The best Apple Watch apps we’ve used in 2020

It’s been an fascinating yr for even the very best Apple Watch apps. Within the spring it appeared as if the Watch had misplaced its sparkle, with many big-name apps both languishing or being pulled from the Watch altogether. The issue wasn’t that Apple Watch apps are a nasty thought, although. 

Removed from it, as our choice right here demonstrates. It was that typically, apps have been designed to reply the flawed query: “might we make a Watch app?” however not “ought to we?”

Now, watchOS 6 is set to bring an App Store to your Apple Watch for the very first time. That may encourage app developers to take the Apple Watch more seriously, so 2019 may be a big year for great new apps on your wrist.

The Apple Watch 4 is proving pretty popular too, and that’s why you’re probably here checking out the new apps. In fact, it’s one of the best smartwatch options out there, though it has been overtaken by the new Apple Watch 5.

Jump to best Apple Watch apps for…

Our favorite apps, the apps that are still here after a bumpy year, both should and could have been made. They exist because they’re useful, or because they’re entertaining, or because they make your life that little bit better. 

In this round-up you’ll find apps for podcasting and procrastinating, for getting fit and getting stuff done, for messing around and for sorting stuff out. 

Before you get into our list remember to head into the Apple Watch main app on your iPhone – that’s where you’ll see a list of the apps already installed on your phone that can also be transferred to your Watch. If you see any you like the look of here, you’ll need to download them to your iPhone first.

And make sure to check this article weekly, as we’ll add a new app each week, highlighted below.

Apple Watch app of the week: Kanbann

(Image credit: Atadore)

If you’re a fan of the Trello collaboration platform, Kanbann ensures you’re never far away from your favorite boards – and if Trello has been imposed on you by management, it means work can follow you wherever you may roam. Sour jokes aside, it’s handy to have Trello on your wrist if you’re using it to keep track of to-dos or travel plans.

Kanbann is an unofficial Trello app that enables you to create new cards, move existing ones, comment, check off to-do lists, and create new ones. And once you’ve logged in you don’t need to have your phone handy if you have a Wi-Fi or cellular connection on your Apple Watch.

The app also supports Siri Shortcuts, so for example you can say “Hey Siri, create a note ‘top secret world domination plan’ in Kanbann” and your Watch will do your bidding. Or at least it will after a little bit of setting up, which thankfully you only need to do the first time you run the app.

The core app is free and enables you to read all the boards you have access to, but you can only comment on or make changes to your personal boards. To gain comment and edit access to all the boards available to you you’ll need to unlock the Premium upgrade, which is $2.99/£2.99/AU$4.49 at the time of writing.

Best Apple Watch apps for fitness and running

There’s no denying that the main thrust of the Apple Watch since the second model is for fitness: it’s packing GPS, heart rate, water resistance and improved sensors to make the most of the fact people like to work out with this thing – it even connects to gym equipment.

This list of Apple Watch fitness, running, wellbeing and health apps are nearly all must-have – if you’re going to do one thing with your new Watch, use it to become a healthier you in mind and body.

Hole19 Golf GPS & Scoring

(Image credit: Stat Track Technologies Lda.)

Hole19 claims to be the most-used golf GPS range finder in the UK, with more than 10 million rounds registered, and it claims to be as accurate as a real caddie – although it doesn’t specify which one.

As is usually the case with sports apps the bulk of the work is done by the iPhone app, with the Apple Watch companion providing just the essential features and information you need while you’re on the green.

The main app offers two key tools: GPS range finding so you can see how far you are from your goal as well as any hazards, and a digital scorecard that you can use to track your stats over time.

On your watch, it shows you the distance to the front, center and back of the green; swipe and there’s an input screen where you can track your performance. It’s all very simple and straightforward, enabling you to track your playing without distracting you for too long.

