, and I expect the same on a 38mm and 42mm display. Without a proper Yelp app for the smartwatch at launch, it may be your best bet for finding nearby restaurants, sights and tourist hotspots without taking out your phone in unfamiliar territory.
American Airlines is the first US airline with an Apple Watch app, which almost makes up for my multiple flight delays leaving MWC 2015 last month. Almost. In addition to all of the usual gate and departure time notifications, it beams critical info: gate changes, connection and baggage claim information to the watch. It also differs from Passbook with flight path map that shows the time remaining until you touch down.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts
One of the world's largest hotel companies has already announced an "early check-in" for the Apple Watch App Store, yet it's a major no-no if you try to check into one of their rooms at noon. Go figure. That's okay, because its SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest) app can unlock your door with the watch. Yes, there are other hotel stay details within the app, but not having to pull an unpredictable keycard out of my wallet, with an often-chafed magnetic strip, is the only important detail here.
Babbel bills itself as a fun and easy way to learn a new language online. On Apple Watch, its app displays new words based on your location. The point is to help you learn new words related to food when you're at a restaurant or for travel terms when you're at the airport. Its success depends on how relevant these words are compared to the actually helpful full site.
Nike didn't become the Apple's relay partner in creating the iWatch, but, the company did get a headstart on its Nike+ Running app that can calculate your running distance, duration and pace. Friends can cheer you on, just like on the phone app, and it pairs with Bluetooth headphones so you can listen to music on the go. To me, that seems unnecessary. This Apple Watch app requires your phone to be with you to function anyway, and who wants to waste more Apple Watch by streaming music from it?
Runtastic displays all of the same basic fitness information: speed, distance, duration, pace, even how many calories you've burned. It also requires your iPhone to be on you during runs. However, I've always liked the Runtastic user interface and it should bring the same to Apple Watch with easy to check your stats mid-run. If you're haven't started collecting Nike Fuel points for several years, this may the more straightforward running app to try out.
Strava for Apple Watch is a little more detailed and a little more versatile. It has a mode for both runners and bike riders, and includes real-time stats like elevation gain, average speed, distance and heart rate. It has segment-by-segment workout visuals to give you glanceable motivation during long hauls, and promises a trophy whenever you break a personal record. It's going to be one of the few if not the only bike app during Apple Watch's launch window, so it's a must download for twin-tire pedalers.
Exercising apps for Apple Watch are easy to find, but elusive nutrition apps are going to be harder to download than me sticking to a New Year's resolution diet come Valentine's Day. Lifesum motivates you to skip that celebratory chocolate and other high calorie meals. It's all about picking the right foods and portions. I also like its easy-to-tap water gauge to check off how far along I am on downing eight glasses of H2O a day.
Sports and city apps
Stuck in a meeting and missing the big game? You can at least keep an eye on the score with ESPN's app that features breaking sports news and the ability to follow specific games. Real-time scores and player stats go as far as detailing who is up at bat or in the red zone. No word on if it'll alert you when broadcasters have been suspended for saying something stupid on-air or athletes get arrested for doing something reckless.
MLB.com at Bat
Baseball fans can get even better MLB stats from the official MLB.com at Bat app for Apple Watch. It promises "subtle notifications," which include following just your favorite teams, not all 30 teams. Best of all, you won't need to shell out for an MLB.tv subscription after cleaning out for savings for the Apple Watch price. The day goes by a lot easier with pitch-by-pitch updates, Webgem-worthy text highlights and live scores beamed right to your non-throwing hand wrist.
Apple Watch apps that get me the most excited are the clutch ones that get you out of terrible first-world binds. Case in point, PayByPhone Parking lets you pay a meter without having to go back to your car. You can always keep on eye on the time remaining in case want to skip dessert and avoid putting more money into the virtual meter in the first place.
We're still - somehow - waiting for public transit directions from Apple Maps - hopefully in iOS 9. Until then, Citymapper lays out the fastest route using bus and train information. It has enough room to list the next three arrivals and uses the Taptic engine to nudge you when you're at your stop. That's really handy on long commutes.
At home apps
Hyundai's Blue Link app for Android Wear proves that car makers are interested in letting you start your vehicle from a smartwatch, but for now you'll have to settle for lighter Apple Watch apps, like this one from BMW. It allows you to see if you're doors are locked, view service reminders and see how far along a charge is on an electric BMWi. Doing all of this may deplete your non-energy efficient Apple Watch. Bonus: Cabin temperature can also be adjusted via the Watch.
