Best Apple Watch Apps To Download

By Robert Leedham and Craig Grannell
27 November 2019
Gear, Smart watch, Apple Watch, Apps, Apple, Tech, Gadget
We pick the Apple Watch apps & complications that'll upgrade your smartwatch

That Apple Watch you’re wearing? It can do a whole lot more than tell the time with a moving Mickey Mouse face and remind you to breathe every so often. From tracking your sleep to translating foreign phrases and getting you to work on time, a cavalcade of brilliant Apple Watch apps have been created for this wristbound wonder.

Trouble is, the gems in Apple’s App Store aren’t always that easy to find. That’s why we’ve trawled through an already stacked roster of downloads to dig up the true essentials. Featuring Headspace, CityMapper and Streaks, these are the beat Apple Watch apps available.


Best for: Getting to work on time
Chances are if you live in a major city, then you’re more than familiar with CityMapper and its Apple Watch-related incarnation is just as essential. Especially if you’re on your way to a venue down a back alley in the middle of nowhere. Why? It’ll display directions on your wrist saving you the hassle of having to get out your phone at every new turn and flash it at passersby.

Download CityMapper for Free


Best for: Infusing good habits
Want to weld good habits to your routine? Short of having amazing willpower and remembering to actually do said habits, sticking reminders on your wrist helps. Not literally, of course; but Streaks makes it a cinch to outline up to a dozen ways you’d like to improve your life, from flossing your teeth to getting regular exercise. The Apple Watch app enables you to track and tick off tasks as they’re done, and you can head back to your iPhone to delve into stats.

Download Streaks for $6


Best for: Breathing away your stress
Meditation is something we should all do a lot more of, but can struggle to find the time for. If you want to upgrade from Apple's much-ridiculed-but-actually-quite-useful Breathe app, then Headspace should be your first port of call. On Apple Watch you get a stripped-back incarnation of its iPhone app, including a helpful SOS feature for those moments when your anxiety gets a bit overwhelming.

Download Headspace for Free + IAP

Tiny Armies

Best for: 30 seconds of fun
Yes, we’re recommending an Apple Watch game; no, we haven’t lost it. Promising ‘epic battles’ with ‘tiny proportions’, Tiny Armies involves swiping to have your armies mow down opponents – unless they smack into a mountain or drown in a lake. It’s not exactly Civ on your wrist, then, but Tiny Armies is a genuinely fun way to give a computer opponent a kicking in the time it takes to queue at the tills.

Download Tiny Armies for $1.29

Cheatsheet Notes

Best for: Having notes to hand (or wrist)
Some notes need to be available at all times. But short of scrawling them on your arm in pen, sticking them on your Apple Watch is a good bet. With Cheatsheet Notes, you can set up items on your iPhone or Apple Watch, and give each one an icon. For proper at-a-glance access, several such tiny notes can even be added to watch face complications. Probably don’t have one be your payment card PIN, though.

Download Cheatsheet Notes for Free / $5.15


Best for: Ensuring you don’t burn dinner
Apple’s timer frustratingly reasons you only want to track one thing at any given time. MultiTimer lets you create several timers on your iPhone, each of which can then be fired off independently on your wrist. So if you’re counting down the minutes of your lunch break, you can still time your tea, boil an egg to perfection, and have a minute of calming mindfulness – all at once.

Download MultiTimer for Free / $10.30

Dark Sky Weather

Best for: Not being caught without a brolly
A weather app that's so accurate it'll let you know a downpour is about to hit your locale minutes before it happens. Dark Sky might lack the twisted humour of its rival Carrot Weather, but it makes up for this with unerring accuracy. Whether you share its forecasts with your colleagues as they unwittingly head outdoors to be drenched is very much a matter of discretion.

Download Dark Sky Weather for $5.15

Pillow Automatic Sleep Tracker

Best for: Tracking your nightly snooze
It might be able to check whether you're at risk of a stroke and make a phone call all on its own, but your Apple Watch still doesn't have any sleep tracking skills of its own. Unless you download Pillow, which uses a blend of movement, heart rate and audio-related data to automatically check when you've hit the hay. A great tool to ensure you get a good night's sleep.

Download Pillow for Free


Best for: Making good use of time
Although Focus can be a full-fledged timer for managing ongoing tasks and optimising your day, it has a simpler benefit on Apple Watch. Define focus session and break durations on your iPhone, and you can set the cycle going on your wrist. The idea is to fully concentrate on a task for the focus period, and then have a short break when done – and a longer break after four sessions. Your wrist being buzzed at relevant moments makes this routine far easier to follow.

Download Focus for Free + IAP


Best for: Mastering your butterfly stroke
If you're just doing a couple of lengths after lounging around by the poolside, then Apple's Workout app is more than good enough to track your splashing about. For those with their own pair of goggles and skin-tight swim shorts, MySwimPro is a must-have download. With guided workouts and personalised coaching, it's made for the wannabe Adlingtons and Phelps' of this world.

Download MySwimPro for Free + IAP

iTranslate Translator

Best for: (Kind of) speaking the local language
You know the situation. You've traveled to a foreign land in search of adventure, but that thirst for enlightenment has near-on evaporated when confronted with a menu of weird new dishes and a waiter with the tolerance of Roy Keane after he's been stuck in a TV studio with Gary Neville. Enter iTranslate Translator: your wristbound saviour that allows you to dictate phrases and have them converted into your native tongue almost instantly. It's even got an offline mode to help avoid roaming charges.

Download iTranslate Translator for Free

Streaks Workout

Best for: Getting a sweat on
There are loads of great fitness apps for the Apple Watch. If you’re just looking kickstart yourself back into shape, then look past Strava or Runkeeper and take a look at Streaks Workout. Focusing on short bursts of stretches and activity that are called out on your watch face and run from 6 minutes to half an hour, it’s a great way to get into the habit of good exercise.

Download Streaks Workout for $5.15


Best for: Streaming your favourite tunes
Still a work in progress since it doesn't offer offline playback for iPhone-free exercise, Spotify’s Apple Watch app remains a useful tool. As it is you get a list of recent albums and playlists to dip back into, and the choice of device where you want to play your music from. So you can switch to a wireless speaker after blasting out half the Fontaines DC record on the train home from work.

Download Spotify for Free / £9.99 per month for Premium subscription

Via British GQ