This is an odd list from my perspective as owner of Apple Watches 4 and 5. I would name Accuweather, Dark Sky, Fantastical, Handwashing, and Messenger as essential apps.
– Dec. 28th 2020 1:17 pm PT
If you unwrapped a new Apple Watch this holiday season, we’ve already rounded up some of our top tips for getting started. There are also a variety of third-party Apple Watch apps you can install to take your experience to the next level. Here are some of the best Apple Watch apps to try.
The best Apple Watch apps |
While the Apple Watch offers some innovative ways for text input on the small display, FlickType is a powerful and must-have application that adds a real QWERTY keyboard to the device. FlickType uses gesture typing to make it as easy as possible to input text, and a powerful algorithm kicks in to make sure the app is always registering the correct word.
Unfortunately, watchOS includes several limitations that affect how well FlickType is able to integrate with system applications. There is also an SDK that third-party developers can adopt to bring FlickType to their applications.
FlickType is available on the App Store as a one-time purchase of $1.99. If you’re looking for a way to streamline the typing process on Apple Watch, FlickType is a great solution.
This year’s release of watchOS 7 brings support for native sleep tracking to the Apple Watch for the first time, but I still recommend AutoSleep to people as a way to get more comprehensive sleep data from the Apple Watch. I’ve been using AutoSleep for years, and it’s proven to be a reliable and consistent way to monitor my sleeping habits with Apple Watch.
AutoSleep features include:
- Using Advanced Heuristics AutoSleep works out how long you’ve slept so you don’t have to.
- If you wear your Watch to bed, you don’t need to do a single thing. AutoSleep will track your sleep & quality and send you a notification in the morning.
- AutoSleep will also analyze your sleep quality. By using time asleep, restlessness, time awake, and heart rate, it can score the quality of your sleep and provide you with a comprehensive nightly analysis
AutoSleep is available on the App Store for $3.99.
If you’ve used Widgetsmith to customize your iOS 14 home screen, then you should also check out Watchsmith for Apple Watch. As we detailed in our full review, Watchsmith lets you create dynamic Apple Watch complications that can change throughout the day.
Here’s how developer David Smith describes the app:
It starts with a wide collection of highly customizable complications, which range in function from date, to weather, to astronomy. Each can be adjusted precisely to best fit your desired function and appearance.
This set of complications can then be dynamically scheduled to appear on your watch face following rules you define. For example, a particular complication slot could show the weather first thing in the morning, then your calendar during your work day, then switch to your Activity ring progress as you wrap up your day. This lets you take full advantage of each slot on your watch face without the need to constantly switch back and forth between faces.
You can download Watchsmith on the App Store for free with in-app subscriptions.
One of the most useful features of Apple Watch is its ability to measure your heart rate throughout the day and during workouts. CardioBot is a powerful third-party app to visualize that data. You can view data in the CardioBot app on Apple Watch or iPhone:
CardioBot is an iPhone app that reads heart rate data stored by the Apple Watch in HealthKit. The app separates readings in low, normal, elevated, and high heart rate through different colors and charts, allowing you to see averages at a glance.
CardioBot also supports viewing data captured during workouts and meditations, and it can also provide the sleep analysis information for a complete dashboard of your heart rate. All of this is done with a minimal and elegant interface that makes it easy to view statistics for individual days, browse detailed timelines, and compare day-to-day changes.
CardioBot is a free download on the App Store with in-app subscriptions to unlock all features.
Chirp for Twitter is one of our favorite dedicated Apple Watch applications here at 9to5Mac. Just as the name implies, Chirp applies you to browse Twitter directly from Apple Watch, including accessing your timeline, direct messages, trending topics, and more.
Chirp is available on the App Store as a free download with in-app purchases to unlock all features.
A staple of the Apple community for years, Deliveries is an easy way to monitor upcoming package deliveries from your Apple Watch. Deliveries supports dozens of services, including UPS, FedEx, US Postal Service, DHL, TNT, Canada Post, and more, so you can track all of your deliveries in one place.
Deliveries is available on the App Store as a free download with a monthly subscription of $0.99 or a yearly subscription of $4.99.
While watchOS offers a built-in calculator application, PCalc takes things to the next level with a variety of additional and more powerful features.
PCalc is the powerful choice for scientists, engineers, students, programmers, or indeed anybody looking for a feature rich calculator. It includes an optional RPN mode and multi-line display, a choice of button layouts, an extensive set of unit conversions and constants, a paper tape, multiple undo and redo, engineering and scientific notation, as well as support for hexadecimal, octal, and binary calculations.
You can download PCalc on the App Store as a one-time purchase of $9.99.
If you’re looking for a podcast player that’s more powerful and capable than Apple Podcasts, my top choice is Overcast. For the Apple Watch, Overcast includes support for standalone playback and cellular streaming, so you’re iPhone doesn’t need to be nearby to listen to the latest episodes of your favorite shows.
Overcast is available on the App Store as a free download with a yearly subscription of $9.99 to hide ads.
If you’re a Spotify user, you can now stream Spotify directly on Apple Watch. After years of complaints from users, Spotify finally added support for streaming music and podcasts directly to Apple Watch last month. If you’re a new Apple Watch user who subscribes to Spotify, this is one of the most useful features to try on day one.
Download Spotify on the App Store for free.
If you’re a HomeKit user with an Apple Watch, HomeRun is something you need to add to your setup. HomeRun is the best way to run HomeKit scenes from Apple Watch with support for custom complications and much more. Essentially, it’s the HomeKit app for Apple Watch that Apple should have made from day one.
Set up daily routines on your Watch with complications that switch context, icon, and color throughout your day. In the morning, your complication can start your day, make your coffee, then in the evening, it could turn off your lights for bed.
Download HomeRun for HomeKit on the App Store for $2.99.
Last but certainly not least, Carrot Weather unlocks a host of different complications for your Apple Watch. With Carrot Weather you can add data such as forecasts, real-time precipitation alerts, and more directly to your Apple Watch face.
Plus, Carrot Weather takes full advantage of the latest watchOS 7 support for multiple complications. This means you can use multiple Carrot Weather complications to “build your very own weather watch face,” or select from the pre-configured watch face option as well.
Carrot Weather is available on the App Store for $4.99 with in-app subscriptions to unlock all features and data sources.
About the Author
Chance is an editor for the entire 9to5 network and covers the latest Apple news for 9to5Mac.
Tips, questions, typos to email@example.com