The usefulness of the app depends mainly on whether it knows about the course(s) you want to play. Hole19 knows over 42,000 courses in 201 countries, so yours should be covered, but the app’s free to try so you can make sure it’s right for you before signing up for a subscription.

Gymatic Workout Tracker

(Image credit: Vimo Labs Inc.)

How’s this for a sales pitch: Gymatic delivers “data and insights not visible to human eyes”. How do you read it, then? Bad marketing copy aside, the app is a powerful and comprehensive workout tracker that can automatically log your workouts and count your reps.

The app also promises more accurate calorie tracking than its rivals because it can identify exactly what kind of exercise you’re doing and calculate your calorie usage accordingly.

Gymatic has been designed and tested with a wide range of exercise regimes including but not limited to CrossFit, bodybuilding and weightlifting, HIIT workouts, kettlebell training, calisthenics and machine exercises, and it also automatically tracks running, cycling, rowing and stair climbers.

It’s extremely comprehensive. The Apple Watch app provides key stats when you’re running or guidance when you’re doing barbell squats; if you’re doing the latter you’ll see your rep counter, the barbell weight, your current heart rate, and how many sets you need to do. There’s even a little image showing how to do it.

As with almost all fitness apps, the free version is really just a taster: for the full range of features and tracking you’ll need to take out a Premium subscription, which is currently $49.99 / £48.99 / AU$79.99.

RocketBody

(Image credit: RocketBody, Inc.)

Designed for people who take their fitness seriously, RocketBody doesn’t just record what you do. It also predicts your recovery, enabling you to make plans to maximize the effectiveness of future workouts or sports sessions. That’s because of its intelligent algorithms, which combine ECG monitoring (from your Watch, if it’s a Series 4 or better) with other inputs such as your calorie expenditure during workouts and your food intake.

The main app has been around for a while but the Apple Watch app is new – and surprising, because RocketBody began with the goal of producing a wearable fitness and nutrition tracker. That project appears to have been abandoned and the agency is now focusing largely on software program.

The Watch app lets you management the app’s exercise monitoring out of your wrist, displaying your whole elapsed time, your calorie expenditure and your present coronary heart fee in a easy, simple to learn format.

As with most well being apps, RocketBody is a freemium app: to profit from all of its options you want a subscription. However the value of a yearly subscription appears to fluctuate, so if the app appeals it could be sensible to time your buy fastidiously.

Seven – 7 Minute Exercise

(Picture credit score: Perigee)

What are you able to do in seven minutes? You might hear to 1 and a half pop songs. You might watch one-tenth of an episode of Sport of Thrones. Or you could possibly change your life. That’s what Seven guarantees. It’s an app based mostly on the concept that anyone can get a lot fitter if they’ll spare simply seven minutes a day. No health club memberships, no gear, simply you and your Apple Watch.

We’d suggest beginning with the telephone, although: it exhibits you find out how to do every train correctly, one thing the Apple Watch’s display isn’t sufficiently big for. There’s no level knocking your self out in your seven minute stretch when you’re doing it flawed and inflicting extra hurt than good. As soon as what it is advisable do although you’ll be able to depend on your Watch to time your workouts and breaks and to file your exercise.

The app is simple to make use of, filled with helpful workouts and supplies good visible suggestions and motivation. You may compete with your mates or simply earn in-app achievements, and when you join the $9.99/£9.99/AU$14.99 month-to-month subscription you get entry to over 200 workouts to maintain your regime fascinating. By enabling you to train anytime, anyplace, Seven may simply enable you to get the train behavior.

Swing Tennis Tracker

(Picture credit score: Mangolytics Inc.)

Constructed for severe tennis gamers below the steerage of Andy Roddick and James Blake, Swing Tennis Tracker is designed to investigate your swings in addition to file your stats. It isn’t only a solo app: it may well additionally sync scores with different Apple Watch customers on the courtroom. There’s glorious Siri integration for beginning matches and observe, integration with the Exercise and Well being apps, and glorious visible suggestions to point out you ways exhausting you’re hitting.

