Since the introduction of Apple Watch in 2015, Apple Watch has become the biggest player in the world of wearable gadgets and has developed an ecosystem of apps and health centric features which makes it a perfect marriage of everything we need in a smart watch.
Later in Apple Watch series 5 and later, Apple Watch has cellular support and doesn't actually require a iPhone for the watch to interact or even work. The previous version require an iPhone to work as an extended device that can show you notifications etc.,
Apple Watch App Ecosystem
In the last couple of years, Apple has built up this ecosystem of apps that works as an extension for the iPhone or even stand alone apps specifically for the apple Watch.
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If you are developer who build apps, you would know that its super easy to actually built apps for the Apple Watch and even extend the iPhone app to the Apple Watch section. In the seven generation of watches that has been released, we can see the growth that has happened in terms of the ecosystem that is relevant to the software side of things as well.
How to install Apps on Apple Watch
There are two ways to actually install Apps in your Watch. You. can do it either from the Apple Watch App Store or from the iPhone that is connected to
Install apps on your Apple Watch
- Assuming you have unlocked your Watch, Press the Digital Crown so that you will be taken to the App grid as you can see.
- Open the App Store from the grid. You will see the Search bar there.
- As soon as you open the App Store, you will find a search bar as you can see below in the screenshot. Type in the name of the app as you can see and tap on the Search button at the top right corner.
- Look for the app you want to install in the search results and once you find the one you want, tap on the GET button as you can see.
- You will be asked for confirmation. Tap on Double-click to install. You might have to put in the passcode to verify.
The app will be installed automatically in the Apple Watch as well as the iPhone in case if it says Requires iPhone. So, if it says a price instead of a GET button, then its a paid app so you need to purchase it via card. The apps might have in-app purchases so that if you want those features, you might have to do it.
Get apps with the iPhone that's paired with the Apple Watch
You could also use the iPhone that is used to pair the Apple Watch to actually install apps in the Apple Watch. Please be know that you can both Apple Watch apps for the apps taht you have already installed in the iPhone or even search apps in the App Store for apple Watch. Let's see how we can do that in this section.
- Open the Watch app in the iPhone.
- Tap on the My Watch App as you can see below.
- Now scroll down to the apps that are available to be installed in the Apple Watch. If its already installed you will see them in the INSTALLED ON APPLE WATCH section as you can see below.
- In case if its not installed in the Watch, but its there on the iPhone, then you will them in the AVAILABLE APPS section.
- Tap on the Install button next to the app you want to install and it will be added to the Apple Watch.
- In case if you want to open App Store. Tap on the Discover tab and select Explore Watch Apps from the App Store. This would open the App Store and show you the explore section of Apple Watch apps. You can choose what app you want to install and then add it to your device easily.
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That's how you can actually install apps from the iPhone in your Apple Watch. Its super easy and you can even enable to settings to automatically install the apps connected to iOS apps or even the new updates that gets released.
Top 10 Apple Watch apps
In this section, we will talk about 10 apps that I personally think are the best at what it does and you can look at these apps as ten of the apps that you would really need to get the best out of owning an Apple Watch. There are so many other apps that are very good but then these 10 apps made it to the list.
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I will mention more apps in last section of this article which deserves honorable mentions and as good as these 10 apps I'm going to talk about. One more thing is that, all these are free and it might have in-app purchases but none of them are to be paid from the get-go.
Headspace is the leading app in the Mindfulness space. Headspace is available from all platforms especially in the iOS and Apple Watch platforms. This app can actually help you relax, stress relief and even focus on your attention so that you don't distract yourself from your goals.
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With its guided meditation, sleep meditation and the very effective breathing exercises you can use Headspace to improve your mental health and daily life in general.
Alongside its iOS app, there is an extension for the Apple Watch as well. You can choose very small duration session on the go and listen to them during your busy schedule or even longer ones if that works for you. In addition to that, listen to calming sounds and music if thats what works for you.
Spotify is the biggest music streaming service in the world and my personal favorite. In the last 10 years spotify has become the best music app in the world.
With Spotify you can search for your favorite song, artist or album in the digital head and even discover new music, artist and even podcasts. Podcasts are a big part of the spotify platform with new exclusive shows like the Joe Rogan Experience etc.,
With the Apple Watch app you can use player controls like forward, backward, play/pause, like or even choose which device you want to play from as you can see in the screenshot above.
Also, you can move around in your playlists and favorites etc., The one major thing you can't do from the Apple Watch version of spotify is to actually search for songs and find them.
MyFitnessPal is a great way to actually build health habits either to lose weight or even reach your gymshark fitness body. Alongside fitness, MyFitnessPal is a great way to track your food habits so that you can eat consciously and go above your daily caloric intake.
