Apple Watch apps are a breed apart. At the start, developers figured they could just port their apps over to the Watch. Soon, though, they learned that Watch users demand something special. They want apps that feel like they were made specifically for the Apple Watch even if they weren’t. That means full-functionality combined with enhanced portability and versatility. Needless to say, that’s asking a lot.
Fortunately, the Apple Watch Series 4 represents a significant hardware upgrade. This new model of the Apple Watch is bigger, faster, and smarter than previous versions. The Series 4 grants you more freedom and functions than ever before. It’s by far the best Apple Watch yet. It’s also the Apple Watch that will make you really appreciate how many great Apple Watch Apps are out there.
From new favorite to some digital classics, these are 20 essential apps for the Apple Watch Series 4.
Carrot Fit offers “7 minutes in Hell workouts.” If that doesn’t sound fun, that’s because it isn’t. In fact, Carrot Fit will insult you, punish you, and even mock you if you gain too much weight. All the while, it’s also being quite sarcastic about your failures and successes.
Why would anyone want to download such an exercise app? Well, because it’s funny and it works. Carrot Fit inspires you to beat the app’s negativity by actually achieving your goals. It also keeps exercises surprisingly light-hearted through a series of clever workout routines and some surprisingly great jokes. On top of it all, this app features some surprisingly good stat systems and quite a few features to play around with.
We’re a bit surprised by how hard it is to find a good note-taking app for the Apple Watch. For that matter, we’re shocked that Apple didn’t ship an app for the Apple Watch right out of the gate. After all, taking quick notes should be one of the Apple Watch’s best functions.
Fortunately, there’s Drafts. Drafts allows you to easily dictate, save, transfer, and modify any quick notes you need to take. It even allows you to write them manually if you so choose. The fact of the matter is that this app borders on essential.
Ok, so most “brain training” apps really exist to just make you feel like you’re actually doing something helpful. However, there are some that serve a greater purpose. That’s especially true of the popular Apple Watch app; Peak.
See, we can’t guarantee that Peak is going to make you smarter or more alert. What we can guarantee you is that you’ll have a ton of fun using it. The various minigames included in Peak are worth playing even if they didn’t positively affect your brain power. The fact that they might makes Peak an essential distraction.
Pennies has always been one of the best budget apps out there. That’s because it’s a budget app that doesn’t require you to do anything but spend a little more wisely each day. Pennies allows you to easily keep track of your daily spending habits. By doing so, it’s hoping to encourage you to monitor where your actual spending money is going.
The Apple Watch version of the app serves as the ultimate companion piece to the full build. It simplifies the app’s already simple menus and lets you monitor your spending at a literal glance. It’s a great way to keep yourself in check.
Because translation apps aren’t perfect, people tend to dismiss them outright. That’s a mistake. Even the worst translation app is better than the average tourist fumbling through a translation guide. Of course, iTranslate Converse isn’t the worst translation app. It might actually be the best.
It’s even better on Apple Watch. The Watch’s ease of access makes it amusingly simple to work your way through a conversation in most major languages. It’s certainly a lot more dignified than having someone speak into your phone. This is a must for anyone who travels or works with international clients.
Quartz has become one of the most popular news apps out there. This service allows you to create custom news feeds that can be read in a variety of formats. Whether you want just a few stories at a time or don’t want to receive any political alerts for 24 hours, Quartz lets you tailor your news experience. It’s truly a newspaper for the modern age.
The Apple Watch version is even better. It manages to turn the biggest news of the day into even more digestible chunks of information. Just be sure to keep your information sources diverse.
There are a lot of recording apps out there, but none quite like Just Press Record. In its simplest form, the app allows you to record audio. However, that’s just its simplest function. It’s also capable of turning speech into text, allows for easy file organization, and even supports multiple languages.
The Apple Watch version of this app retains its most important features but adds an extra layer of accessibility. It’s now easier than ever to record a meeting or conversation then search and file it as you please. Granted, not everyone needs a recording app, but those that do need this one.
There’s no shortage of great password managers out there, but finding a great password manager for Apple Watch is a bit trickier. Even great password managers like Dashlane utilize fairly simple and limited Apple Watch apps.
Then you have 1Password. The 1Password Apple Watch app is one of the most fully-realized apps of its kind we’ve seen on this device. It allows you to easily access and manage your stored passwords and even offers some additional security features for those nervous about keeping their passwords around their wrist. Best of all, it’s very easy to use.
For a fitness app to distinguish itself, it has to offer something that no other app really does. Streaks does that in a rather interesting way. See, it’s really nothing but a collection of tiered-workouts. However, it presents them in an easy to follow way. Simply complete the workout that appears on-screen, swipe when you’re done, and do the next.
This way of doling out even the most intense workouts in digestible chunks makes you feel like you’re constantly accomplishing something. The good news is that you are. The bad news is that these workouts are surprisingly intense.