The Watch element concentrates on the recording and suggestions, whereas the telephone app takes care of scores, stats and video, in addition to offering motion recommendation after every hit. It’s an important app for particular person gamers however it may also be utilized by mother and father, coaches and in groups, to trace others’ efficiency too.

There are two subscription plans, the $four.99/£four.49/AU$7.99 per 30 days Premium and the $9.99/£9.49/AU$15.49 Professional. The previous unlocks historic statistic graphics, head-to-head data towards non-Swing customers and limitless evaluation graphs for every session, whereas the Professional subscription provides video classes from tennis professionals and clever evaluation of your efficiency that identifies key areas for enchancment after every session.

Begin With Yoga

Image credit: I/O Assembly

Picture credit score: I/O Meeting (Picture credit score: I/O Meeting)

Begin With Yoga does precisely what the title suggests: it’s designed that can assist you get began with Yoga. It was designed partly out of frustration with different yoga apps, which didn’t include unbiased Apple Watch apps. Because the developer informed us: “Most yoga apps want you to have a look at your telephone, which doesn’t actually work for yoga.” Therefore this yoga app in your Apple Watch, which lets you keep far-off from the distractions of your iPhone.

It’s quite simple, and that’s a part of its appeal. You get 5 pre-defined routines to start with, and you should utilize the iPhone a part of the app to create your individual customized ones from the clear and cute illustrations. Inform the app how lengthy you wish to maintain a place for, and it’ll monitor every stretch, shifting on to the subsequent one when it’s time.

The emphasis could be very a lot on yoga newcomers right here: whereas the app doesn’t embrace a few of the extra superior positions extra skilled practitioners may anticipate, there’s nothing right here that’s prone to put your again out both – though as with all train app, at all times get knowledgeable recommendation when you have any well being or health points that may have an effect on your means to train.

Slopes

Late in 2018, Apple launched improved snowboarding and snowboarding monitoring for the Apple Watch Collection three and later. That’s been a boon for snow apps resembling Slopes, which might use the improved APIs to assemble extra helpful info than ever earlier than.

With Slopes you’ll be able to monitor your velocity, vertical, distance, raise vs path time and extra, getting the knowledge you want proper now in your wrist and sharing that knowledge with the iPhone so you’ll be able to analyze it later.

Slopes could be very intelligent. It robotically detects runs and lifts, it may well replay your runs in 3D with warmth maps exhibiting your velocity on every little bit of the run, and it even integrates along with your picture library to robotically show pictures you took in your snowboarding or snowboarding journeys. The app additionally integrates with the Apple Well being app, recording particulars of your exercises and the energy you’ve burned.

As with many sport apps the core model of Slopes is free however there’s additionally a premium subscription that introduces additional options. Right here meaning stay run-by-run breakdowns, limitless run and raise stat breakdowns, premium maps and even digital 3D mountains to point out you the place you’ve been. An annual cross is a really affordable $19.99/£12.49/AU$17.99.

Strava

Strava is without doubt one of the hottest operating and biking apps round, however it’s at all times required you to have your telephone or a non-Apple smartwatch to trace your travels and file your important statistics. Not anymore.

You probably have an Apple Watch 2, the Strava Apple Watch app can use its GPS to file your run with out requiring you to strap a telephone to something. The interface isn’t as fairly because the iPhone app’s interface, however while you’re operating or biking that doesn’t matter: the knowledge you want is offered cleanly sufficient and the app is straightforward and simple to make use of.

The principle app is free and presents important options together with distance, tempo, velocity, elevation and burned energy, and there’s a premium service for $5.99/£5.99/AU$9.99 per 30 days or $59.99/£54.99/AU$89.99 per yr that provides extra detailed post-exercise evaluation, stay efficiency suggestions and personalised teaching – though not by the Watch.

