Which are the best apps for Apple Watch?
When the Apple Watch first launched we were excited about the possibilities Apple's wearable had to offer, and eight months on it seems to have more potential than ever. A raft of fine apps have been released for the Apple Watch, and matters further improved with the launch of watchOS 2.0, which among other improvements made Apple Watch apps more independent from their accompanying iPhone - although at present you still need to have the app on your iPhone to run it on the watch.
Great apps are constantly being released for the Apple Watch; the hardest thing is deciding which apps to download. Finding the third-party apps that are right for you is a vital way to get the most out of your watch, so jump in as we rattle through our hall of fame: the 25 best apps for Apple Watch.
Oh, and 18 of them are free. Did we mention that?
Best Apple Watch apps: Calcbot
Apple didn't include a calculator on the Apple Watch, assuming that people's fingers would be too squidgy to perform calculations. How wrong they were. Calcbot deftly steps in to fill a calculator-shaped gap on the Apple Watch.
FREE | Calcbot on the App Store
Best Apple Watch apps: Camera Plus
Camera Plus is one of the most popular third-party camera apps for iOS, which gives you a lot more control over your photography than what's currently available in the stock camera app.
The Apple Watch support brings with it some great features, such as photo & video capturing with a live preview as well as an instant preview after capture to make sure it was exactly what you wanted. You can also swap between the front or back camera and set a timer - all from your wrist.
Although you can also use your Apple Watch as a viewfinder for the stock camera app, this brings a lot more functionality within one single app and we're looking forward to what Camera Plus are planning for the Apple Watch in the future.
Read next: Apple Watch accessories round-up
Best Apple Watch apps: CARROT Weather
The popular sarcastic weather app CARROT Weather has also been updated with Apple Watch support.
The Apple Watch app makes heavy use of colour instead of graphics to tell you about the weather for the next hour, which creates a simple but informative UI. For example, if it's raining/going to start raining soon, the text will be blue but if it's sunny, the text will be yellow.
Best Apple Watch apps: Citymapper
Citymapper is no doubt one of the best public transport apps available for iOS and Android - if it's supported in your city (London and Manchester so far in the UK). The iOS app doesn’t disappoint and neither does the Apple Watch companion. The app uses your location to provide step-by-step instructions that enable you to navigate your way around, using public transport.
It gives you in depth knowledge about departures from all forms of public transport, and even taps you on the wrist to let you know when you've reached your stop.
Read next: Complete Guide to Apple Watch
Best Apple Watch apps: Dark Sky
Want to take the dog out for a walk but not too sure if it's going to rain? Just open up the Dark Sky app on your Apple Watch and it'll let you know if it's going to rain or snow in your location, up to an hour in advance. Alternatively if it’s going to rain in your location, you'll get a tap on the wrist and a notification displayed on your Apple Watch.
You can also see a 24-hour timeline of weather conditions for today, tomorrow and even the next day.
£2.99 | Download Dark Sky for iOS here.
Best Apple Watch apps: Evernote
Evernote is a cracking app for the iPhone and is a much more powerful note taking tool than Apple's Notes. And Notes is another app notably missing from the Apple Watch, so there's never been a better time to switch. You can read all your most recent notes, and dictate new ones directly from your Apple Watch.
FREE | Evernote on the App Store
Best Apple Watch apps: Facebook
With the Facebook app, you can respond to friend requests or messages straight from your wrist. You’ll can also use the Digital Crown to scroll through your news feed and "Like" updates.
FREE | Facebook on the App Store
Best Apple Watch apps: Google Maps
Google Maps takes a completely different approach to Apple Maps on the Apple Watch. While Apple's Maps app tries to do everything the full-sized app does on a smaller screen, Google Maps just gives you a list of directions to two places: Home or Work. It'll require you to have both these places set up in the Google Maps app, but we prefer the way it focuses on simple directions to two important places.
