Best running apps for Apple Watch
Apple does have its own Activity app, which works with the Apple Watch to detect and track various excercises. But there are also specialized apps out there to help you improve your results, take on challenges, and brag to a community of other runners.
Strava is a highly popular app for cycling, but it does also have a jog tracking feature. One of its strongest features is its community integration — you’ve got monthly challenges to beat and you can compare your results over specific tracks with other users that have taken them. There are clubs to join and people to follow, as it allows you to share your results next to photos of your trails and adventures. Of course, during and after each training session, you get information for distance, pace, speed, elevation gained, calories burned, and an interactive map.
Nike+ Run Club
The Nike app is strictly for runners, but with Nike being an official partner of Apple, it’s a no-brainer that it’s going to be a heavily fleshed-out app. It features various coaches, challenges, personalized plans, trophies, leaderboards, and all the nuts and bolts of a fitness app that will get you to push yourself in a structured way.
Walkmeter Walking & Hiking GPS
Yeah, the name suggests it’s an app for walking, but it also supports cycling, running, skating, skiing, and other activities. The reason it’s on our list here is because it records a mind-boggling amount of data and has a very clear, easy-to-read, yet rich layout on the Watch.
Best golf apps for Apple Watch
TrackMyGolf swing analyzer
Best fitness and workout apps for Apple Watch
Misfit is a popular manufacturer of smartwatches and fitness trackers and it obviously has its own app to sync with its products. However, it is now compatible with the Apple Watch as well. It will send you motivational notifications every now and then and its main feature is the short workouts program. You just tell the app you only have 5 minutes to spare and you will get a set of quick exercises to get your blood pumping.
Zones for Training
Zones is dedicated to visualizing your exercise intensity zones so that you can better choose how much time you spend in each one. You will also, of course, get detailed stats about your past training sessions so that you can monitor your trends.
7 Minute Workout Challenge
Don’t have time to get to the gym or organize any sort of training sessions at home? This app asks you to spend just 7 minutes per day. It cycles through 12 different exercises in rapid fashion and that’s it — you come back tomorrow. The exercises themselves require no special equipment and you get guidance how to do them straight on your Watch screen.
Working out is a boring yawnfest for you? Well, this app will try to game-ify the process for you. Mount Burnmore calculates your burnt calories and turns them into in-game energy, which you use to smash obstacles and reach goals in a mini maze. A little bit of fun and competitiveness with other players might be the pinch of motivation you need?
Ah, Carrot… Just like the popular weather app, this fitness app has an AI that spouts witty quips and secretly hates humanity. It uses raw, cynical, and insult comedy to get you moving, so in that sense, it’s probably not the fitness app for everybody. But if that sounds like your type of humor, you will have fun with this one. It is also based on the 7-minute workout concept.
The Apple Watch Series 2 and up are water-resistant, and that’s great. You do have a swim-tracker baked in the Workout app, but MySwimPro takes things to the next level — it’s sort of the Nike Run for swimmers. With hundreds of workouts, technique explanations, coaching, and more it’s a great partner for swimmers — both advanced and beginners.
A skiing and snowboarding tracker with automatic exercise detection and battery-saving operation. We have a feeling it might work well for downhill longboarders as well.
Best sleep apps for Apple Watch
Sleep Cycle alarm clock
This app will follow your sleep cycles and wake up at the best time, around your set desired wake-up hour. It supports silent wake-ups and snore interrupters, via the Apple Watch’s Taptic engine vibration.
Sleep Watch by Bodymatter
For all its native fitness tracking features, it was a bit of a letdown that the Apple Watch doesn’t have any stock sleep tracker baked in. Thankfully, there are a few cool apps out there that can do that for you. Sleep Watch will automatically track your snoozing — you don’t need to start it or stop it manually. Then, it will give you tons of stats, from your sleeping habits to your average sleep duration, HR readings during your naps, and so on. Pretty much everything you might need in a sleep tracker.
Just like the previous app, AutoSleep will start recording your sleep patterns and quality automatically. Here’s a twist — even if you don’t wear the Watch to bed, AutoSleep will still keep track of your sleeping times, which is pretty cool. Of course, if you want all the stats, like HR readings, deep sleep, et cetera — you will have to keep the Watch on. Other than that, this one’s interface is also a bit different as it tries to mimic Apple’s own fitness Rings, but both AutoSleep and Sleep Watch are pretty fleshed out, so pick the one you think looks better to you.
Best health and wellness apps for Apple Watch
This app encourages you to stand more via a collection of adorable avatar animals. Reaching goals help you unlock more of the fluffies. You can later place them in augmented reality and take photos with them standing around in the real world.
One Drop Diabetes Management
For those living with diabetes, being able to follow one’s diet and insulin pump data is a useful, but tedious task. This app at least makes it much easier to record your daily consumption via the Apple Watch. It syncs with Apple Health, so whatever else you have that uses it as a source will instantly get the data as well.