Nevertheless, when you’re somebody who makes use of the premium options like Beacon on the principle app, you won’t discover Strava on the Apple Watch to your liking in comparison with utilizing it on the telephone.

Nike Run Membership

The continuing love-fest between Nike and Apple continues to bear fruit: the most recent iteration of the Nike Run Membership app introduces some welcome enhancements. 

It now integrates with Siri Options, which suggests the app can now counsel good instances for a run based mostly in your earlier runs (the function is off by default so it gained’t nag you when you don’t need it to), and there are new Apple Watch issues together with one for the Infograph face that exhibits how far you’ve run this month.

There’s hardly a scarcity of operating apps within the App Retailer however Nike’s finances is a bit larger than most, so the app feels much more premium than many others. It tracks and shops all of your runs because of your Watch’s built-in GPS, lets you take heed to audio guides as you run, presents a variety of challenges to maintain you motivated and has good social sharing options, so you’ll be able to flip your mates into cheerleaders. 

It’s very properly designed and the Watch app doesn’t sacrifice substance for type: whereas visually it’s very engaging it additionally exhibits all the knowledge you really want as you’re pounding the pavements. It’s a extremely good operating app.

Nike Coaching Membership

Nike and Apple are greatest buddies without end, so it’s not an enormous shock to see Nike unveil one other Watch app. This one’s actually good, too. Describing itself as “your final private coach”, Nike Coaching Membership has greater than 180 exercises overlaying energy, endurance, mobility and yoga, and so they’re all free. There are each day personalised picks based mostly in your earlier exercise, versatile coaching plans that can assist you obtain your health objectives, and ideas from high trainers.

The app splits jobs between telephone and Watch. The previous is the place you do the planning and monitoring; the latter is what you put on when you’re really understanding. By necessity in addition to design meaning focusing solely on the knowledge you actually need proper now, resembling your coronary heart fee and what number of reps you continue to must do earlier than you’ll be able to undo all of your efforts with some cake and beer.

The app is in no way distinctive in its mixture of Watch and exercise monitoring, though it does have Nike’s instantly recognizable and particular person visible type. However what’s vital about this app is that none of its many exercises are hidden behind in-app purchases or dear subscriptions. Every thing within the app is free.

Headspace

For those who’ve ever felt that life is simply that bit too busy or irritating, Headspace might assist. It’s based mostly round mindfulness, which is all about getting you to really feel calmer with out an excessive amount of effort. In actual fact, it’s the alternative of effort: mindfulness is about taking a break from the frenzy.

The Apple Watch app is a part of a wider providing for iPhone and iPad: it acts as a reminder and a coach, urging you to choose an train and give attention to it for the allotted time. It additionally has an SOS mode for when issues really feel an excessive amount of and also you need assistance immediately. However it’s the principle app that does a lot of the work, with each day mindfulness workouts and periods designed to assist with every thing from office stress to sleep issues.

It’s very properly performed however one factor that may elevate your stress ranges is the price: whereas the app is free to attempt it actually wants a subscription to unlock its most helpful options, and that subscription is $12.99/£9.99/AU$19.99 per 30 days or $94.99/£74.99/AU$149.99 per yr. That’s an auto-renewing subscription too, so it is advisable disable that in iTunes when you don’t need it to recur robotically.

WebMD

Medical apps don’t simply exist to steer you that your delicate headache is terminal mind most cancers. They may also help preserve you wholesome too. Whereas WebMD does certainly allow you to evaluate your signs with varied sicknesses and circumstances to scare your self foolish, that’s not probably the most fascinating factor about it or its Watch companion app.

WebMD lets you element your remedy schedules, with dosage info and the choice to be reminded of what it is advisable take and when it is advisable take it. This may be within the type of a notification, or you’ll be able to have it as a Watch face Complication so it’s proper there in the midst of the show.

It might probably additionally remind you of any stipulations, resembling whether or not it is advisable take your medication with meals or on an empty abdomen. It’s the form of easy however very helpful factor the Apple Watch does properly.

