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 after the release of the Apple Watch Series 2 the platform 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 successive launches of watchOS 2 and watchOS 3, 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 29 best apps for Apple Watch.

Oh, and 23 of them are free. Did we mention that?

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Best Apple Watch apps: Calcbot

Apple didn't include a calculator on the Apple Watch, assuming that people's fingers would be too pudgy to perform calculations. How wrong they were. Calcbot deftly steps in to fill a calculator-shaped gap on the Apple Watch.

FREE | Download Calcbot

Best Apple Watch apps: Calcbot

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.

79pDownload Camera Plus

Best Apple Watch apps: Camera Plus

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Best Apple Watch apps: CARROT Weather

The popular sarcastic weather app CARROT Weather has 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.

£2.99Download CARROT Weather

Best Apple Watch apps: CARROT Weather

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.

FREEDownload Citymapper

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.

£2.99Download Dark Sky

Best Apple Watch apps: Dark Sky

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 | Download Evernote

Best Apple Watch apps: Evernote

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.

FREEDownload Facebook

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 | Download Google Maps

Best Apple Watch apps: Google Maps

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?

£3.99Download Green Kitchen

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.

FREEDownload Instagram

Best Apple Watch apps: Instagram

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're learning a language, of course, but it's also very handy if you just happen to be abroad and want a quick way to figure out how to say something. "Un croissant s'il vous plait!"

FREE | Download iTranslate

Best Apple Watch apps: iTranslate

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.

FREEDownload Just Eat

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 | Download Lifesum

Best Apple Watch apps: Lifesum

Best Apple Watch apps: Microsoft Translator

If you're planning a holiday abroad or travel a lot for work, then the chances are that you're going to come in contact with another language. Typically, you'd bring a translation book with you. However, if you have an Apple Watch, you just need to download the Microsoft Translator app. The app lets you speak to get translations from over 50 languages, including French, Spanish, Italian and Dutch. It's free to download and use, and will no doubt get better the more you use it. Nicholas Fearn

FREE | Download Microsoft Translator

Best Apple Watch apps: Microsoft Translator

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.

FREEDownload My BMW Remote

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.

FREEDownload PayByPhone Parking

Best Apple Watch apps: Peak

Prone to procrastinating or getting bored through the day? Then it could come down to the fact that your brain isn't getting enough exercise. Yeah, apparently that's a thing, although Peak will help. Built by leading psychologists and neuroscientists, the app offers three brain training games that'll keep your brain active. They've been created to put your memory, focus and problem-solving skills to the test. But while these games serve to keep your mind in full working order, they're still engaging and fun to play. Nicholas Fearn

FREE | Download Peak

Best Apple Watch apps: Peak

Best Apple Watch apps: Philips Hue

We all know what it's like to get into a bed and realise that a light is still on. You're now all comfy and ready to get to some shut-eye, but that won't last for long. The solution? Phillips Hue for Apple Watch. If you're an early adopter and are using Wi-Fi lights throughout your home, the app will let you control and monitor them straight from your wrist. Of course, you'll need Phillips' range of smart lights in your home, but it's a great idea if you want to make life a little bit easier. The Apple Watch currently supports the first-generation Hue app. Nicholas Fearn

FREE | Download Philips Hue

Best Apple Watch apps: Philips Hue

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.

FREEDownload Runtastic

Best Apple Watch apps: Runtastic

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. Shazam's 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!

FREEDownload Shazam

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 and so on) 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.

£2.29Download Sky Guide

Best Apple Watch apps: Sleep++

There are so many Apple Watch apps out there to help you monitor and hack your personal health, and sleep is one of the main focus areas. If you suffer from sleep deprivation or would just like to learn more about how you sleep, Sleep++ is an app worth downloading. While it can't match up to health bands from companies like Jawbone, it can provide helpful information about the way you sleep.

Separating the main sleep stages, it can tell you how you slept and if you were restless. This data can then be shared with other apps via Apple Healthkit, so you can identify what's wrong and put actions into place. The only thing is, though, you need to have the Watch on all night - which may result in battery woes. Nicholas Fearn

FREE | Download Sleep++

Sleep++

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. And while we're talking motivation, you'll also receive a virtual trophy whenever you set a personal record. Everyone likes trophies!

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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. 

£2.99Download Tagger

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. 

FREEDownload TripAdvisor

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-plus 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.

FREEDownload Twitter

Best Apple Watch apps: Twitter

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.  

FREEDownload Twitterrific

Best Apple Watch apps: Twitterrific

Best Apple Watch apps: Uber

Organising an Uber ride is far from complicated. You just need to make a quick call from your smartphone. But if you're out and about - say shopping - then things would be a lot easier if you could do it from your wrist. Enter the Uber app for Apple Watch.

The app is not only easy-to-use, but provides you with all the important information about your Uber. For instance, you can get an estimate of when the driver will get to you and your location, and you're able to see what car the driver has so you can find them easily. Just like all of Uber's other apps, it's completely free to use. You just pay for the ride, obviously. Nicholas Fearn

FREE | Download Uber

Best Apple Watch apps: Uber

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 | Download Vine

Best Apple Watch apps: Vine

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