FREE | Google Maps on the App Store
Best Apple Watch apps: Green Kitchen
The Green Kitchen app allows quick and easy access to dozens of healthy and organic vegetarian recipes, straight from your Apple Watch. Once you've found a recipe you like, it'll be displayed on your iPhone ready for you to use.
If there's a step to your meal that requires a timer, a simple tap on your iPhone will start a timer on your Apple Watch. When the timer hits zero, you'll get a notification through to your Apple Watch informing you. Pretty handy, eh?
Read next: Apple Watch review
Best Apple Watch apps: Instagram
Of course Instagram was going to make an appearance on the Apple Watch. You are able to scroll through your feed (photos of food, no doubt), like photos and leave comments, though it's restricted to emoji only.
You interactive notifications straight to your wrist, allowing you to keep on top of the likes & comments on the photo of the roast dinner that you uploaded half an hour ago.
FREE | Instagram on the App Store
Best Apple Watch apps: iTranslate
We love the iTranslate app. With it you can speak a sentence in English and have it quickly converted into another language. It's ideal if you are language learning, or if you're abroad and want a quick way to figure out how to say something.
FREE | iTranslate on the App Store
Best Apple Watch apps: Just Eat
The popular UK takeaway middle man Just Eat has thrown its hat into the Apple Watch ring, adding Apple Watch support to its app. Once you’ve ordered your takeaway using the iPhone app, your Apple Watch will give you updates on the delivery time of your order as well as directions to the takeaway (if you've selected collection) and your order summary.
It's not exactly a game changer for Just Eat, but it does what the Apple Watch was built to do - stop you from looking at your phone every two minutes.
Best Apple Watch apps: Lifesum
Health and fitness play a key part of the Apple Watch experience, but running in the gym is only half the story, the other half is watching what you eat. Lifesum is a neat app that logs your meals. With the Apple Watch, you can quickly add items you regularly eat or generic calorie counts of meals. We found Lifesum to be a great way to keep track of calorie counts, and a seamless way to keep tabs on what you are eating.
FREE | Lifesum on the App Store
Best Apple Watch apps: My BMW iRemote
Prepare to go full James Bond with the BMW iRemote app (and a compatible BMW to go with it). BMW lets you check the charge status of your electric BMW and receive a notification when the car is fully charged. The app also allows you to unlock/lock your car door, check the range and remind you of an upcoming service.
The coolest feature of the BMW iRemote is that you can manually adjust the inside temperature straight from your watch. This means that you can set the temperature before you’re due to go out and you’ll have a lovely and warm car to get into.
Best Apple Watch apps: PayByPhone Parking
Returning to your car with a fine on the windshield after forgetting that you'd only bought a ticket for one hour is no doubt one of the biggest "first world problems". The PayByPhone Parking app for the Apple Watch aims to change that by using the app to pay for a ticket and check on the time remaining.
Not good enough yet? You'll also be notified 10 minutes before the ticket expires, where you’ll then be faced with a decision of whether to rush back to your car or add more time, directly from your wrist.
Best Apple Watch apps: Runtastic
The Apple Watch presents a new way to get the most out of Runtastic. All you need to do is take your iPhone with you on a run and Runtastic will display all the information you need on your wrist. It displays speed, distance, duration, pace and how many calories you've burned on your wrist, where it's convenient to check without having to slow down and get your phone out of your pocket.
Best Apple Watch apps: Shazam
"Ah, I know that song but I can't remember what it's called." We've all been in a similar situation and Shazam wants to make it a thing of the past. Shazams Apple Watch app uses your iPhone to listen to what music is playing and display the result directly on your Apple Watch.
The Apple Watch displays the name of the song and artist as well as lyrics that automatically advance in time with the music. This means that you'll have a portable Karaoke display on your wrist at all times!
Best Apple Watch apps: Sky Guide
Sky Guide is an example of one of the more unique apps available on the Apple Watch, which gives you an idea about some of the not-so-obvious uses of the Watch. Sky Guide allows you to see a calendar of upcoming astronomical events (full moon, meteor showers, etc.) and can send you a notification alerting you of an event happening in the skies at your current location.
