The Apple Watch is great right out of the box, but you’ll want to add a few apps to really make it sing. Apple’s wearable is a true marvel, and the Series 5 is the best yet, but you’ll never know just how useful it can be if you don’t expand your horizons a bit.
When we think about the Apple Watch apps we just can’t live without, these are at the top of the list. Some are free, some are not, but every single one is worth your while.
Updated 12/27/2019: Now that watchOS 6 is out with new tools for developers and new built-in apps (like a calculator), we’ve updated our recommendations.
If there’s one major feature missing from the Apple Watch, it’s automatic sleep tracking. Rumors persist about Apple adding the capability, but year after year, we’re disappointed when it doesn’t. Fortunately, it’s not that hard to add with an app like AutoSleep, Sleep Watch, Sleep++, or Pillow. There are now several good sleep-tracking apps to choose from, but most require either a substantial in-app purchase to make proper use of, or a subscription that can really add up.
That’s one reason we like AutoSleep. Not only does it work well and give you lots of great data, it’s just one up-front (and reasonable) price. No hidden upgrade in-app-purchases, no subscriptions. Just three bucks to add quality sleep automatic sleep tracking to your Apple Watch.
There are plenty of good weather apps out there, many of which support Apple Watch, but Carrot Weather may be our favorite. It combines excellent weather forecasting (with data from Weather Underground or Dark Sky), lots of customization, and even achievements. The snarky evil robot voice helps make weather fun.
Apple Watch support is especially robust, with several different complications available and the ability to customize them in the app. Carrot Weather was one of the first third-party apps to make use of the new corner complications on Apple Watch Series 4, and it gives you a card on the Siri watch face, too.
The only downside is that the app costs $4.99, and on top of that you have subscribe to a Premium Club membership for $0.49 a month or $3.99 a year to get certain features. The cost is to cover the increased API usage of its data sources for features like real-time precipitation warnings.
Carrot Weather ($4.99, in-app purchases)
Shazam is the number one name in identifying music. I mean, it’s so associated with being able to “name that tune” that there’s even a game show with Jamie Foxx.
Apple bought Shazam in September and didn’t do anything other than remove ads from the app, which just makes it better. We figure the company has big plans for the Shazam technology,…