Tools like Meal Scan will help you scan and understand calories from food photos. AI powered results are very effective and has been used by more than 200 millions members all across the world.
The Apple Watch app will show you your food intake and even lets you log them directly from the watch itself.
Water is essential to our life, drinking enough and right quantity of water is vital for our health. Water Reminder by VGFIT will help you to calculate, how much water your body needs, will track your hydration and gently remind you to drink water to fulfill your goal.
With the Water Reminder app you can use features like scheduled notifications, history, supports Imperial and even metric units, track nutrition etc., Everthing that is recorded via Water Reminder is added to the Health app using HealthKit API.
The Premium version has the ability to add other types of liquids like Protein, energy, sugars, water, caffeine etc., You can even choose the disable Apple Health synchronization. Getting timely reminders to hydrate according to your requirements is a great way to actually be healthy.
Among all the apps out there, Things is the best productivity enhancing apps to ensure that you get all your tasks done. I have been using Things for about three years now and I have to say, its the best one out there yet.
Things is an award winning To-Do list app thats works only in the Apple ecosystem which helps you get things done by creating meaning projects and tasks to make good progress reaching your goals.
The app is designated as Today, Inbox, Tomorrow, Sometime and you can add items to these list. It also has the ability to create projects and areas of your life where those to-dos belong.
Things for the Apple Watch gives a small taste of the iOS app where you see the list you want to see on the main view of the Apple Watch app. You can create items or even mark them as done which is actually the most used feature. Its not that easy to actually create tasks but its a great way to mark them as done which is what I use it for.
Mindfulness is the app next to Headspace when its comes to Mental health. Mindfulness is an app that was built by Apple and it works alongside the Sleep app and the Health data.
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It has over 300 guided mediatations and even course from experts and it has content in over 10 different languages and in addition to that, you will get personalized user statistics and reminders based on your time schedule.
The Sleep section and the reflect section are brand new features which can also be utilized to ensure mental health and can generally improve your life in general.
StepsApps is a great pedometer app that has been used by more than 10 millions users across the world. All you have to do is install the app and don't do anything else. It works on the background while the phone stays in your pocket.
It has so many features like, Automatic Step counting, charts and animations, Apple Health Integration, GPS Tracking, Insights, 3D Medals, widgets and so much more, Dark & Light modes an even an iMessage app.
Apple Watch imports your Steps from your iPhone data and both Apple Watch and Iphone steps taken information and merges them both to ensure to calculates the total number of calories burned.
Castro is the best podcasting app out there for the Apple Watch or even iOS to be honest. I have been using Castro for the past few years and I have to say that its works like a charm. Its a beautifully designed podcast player where you can explore and manage your podcasts interesting.
It comes as a free version and with a premium subscription you have features like Trim Silence, enhanced Voices, Sideloading, Mono-mix, Chapter Support etc., The explore section even gives you more information like new podcasts and trends etc.,
Aside from Apple's own ECG and heart related health features, we have this dedicated app called Heart Analyzer which takes full advantages of the hardware to actually help you have a good heart health.
Heart Analyzer is uniquely designed for Apple Watch which takes your heart rate info tracked by the device to create amazing visualizations liek charts and metrics to give your a clear picture of your heart health.
The best thing is that all your data is kept inside the device and nothing leaves the watch. The graphical representation of your heart data are industry standards and are cutting edge in terms of how its generated.
There are advanced features like Heart Rate Calibration, Smart Heart Rate Recovery and metadata metrics. The app is well designed and even metrics like VO2Max, Blood O2 in latest devices are well designed.
Nike Run Club
If you like running like me, then Nike Run Club is the best app available out there to help you with your running habits on a daily basis effectively. Alongside being a helper app, its a great way to be part of the Nike run community which has the best features to start, update and track your running.
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With Guided Jogs, Training Plans, GPS tracking and run history and so many more feature, Nike Run Club is so much better than the Fitness app built natively by Apple because Fitness is more of a generic app to handle all types of activity and not just running. The fact that we have a dedicated app purely for running and nothing makes it special if you are into running personally.
You can also sign up for expert training where you would get specified trainers and legends in the industry who would help you reach your running goals. You can also create challenges with your friends to make it competitive and fun while running. There are global challenges created by Nike which you could be a part of.
The bottom line is I'm personally a big fan of Apple Watch because it serves it purpose well. It might not be the good looking watch there is but it leads the entire wearble market without a good competitor. Especially with the arrival of Pixel Watch later this year, we can expect some traction in the Android Watch market as well.
The Apple Watch has somewhat peaked when it comes to new features but there are so many apps that are coming to the App Store every year.