This app is a complex reminder tool for those that live with an illness and require regularly taking their medicine. Going beyond a simple alert you put in your phone, it will have “reminder windows” for one’s specific medicine and schedule, a calendar that’ll show when one missed taking their remedies, complex schedules for different doses and periods, persistent push notifications, refill tracking, and more.to take their remedies, complex schedules for different doses and periods, persistent push notifications, refill tracking, and more.
Don’t have an Apple Watch Series 4 and feel a bit envious of the new ECG feature? Check out this 3rd party Cardiogram app. It will track and record your heart activity when awake, active, resting, and sleeping. It also doubles as a basic workout app as it has various challenges and habits you can choose to conquer while comparing your results with other users out there. There’s a study to opt in here, too — the Health eHeart Study, which is also dedicated to detecting arrhythmia and atrial fibrillation.
While the previous two apps are made to help you participate in arrhythmia studies and give you some general tracking of your heart rate throughout the day, HeartWatch is designed to specifically zero in on what your heart rate is during different, defined activities and feeds that data to the user in a very easy-to-read graphic. If your graphic is blue, you’re within the average ranges; if it has a red circle around it, your heart was being overworked (how much depends on the thickness of the red ring) during that activity. The app also has various ways to encourage you to be more active, one of which is taking care of Timogochi — a virtual “pet”, which needs you to fill your Activity Rings to stay healthy itself.
Streaks is a to-do list specifically designed to help you form new habits, or break old ones. As the name suggests, the app’s main feature is following streaks of you performing (or avoiding to perform) the target habit each day. And, as we all know from the huge drama your average teenager throws if a Snapchat streak gets abruptly ended, we seem to be hard-coded to care about these. So, once you get a streak going, you are motivated to avoid breaking it, thus — a new habit is born.
Of course, the Watch is also perfect for at-a-glance information. Commuting and navigation apps make great use of this by giving you the data you need straight on the Apple Watch display — you never need to take your iPhone out of your pocket while pacing towards your next location.
Citymapper Transit Navigation
Citymapper’s mission is to get you from point A to point B by using the public transportation in large cities across the world. Once you’ve got your route set, it’ll give you departures and line status updates straight on the Watch. The app is also integrated with Uber as well as bike sharing options in the different cities, so it’s your one go-to commuting choice.
ETA – Arrive on time
This app’s name gives it up pretty quick — it’s meant to give you arrival times to your favorite destinations front and center. Of course, it calculates them based on your current means of travel — by foot, transit, or car. Basic navigation and traffic condition reports are also supported.
Moovit is another public transportation app that is just too good to pass by. Just like Citymapper, it offers live updates for your commute and syncs with bike-sharing services. It does have the extra perk of nudging you with a notification when you need to get off your train or bus.
ViewRanger is a navigation app for hikers. You can download different trails, together with full topographical maps, and use them offline on both your iPhone and Apple Watch.
Best language and translation apps for Apple Watch
Sometimes when traveling, you might find yourself in a situation where you need to speak a foreign language… but you don’t. There are plenty of cool translation apps on the App Store and Microsoft’s Translator is up there with the best. It supports the Apple Watch and uses its microphone for input. Just speak into the Watch and get your phrase translated!
When we are talking travel, it’s sometimes a good idea to get a sense of a new language before you land in a foreign country. Babbel takes a different approach to teaching you languages — it presents you new words in the form of flashcards and asks you to guess their meaning. That makes it engaging and, after some repetition, your mind really picks up on the meaning of words or phrases quite fast. This method meshes well with the Apple Watch as its small screen is in no way limiting when playing a card-like trivia game.
Other functional apps for Apple Watch
Of course, there are plenty of functional apps that enhance your Watch experience, which don’t fall into a specific existing category. There are also a lot of iPhone apps that get more convenient thanks to their Watch extensions and watch face complications. Let’s check some of those out!
Just Press Record
This app makes it super-easy to start an audio log before that fleeting idea disappears. It has an Apple Watch extension and includes a complication, which you can put on your watchface and start a recording with a single tap!
A calculator app that also lets you make conversions — currencies, metrics, and tips can be calculated with a simple mode swap. And yes, all these features are available straight from your Apple Watch.
Hey, a calculator is always a nifty thing to have! PCalc is a super-advanced scientific calculator for the iPhone and iPad. Its Watch extension gives you a calculator straight on your wrist!
Hours Time Tracking
Trying to get your schedule in order but can’t figure out where your working hours are leaking out? Maybe try time-tracking. Hours is made to be as quick and easy to use as possible, so you would actually feel motivated to start and stop your times, as opposed to cringing at the idea of opening the app. The Watch extension and complication make it even easier to control and observe your timers.
A neat little utility app, which allows you to unlock your Mac by simply knocking on your iPhone or Apple Watch. Yup, welcome to the future. It costs $6.
Pennies – Budget and Expenses
Pennies is a pretty cool, fleshed-put, easy-to-use budgeting app, with an Apple Watch extension that makes it even easier to enter your expenses on the fly and before you forget to.
The irony of having a budgeting app that actually costs money is not lost on us. That’s why we have Spendio on this list. Now, its full features are still locked behind a $2 paywall, but you’ve got plenty of functionality to play with in the free version. With easy expenses entering and multiple categories, you should start saving money in no time… right?