Over on the principle iPhone app there’s lots extra to find. You may learn up on the unintended effects and precautions of particular tablets or patches, discover out if it is advisable go hiding from the flu or simply compensate for the most recent well being and wellbeing information from varied credible sources.

WorkOutDoors

In case your thought of fine train entails going removed from the madding crowds, you’ll like WorkOutDoors. It’s a exercise app that’s based mostly round vector maps which you could simply rotate and zoom, monitoring your location and your progress.

It makes use of the Watch’s GPS (when you have a GPS-enabled Watch) so there’s no have to take your telephone on a hike, cycle or snowboard run, and options resembling breadcrumb monitoring, customized factors of curiosity and customizable stats shows allow you to make the app actually your individual.

In a pleasant contact you’ll be able to export your exercises from the iPhone app in GPX format, which may be imported into many different exercise apps and websites.

It’s very, very properly thought out. For instance, one thing so simple as the stats show is on the market in quite a lot of sizes to go well with totally different sorts of exercise (to not point out totally different ranges of eyesight).

It makes good use of color-coding to make routes crystal clear, waypoints can present additional info resembling instructions, and the map robotically rotates as you progress so that you’re at all times positive of the correct route. It’s a superb app for just about any outside exercise.

Streaks

The trick to residing higher isn’t to rattling close to kill your self on a treadmill after which quit after a number of weeks. It’s to make smaller, lasting adjustments to your life, adjustments which you could and can really keep on with. And that’s what Streaks presents.

Whether or not you’re attempting to eat extra healthily, train extra or break a smoking behavior, Streaks lets you monitor constructive and unfavorable habits. It presents a variety of reporting instruments so you’ll be able to see precisely how properly you’re doing, and you may monitor as much as 12 totally different duties directly.

They needn’t be train or consuming duties: you’ll be able to remind your self to stroll the canine, examine, take nutritional vitamins or observe a musical instrument. It’s good to see wheelchair customers included within the default duties listing too.

The place Streaks actually shines is in its integration with the Well being app, which allows it to drag knowledge to make use of for monitoring appropriate targets you’ve set. That reduces plenty of the form-filling of comparable apps, and it’s significantly efficient when you’re attempting to work on good wholesome habits or get rid of unhealthy ones, or each.

There’s a Complication too, so that you simply don’t neglect your objectives, and the entire thing is customizable as a way to get it just-so.

MyFitnessPal

Info is energy and when you’re attempting to drop extra pounds, calorie monitoring is an effective method to keep centered. MyFitnessPal works out a each day calorie allowance based mostly on how a lot weight you wish to shed. Eat a meal and your allowance is spent, take train and also you earn credit score.

The Watch provides you a operating whole of remaining energy and the way that breaks down into protein, carbohydrates and extra. It might probably combine along with your steps whole so you do not have so as to add these manually. It is easy however handy and useful.

Walkmeter GPS Pedometer

If strolling’s your factor, Walkmeter helps monitor your each step, exhibiting your perambulations on a map and producing detailed graphs. The Watch app has clear knowledge reporting and you can begin and cease a stroll out of your wrist utilizing the Watch’s Pressure Contact actions.

Apple’s personal Exercise app does quite a bit, however this app has extra element and the mapping element on the iPhone is nice. The app is free however for full Watch efficiency it is advisable improve to the Elite model for $9.99/£9.99/AU$14.99. There’s quite a bit right here, together with coaching plans and bulletins as you hit targets or distances.

CARROT Match

Chances are you’ll know CARROT from its climate app, which mixes Darkish Sky-style climate forecasting with sarcasm and lies. However CARROT desires to make you sad in lots of different methods – and what’s higher for a sadistic AI than being in command of a health app?

Enter CARROT Match, which takes a considerably uncommon strategy to motivating you to get more healthy and drop extra pounds.