Whether or not the popular Nest thermostat ever works with Apple Watch remains to be seen. The company is now a part of Google. However, the Honeywell Lyric Apple Watch app makes the same functions available for Honeywell's similar products. It asks you if you want to set the thermostat to "I'm away mode" when far from the house, and it auto-adjusts conditions back to normal when you get closer to home sweet home. It can save you on your energy bill now that you're powered your smartwatch nightly.
Another Apple Watch energy saver comes from Lutron Caseta. It controls lights in your home wirelessly, just like the iPhone app. Whether you're nestled in on the couch and too lazy to get up, or legitimately on vacation and forgot to turn off the lights, the smartwatch app makes it a easy to get the job done. It'll even send you a notification giving you the option to turn them off remotely if you leave them on and blank.
Apple Watch could become an all-star cooking companion thanks to instruction-filled apps like Green Kitchen that can be followed mess-free. It's designed for healthy, organic recipes and there's less chance of olive oil-filled smudges on this out-of-reach wristwatch than on my iPad Air 2 or MacBook keyboard. While the LifeSum app lets you track your healthy food intake, Green Kitchen tells you how to make it all.
Out and about apps
Dinner reservations are a pain to remember the day of, especially when you booked a table through OpenTable several days in advance. However, this app gives you a reminder at arms length with upcoming reservation details and a map that explains how to get to the restaurant. It's much better than digging for an email or a slightly easier to access vs reaching for the phone app. Booking a new table or making changes to an existing reservation still requires your phone, though.
There's nothing more daunting than wandering into a big department store like Target, looking for a single item, like, say, a needle, in its many isles, aka haystacks. That's where the Target Apple Watch app becomes a worthy shopping partner. It lets you view your shopping list and tells you where to find items in a jiffy. It should also help you stick to your list and not wander aimlessly into the video game isle to demo the latest and greatest.
Miss the last lunar eclipse? Didn't even know there was one in some parts of the world? Sky Guide is always on hand with astronomical events. From the basics like full moons to rare events like meteor showers, it remembers to watch the skies for you while you're busy looking down at your shiny new smartwatch everyday. As an added bonus, it lets you tweet at International Space Station when they're overhead. No word on whether or not you can send them your heartbeat via Apple Watch yet.
Dark Sky is an iOS weather app that uses technology to predict whether it will rain or snow, down to the minute. You just might have enough time to drive furiously to get that last carton of milk in the store. Having this information on the wrist is obviously a plus. Of course, you don't need to wait for a notification to see if the weather is going to turn. The Apple Watch app allows users to look several days ahead too.
I used Fandango on my phone to reserve movie tickets for Furious 7 over the weekend and it worked flawlessly - except for the nagging service fee. It beat standing in a 100-person line and nabbing the best seats. I gamed the system. Having the stubs on my wrist would've helped me carry a popcorn, large soda and hotdog back to my seat, without me nearly spilling everything. I swear, it wasn't all for me, and the popcorn was a medium, by the way.
Mayo Clinic Synthesis
Fit for doctors who can afford the gold Apple Watch Edition price, the Mayo Clinic Synthesis is a narrowly tailored app that lets busy M.D.'s manage their daily schedule and alerts them of patients waiting in the lobby. Time to make them move from a big waiting room to the next, smaller waiting room. Also available through this Watch app in basic patient information: their age, sex and weight. Not available is a list of excuses as to why you can't take their health insurance. Sorry, doc.
This real estate app for Apple Watch lets customers browse listings, view photos and scroll through the neighborhood map. It also managed to fit in key data, like prices, number of bedrooms, square footage and days on the market. All of this sounds easier to do on an iPhone, especially when you're thinking about making a big decision like bidding on a house, but it's one of the major apps ready to download on day one.
Most Apple Watch apps are consumer-focused, but if there's going to be some enterprise software here, it might as well be from the popular, but not-yet-profitable Salesforce. Its customer relationship manager gives you an overview of your business analytics, so CRM data like your company's top 10 sales opportunities are viewable with the flick of your wrist.
This Apple Watch app isn't what it sounds like at first. It's all about creating new art on the iPhone and using the Apple Watch as a remote color palette. It's a 21st century update to the old-fashioned wooden handheld color mixer. The watch app also has buttons like undo, erase and add effects, which clear the iPhone app's interface for extra canvas space.
