6 Must Have Apps for your New Apple Watch5 min read
So you found an Apple Watch under the tree- you've set it up, played with it for a bit, and now you need some apps to test out. I'm in the same boat, and I've found some apps that helped fix immediate questions and issues I had with my user experience. Check out my recommendations below!
How can I see my iPhone battery on my Apple Watch?
One of the first annoyances I ran into when using the Apple Watch was checking battery levels for each device on each device. There are a few different combinations here:
|Check battery of ⇒|
|iPhone||Check the top-right corner of your screen.||Enable the Batteries Widget, then swipe right|
on your home screen to access widgets.
|Apple Watch||Download Juice and set a complication.||Swipe up on your Watch face.|
Check Battery of iPhone on my iPhone: You probably know how to do this by now. If you don't have the battery percentage enabled, you can do so by navigating to Settings > Battery > Battery Percentage Toggle.
Check Battery of Apple Watch on my iPhone: After pairing an Apple Watch with your iPhone, a widget titled Batteries becomes available. You can add this widget to your current widgets by swiping right on your home screen to access the Widget view, then scrolling to the bottom and tapping the Edit button. Simply add the Batteries widget, move it where you prefer, and you can now see your Apple Watch battery with your Widgets!
Check Battery of iPhone on my Apple Watch: Surprisingly, this isn't a built-in feature of iOS. However, there is an app for that (amazing, I know)! Check out Juice, from Samuel Laska. It offers custom complications to quickly check your iPhone's current battery life. Juice also lets you set Watch notifications when your iPhone battery hits percentage milestones (e.g. 50%, 15%).
Check Apple Watch battery from my Apple Watch: This one's pretty easy too! Just tap your Watch face to wake up your Apple Watch and swipe up from the Watch face; the top left icon shows you the current charge level of your Apple Watch. Tapping on the icon gives you the option of enabling Power Reserve mode, which restricts Watch functions heavily to conserve energy.
What’s the best Weather app for the Apple Watch?
Everyone seems to have their favorite weather app; I'm still trying out a few options before I decide on a daily, but here's what I've found so far. Carrot Weather + Dark Sky are the ones I'm hearing the most about. Carrot Weather has been critically-received while attaining a near-notoriety for its servings of snark alongside your weather report. While I enjoyed the tone of the app, there is a 2.49/year charge for timely Apple Watch notifications and complication customization. On the other hand, Dark Sky keeps a more formal tone, with an emphasis on delivering information efficiently and beautifully. There is no yearly subscription fee for Dark Sky.
What’s the best Podcast app?
I listen to a lot of podcasts during my morning commute, so music/podcast controls on the Watch were something I was looking forward to trying out. If your use cases are fairly standard, I'd simply recommend putting the "Now Playing" app in your dock and controlling your phone with that. The app offers easy 15-second skipping, pause/play, and volume control. Personally, that's all I really need, but if you're a heavy podcast listener you might want to up your game to Overcast. It offers more advanced features in its Apple Watch app: seeing upcoming podcasts in your playlist, descriptions, options after finishing an episode, and much more. If you just want to control your podcasts from your Watch, the native app will probably do just fine-if want to manage your podcasts from your wrist, give Overcast a shot.
Take a Deeper Look at your Health Data
While the Activity + Workout apps offer great access and control over your health data, I noticed there wasn't nearly as much information available concerning heart rate data. Cardiogram offers a deep look into the long-term patterns of your heart rate. By measuring your heart rate over 200 times a day, Cardiogram can build a profile of your heart rate bolstered by quick self-reports on activity during that period (e.g. drinking coffee, exercising, stressful event). It also features a simple Metrics page to check out your past week at a glance relative to other Cardiogram users. Finally, the Cardiogram complication shows your most recent heart rate and time of measurement. If you're looking to get a better idea of your heart rate patterns or simply want to take a closer look at your health data, I definitely recommend Cardiogram.
I've also been using Pee & See for the day, to great success. Developed by a friend of mine (check out @GohnJanotis), Pee & See is a super simple app that helps you keep track of your water consumption and "output". Just jump into the app and tap to log your latest sessions; the app will then remind you to drink some water based on your recent session data. It also features a complication showing how long it's been since your last recorded session. If you find yourself needing a nudge to drink enough water, check it out!
What are the best Productivity apps for the Apple Watch?
I've been using Fantastical for over four years now; it's been my daily calendar app since I got it and I've never looked back. Although I'm still playing around with the Apple Watch app, it looks like a robust offering with plenty of options for power users. One feature I've already found handy is a view filter, which lets you easily control which of your calendars display on your Watch. If you use multiple calendar services-Gmail, Outlook, iCloud, you name it-Fantastical is the way to go for viewing and managing them all in one place.
This is by no means a complete list; I'm sure I'll find plenty more as I keep discovering new apps (and annoyances), so I'll be updating the list periodically. If you have some apps that make your routine easier, feel free to share!