As fun as it is to explore a new city, it’s always a bit of a battle. There’s a part of you that wishes you knew the city but were somehow seeing it for the first time. As silly as that sounds, Citymapper Transit kind of lets you accomplish that. It maps out several major cities across the world and boils them down to the best transit information. For instance, it will not only tell you which subway line to take, but the best car to get in.
Basically, Citymapper Transit makes exploring new cities actually fun again.
We were shocked when the Apple Watch launched without Spotify support. We were stunned to watch the years pass without Spotify releasing an Apple Watch app. Finally, though, Spotify has released an Apple Watch compatible version of its service.
While we’re still waiting to put the Apple Watch version of Spotify through its paces, early reports indicate that it works about as well as you’d hope. Regardless, Spotify remains an essential music streaming service and it’s enough to know that the Apple Watch finally supports it.
IFTTT can do so much that it’s actually kind of hard to properly describe it. Basically, imagine if all your favorite services were boiled down to a series of small widgets. Then, imagine those widgets were on your Apple Watch. Now, picture being able to use one app on your watch to manage social media accounts or control the Hue lights in your house.
That’s just a snapshot of what IFTTT offers. It’s full functionality it only limited to how much you’re willing to explore it. In fact, IFTTT is the perfect companion/replacement to many of the apps on this list.
It’s hard to find great games for your Apple Watch. The Watch’s smaller screen means that you’re usually limited to trivia titles and very simple puzzle games. If neither of those is your thing, then we highly recommend you download Tiny Armies.
Tiny Armies wasn’t made for the Apple Watch, but it feels like it was. This competitive title forces you to battle other armies for dominance. While its visuals may be simple, this is a surprisingly deep and replayable strategy game that’s great in quick bursts.
If you haven’t heard of Evernote by now, then we actually feel a little envious. That’s because using Evernote is all about discovery. It starts with jotting down some simple notes. From there, you begin to explore the scan and save features. After that, it’s the organization options, saveable business cards, and so much more.
Evernote is a note app that scales with your life. The Apple Watch version of the app ensures that you’re never far removed from the notices you need most. It also makes the app’s already stellar reminder features that much more useful.
It’s surprisingly difficult to find a good email manager for Apple Watch. The problem seems to be that app designers haven’t found great ways to turn the Watch’s small screen into an effective e-mail manager.
Even if Canary Mail wasn’t one of the few of its kind, it would still be one of the best. Canary does a brilliant job of simplifying your e-mail down to the basics. The result is a particularly effecctive e-mail manager that cuts out a lot of feature fluff.
Apple Watch’s functionality as a fitness device is one of its best qualities. Actually, everything else it offers is a considerable bonus. For quite some time now, Nike+ Run Club has been seen as the gold standard of fitness apps. The simple reason why that’s the case has to do with the fact that the app isn’t missing a single function you could ever want.
Nike+ is a stat machine that breaks down your ever run before, during, and after it. The Apple Watch version lets you access all that wonderful information with just a glance at your wrist. It’s much more than a pedometer.
You probably don’t think of your Apple Watch as a gaming device, but it can be with the right apps. You just need to find games that are simply executed, but deviously complex. That’s what Rules! delivers in spades.
Rules! is all about following the rules to remove a series of tiles. Some games may ask you to remove them in descending order. Others may want you to organize them by the cartoon caricature that adorns each. All of these rules seem simple but will require you to break your brain to follow. Rules!’ easy-to-learn, tough-to-master gameplay is as addictive as Apple Watch game get.
Confession time: Nano for Reddit isn’t the best Reddit app out there. It might not even make the top five on a countdown of the best iPhone Reddit apps. However, it is an exceptional Apple Watch Reddit app.
In fact, it’s probably the best Reddit app for Apple Watch. It turns Reddit’s sometimes odd layout into something that is very easy to browse and manage on your Apple Watch. The bottom line is that you need this app if you own an Apple Watch and use Reddit.
Fantastical 2 wants to be the only calendar app you use. We know, that sounds like a tall task. To leap over that tall task, the developers of this app designed it with several vital features. Those include special birthday options, extensive background notification options, and simplified – yet customizable – daily reminders sent right to your wrist.
This app’s trump card, though, is how organic it all feels. Setting reminders is as easy as speaking. Changing your view requires a flick of the wrist. Reminders always appear when you need them to. Basically, this app always works the way you want it to work.
Shazam is one of those concepts you can’t quite believe when you first hear about it. An app that listens to music and identifies the song and artist? Surely, all of us have dreamed of such a program at some point. That initial idea made Shazam incredibly popular, but its only grown since then. Now, it even lets you import and play tracks that you identify with the app.
Shazam on Apple Watch is simply a match made in Heaven. There’s nothing quite like tapping your wrist, learning about your new favorite song, then adding it to a custom playlist for later.