Finance and to do list apps
Mint Personal Finance
Mint is one of the best personal finance trackers on iOS and Android, yet it's not available for any of the Google-based smartwatches running Android Wear. Instead, we've had to take a chance on an app called Level. Good news: Mint is coming to Apple Watch with an app that tracks monthly spending goals and helps you keep within a budget. It'll be like a deliberate shock every time you make a purchase. This is a must-have following for froogle folks who dropped money for the Apple Watch pre-order.
The idea behind this to do list app is fascinating. It requires writing down just three core tasks for the day and sharing them with a team, usually coworkers or friends doing the same thing. Everyone sees each other's progress, leading to more motivation. It works on the web, and the smartwatch may act as a handcuff-like reminder that your goals need to be met. Apple Watch is just an easier way to tick off "commits" and see how everyone else on the team is doing.
Job time-tracking apps are wonderful, but I often forget to start the timer. Invoice2go remedies this fatal flaw thanks to geofencing and a notification as soon as your arrive at the job site. Clocking in is a little bit easier with the Apple Watch app, though it still requires an iPhone to work, edit times and send that invoice in the end. There's no automated way to get out of that part of the job with a Watch.
Citi is one of the first major banks with an Apple Watch app. No, you can't make deposits with Citi Mobile Lite, but the app lets you track your checking, savings and credit card balances. The smartwatch app can display the detailed information about your last five transactions, and it watch vibrates whenever your card is used online or in stores.
News and kids apps
Done with "Serial" and looking for a new NPR addiction? The US public radio network lets you search for shows on Apple Watch using dictation and control playback functionality using the touchscreen. It also imports iPhone playlists, so the news and stories you love are ready to go on as soon as the Apple Watch launches.
On television, CNN is a little overly obsessed with telling stories using over-the-top computer graphics, but on Apple Watch, it serves up classic breaking news headlines. The app features 12 categories from which you can receive alerts. Beyond easy-to-read-and-dismiss headlines, smartwatch app lets you tap to either save a story or open it up in full on an iPhone.
New York Times
The New York Times app has all the news that's fit to print on a small Apple Watch. In other words, it lets you swipe through breaking news headlines and little else. It does incorporate the Apple's useful Handoff feature to read the rest an iPhone or iPad, or tap "Save for Later."
Thankfully, this isn't a kids app that attracts them to your expensive watch. It's actually a way to get them off your iPhone and iPad, which they have already taken over. If they're watching a PlayKids video, the watch remotely forces them to take break, or sends them a "special message" - something you type in, like "Time has expired on the iPad. Commence brushing your teeth. -Santa." That usually works.
Game and music apps
Don't expect Apple Watch sales to be boosted by game apps like the iPad and iPhone before it. Android Wear has a small share of serviceable games, like adorable Flappy Bird spin-off, Floppy Droid. But they're nothing special. Of course, that hasn't stopped app developers from trying to make the first batch of Apple Watch games.
A cutesy brain teaser game, this Apple Watch app features speed-intensive puzzles that are ideal for waiting in line in real time - it has just 10 daily stages. It results in a score and keeps track of your stats, so it's kind of important not to mess up this quiz-on-a-wrist.
Apple Watch games have to stay simple, and that's exactly what BoxPop does. It's inspired by chess, with L-shaped paths that a knight is allowed to take, but there are no chess pieces here. It's all about ridding the grid of one-dimensional boxes throughout 40 levels.
Apple Watch apps can be narrowly focused, as evidenced by the Amplifi Remote. It lets you connect with the hybrid Amplifi Bluetooth speaker-guitar amp and play guitar tuning sounds from the watch instead of the iOS app. It's meant for weeding out sharp and flat notes.
Apple Watch may be the world's smallest mixer thanks to Pacemaker DJ. Its inventive Autopilot DJ feature, also part of the iPad app with the same name, blends tracks together from iTunes, allowing a DJ to beatskip and loop, even when away from his or her turntables.
What's the name of that song again? You could ask Siri, or go straight to the Shazam app for Apple Watch and cut out the middle-robot. It's a touch-based smartwatch app that still uses the iPhone to listen to the song. However, it shows the song's name, artist and, for some reason, lyrics on your watch.