Best Apple Watch apps: Don’t bother with third-party options

Best Apple Watch apps: Don’t bother with third-party options

Best Apple Watch apps: Don't bother with third-party options

Apple Watch Series 8 is an iterative upgrade over Series 7. With each new iteration, the Apple Watch becomes more advanced. It is particularly remarkable when it comes to tracking your health and fitness. If you want to take advantage of the best Apple Watch apps, we have some pretty simple advice: skip the App Store and stick with the watch’s native apps.

Companies like Amazon, eBay, Target, Slack, and TripAdvisor have dropped support for Apple Watch apps, but those services are better suited to our phones, tablets, and laptops anyway. What matters is the built-in activity tracker, Messages and Phone apps – the things we want at our fingertips for a quick and convenient glance, whatever version of Apple Watch we’re on. are currently using.

“The watch is really about convenience,” said Ray Wang, principal analyst and founder of Constellation Research. “You’re not going to spend so much time in front of your watch. So I think the secret to creating a good Apple Watch app is to think of it as an accessory on top of something. Very few people use it on its own unless it’s for fitness or health or some kind of supervision.”

Read more:Set up your new Apple Watch in just a few clicks

When the Apple Watch was launched in 2015, it had 3,000 apps available for download. Today, there are more than 20,000 apps, 44 of which are built into the wearable. While watches weren’t a popular accessory in 2015, the Apple Watch has proven to be a useful tool for checking messages, weather and reminders, Wang added – all of which are already built into the device. device.

Here are several native Apple Watch apps you might not already be using.

Quickly switch between apps on Apple Watch.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

1. Sleep

The Apple Watch was behind the game when it came to sleep tracking – a crucial wellness feature that rivals like Fitbit have offered for years. While Apple’s Sleep app may not be as comprehensive as the sleep monitoring available on other devices, it’s still a great way to track your sleep and establish a regular bedtime routine. When you wear your Apple Watch at night, it tells you how long you’ve been sleeping in bed as well as your breathing rate during sleep. This last feature is a new addition that Apple launched with WatchOS 8 in September.

2. Wallet

The Apple Watch is designed so you don’t have to search for your phone as often, and Wallet app is one of the best examples. It lets you store things like credit cards, boarding passes, and movie tickets on your wrist once you’ve added them to the Wallet app on your phone. This means you won’t have to rummage through your purse or pocket to make a quick purchase or board your flight. Apple is also expanding what the Wallet app can do in WatchOS 8, which introduces the ability to add house keys and ID cards to your watch.

3. Messaging

The Messages app is one of the most basic and fundamental Apple Watch apps, but it’s also among the most useful. As the name suggests, Messages lets you read and respond to text messages right from your wrist. Your phone is still the best tool for sending long text messages, but the Apple Watch can be useful for sending short, urgent replies when you don’t have time to reach for your phone. If you have the Apple Watch Series 7the latest model, you will be able to reply to texts using the device’s new QWERTY keyboard, which is much easier than using the Scribble feature.

The Apple Watch Series 7 keyboard.

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

4. Noise

If you have an Apple Watch Series 4 or later, you can use the noise app to measure ambient sound in your environment. If the decibel level has increased to such an extent that your hearing could be affected, the app can notify you with a simple tap of your wrist.

Read more:Apple Watch Series 7 review: a slightly better smartwatch than last year

5. Cycle Tracking

Women can use the Cycle tracking app to record details about your menstrual cycle, including flow information and symptoms such as headaches or cramps. Using this data, the app can notify you when it predicts your next fertile period or window is about to begin.


If you have an Apple Watch Series 4 or later, you have an electrical heart rate sensor that works with the ECG app have an electrocardiogram (sometimes called an electrocardiogram by cardiologists). You’ll also need an iPhone 6S or later, and the phone and watch will need to be on the latest version of iOS and WatchOS, respectively. It is also not available in all regions.

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7. News

The News app will help you keep up with current events on the fly, showing you stories it curates based on your interests. However, it is not available in all regions.

8. Mindfulness

The Apple Watch has long offered breathing exercises. But WatchOS 8 The Mindfulness app, which replaced the Breathe app, adds a new option to the Apple Watch’s relaxation repertoire: reflections that invite you to pause and reflect on special moments in your life. You can still access Breathe sessions from this app, but the new Reflect option just gives you another way to take a break from your day.

9. Remote

If you have an Apple TV, you can use your watch as another remote, assuming both devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Apple TV menu, and play or pause shows.

10. Camera

You cannot take a photo with your watch itself. But with the Camera app, your watch can act as a remote control for your iPhone’s camera. Use it to help you take selfies or start recording on your phone across the room, so you can finally get everyone together in that big group shot.

11. Walkie Talkie

The walkie-talkie app lets you use your watch as a walkie-talkie to chat with another person wearing an Apple Watch. You press a button to speak and release it to listen to the response. The app is not available in all regions and both participants must have connectivity via a Bluetooth connection to iPhone, Wi-Fi or cellular. You also have to accept an invitation to get in touch with someone through the app – they can’t just start talking to you.

12. Voice Memos

Like on the iPhone, you can use the Voice Memos app on your Apple Watch to save personal notes and things to remember on the go. Voice memos you save on the watch will automatically sync to all other iOS devices you’re signed in to with the same Apple ID.

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The future of native Apple Watch apps

The collection of native Apple Watch apps is probably far from complete. We saw the addition of the Sleep app and the Blood Oxygen app with the respective software update of last year’s WatchOS 7 and Apple Watch Series 6. And if the reports are to be believed, Apple has broader ambitions in the health and wellness space than we might see in the coming years. According to the Wall Street Journal, the company is working on blood pressure measuring tools and thermometers for the Apple Watch. Apple is also working on a blood glucose sensor that could help diabetics manage their glucose levels, Bloomberg reported last year, although it says the feature is unlikely to be commercially available for several years.


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