CARROT guarantees to “get you match – or else”. To realize that it presents a dozen punishing workouts (extra can be found through in-app purchases) accompanied by threats, ridicule, bribes and the occasional praise.

It’s impolite, crude and far more entertaining than attempting to finish the rings on Apple’s personal exercise tracker, and we’re fairly positive it’s the one health app that rewards progress with cat details. However there’s a correct health tracker in right here too: it’ll monitor your steps and weight reduction, bear in mind your exercises and add knowledge to Apple’s well being app.

A lot of the persona is in the principle iPhone app, however the Watch alerts embrace such cheery prospects as “seven minutes in hell”. For those who discover getting match or dropping pounds slightly bit tedious, CARROT could be the, ahem, carrot that it is advisable get motivated.

Lose It!

In case your Watch strap is feeling slightly extra comfortable than it used to, this app will be the reply: it’s designed that can assist you obtain your weight reduction objectives “with out the unsustainable gimmicks, fad diets, restrictive meals, on-site conferences, or massive value tags of different weight-loss firms.”

It tracks the energy you’ve consumed and the objectives you’ve set, focuses on vitamin in addition to total calorie consumption, works fortunately with different health apps and trackers and supplies a web based peer group the place everyone encourages one another to realize their supreme weight.

It additionally lets you set train objectives and give attention to normal wellness, so it’s not nearly dropping pounds.

The Apple Watch app doesn’t exchange the telephone app utterly – for instance, you’ll want your telephone helpful if you wish to use the barcode scanner to robotically file what you’re consuming, and the team-based options resembling group challenges are phone-based – however it’s an effective way to focus in your objectives, monitor your progress and preserve your motivation irrespective of how sorely tempted chances are you’ll be.

This system is $39.99/£29.99/AU$62.99 per yr however you’ll be able to discover the app free of charge with out signing up.

Mount Burnmore

Health fanatics look away now: for people who discover train actually boring, and their rise up and go usually will get up and goes whereas they keep sedentary. Mount Burnmore could possibly be the reply to that lethargy: it turns health right into a recreation.

The idea is kind of intelligent. Mount Burnmore will depend on “lively vitality”, which it pulls from the Well being app: the extra energy you’ve burned, the extra lively vitality you may have within the recreation.

When you may have adequate vitality you’ll be able to try to resolve the sport’s puzzles, which contain discovering routes across the titular mountain, accumulating in-game gadgets and smashing issues with a pickaxe.

There’s a Complication that lets you see your progress with out launching the complete recreation, and the app makes good use of the Digital Crown that can assist you navigate round bigger ranges later within the recreation. There are additionally leaderboards to check with different gamers and in-game challenges to win freebies.

It’s vibrant, breezy and a bit brash, and we suspect it’s greatest suited to older kids slightly than grown-ups – though when you do give this one to the children you may wish to disable in-app purchases, as they can be utilized to purchase in-game gadgets.

Happier

Mindfulness, the artwork of specializing in being current and conscious on the earth as an alternative of being consistently distracted by issues and ideas that don’t matter, isn’t one thing you’d affiliate with the Apple Watch. For those who aren’t cautious along with your notification settings your Watch pings away merrily all day, interrupting numerous trains of thought.

However the Happier app hopes to make use of the Watch to make you’re feeling higher, no more harassed.

The app itself is free, however it’s designed as a gateway to paid-for mindfulness programs. For those who don’t go for them you’ll be able to nonetheless benefit from the app, although. You may inform the app the way you’re feeling – we suspect “meh” is the most-used choice – and it then responds with uplifting quotes that can assist you really feel a bit extra optimistic.

It might probably pop as much as remind you to take a meditation break, and you may dictate a constructive thought to a non-public journal or to the Happier neighborhood. That’s not as daft because it sounds: there’s some proof that protecting a journal of constructive issues can increase your temper over time.

Simply watch out what and the way you share: one iTunes reviewer says that they have been capable of find their personal journal with Google.