It'll also notify you when the International Space Station (ISS) is due to fly over your location and lets you tweet its astronauts!
It caters to amateur stargazers; displaying images of constellations that are visible in your location, giving you a greater insight about what you're looking at and enabling you to star gaze more accurately.
£2.29 | Download Sky Guide for iOS here.
Best Apple Watch apps: Strava
While Strava is similar to Runtastic, Strava boasts the ability to track bike rides as well as running. Strava will display real time stats including elevation gain, average speed, distance and heart rate during your exercise session.
It can also be split into different segments that gives you details of your workout, helping to keep you motivated. While on the topic of motivation, you’ll also receive a virtual trophy whenever you set a personal record. Everyone likes trophies!
Best Apple Watch apps: Tagger
Tagger makes it easy for photographers to geotag digital camera shots with a tap on the Apple Watch. It also includes "golden hour" times so you can capture the perfect light conditions based on your location and the inclusion of nearby photos (powered by Flickr) can give you that bit of inspiration that you need.
You have two choices when it comes to geotagging - you can geotag a single point, or track continuously. Bear in mind that tracking continuously will most likely have an affect on the battery life of your iPhone, as the Apple Watch doesn't have built-in GPS.
£2.99 | Download Tagger for iOS here.
Best Apple Watch apps: TripAdvisor
The much beloved TripAdvisor app has also made an appearance on the Apple Watch. You have access to TripAdvisor's vast library of traveller reviews as well as ratings and photos of hotels, restaurants and attractions straight from your Apple Watch.
The TripAdvisor glance will give you recommendations of nearby points of interest based on your location and time of day - for example, at midday it'll automatically suggest the highest rated restaurant in your area and then give you walking directions via Apple Maps.
Best Apple Watch apps: Twitter
Twitter has been redesigned to fit the compact display of the Apple Watch. You can scroll through your Twitter feed directly from the watch, as well as favourite/retweet tweets on your feed. You can also view Top Trends if you want to see what the wider world is talking about.
You also have the choice of being notified by a simple tap on the wrist whenever a new tweet appears – a good idea for casual users, but not for those of us following 600+ people!
One of the more interesting features of the Twitter app on the Apple Watch is that you can compose your tweets using dictation. You can also just tap emojis or share your location.
FREE | Twitter on the App Store
Best Apple Watch apps: Twitterrific
Twitterrific, a popular third-party Twitter client has also added Apple Watch support to its app. The Apple Watch support consists of three parts: Glance, Recent Activity and Notifications. Glances provide you with the total number of favourites, retweets and followers you’ve received over the past 24 hours. The notifications are accompanied by quick actions, similar to the way the company handles notifications on iOS 9 that let you favourite a mention without using your iPhone.
The app itself displays a list of your most recent 25 replies, mentions, direct messages, faves, RTs and new followers. If you want to reply to a tweet, simply tap on it and dictate your response - interestingly, you can utilise Handoff to start composing a tweet on your Watch and finish it on your iPhone.
Best Apple Watch apps: Vine
We're still a bit disappointed that you can't watch movies and TV shows on the Apple Watch, but the Vine app is the closest you'll get for the time being. With it installed you can watch brief six-second video clips. They don't auto play, but the audio comes through the Apple Watch speaker and it's a great way to while away a few minutes.
With the Apple Watch almost on our wrists, we can’t stop thinking about the possibilities that the Apple Watch has, from getting directions straight from your wrist to sending someone your heartbeat.
One thing you may not know is that Apple Watch apps aren’t standalone; they need the main app on your iPhone to be able to function. While this may seem like a bit of an inconvenience, it means that you can download iPhone apps that’ll work with the Apple Watch in anticipation of its release, for them to be automatically added to your Watch once you get it.
While Apple has mainly concentrated on promoting its own apps for the Apple Watch, it has also showcased some third-party apps that’ll be available for download from day one. While US Hotel Chain apps are great if you live in the US, we decided to list some of the cool UK specific Apple Watch apps.
FREE | Vine on the App Store