The Apple Watch can already count your steps and deliver notifications from your iPhone to your wrist. Still, there are plenty of third-party apps that make the Apple Watch even more useful.
Here’s a look at a handful of apps aimed at making everyday life a bit easier, whether that means keeping your body and brain healthier or making sure you remember to bring your umbrella with you on rainy days. These are great if you just got an Apple Watch for the holidays and you’re looking to add new functionality to the device.
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Dark Sky ($3.99)
Daily and hourly forecasts can provide a general picture of what the weather will be like on a given day. But in most cases, it’s difficult to know whether or not it will start raining during the 20 minutes you spend commuting to work or stepping out to lunch.
That’s where Dark Sky comes in. The app provides precise predictions that can break down forecasts by the minute. There’s a handy Glance for the Dark Sky app that allows you to see these specific predictions just by swiping up from the bottom of your Apple Watch screen.
During a busy day, it can be difficult to remember to drink a healthy amount of water. The WaterBalance app for the Apple Watch makes that easier by letting you log your fluid intake directly from your wrist. There’s a blue ring within the app that fills up when you’ve logged the recommended amount of water for the day.
It may seem implausible to enjoy viewing images on such a small screen, but the Instagram app for Apple Watch is surprisingly enjoyable. The photos look crisp and vibrant and the app itself runs smoothly. Instagram for Apple Watch allows you to view your feed and recent activity, which you can scroll through using the Apple Watch’s digital crown.
Uber is in the class of Apple Watch apps aimed at convenience, since it allows you to set your location and hail an Uber without having to pull out your phone. Just like the iPhone app, the Apple Watch version shows you how close your Uber is and exactly where the driver is on a map. The interface has been simplified so that these actions can be performed with quick taps and swipes.
Whether you’re an amateur cook or a gourmand, chances are good you regularly browse the web to find new recipes and ingredients. Recipe apps for the Apple Watch such as Yummly make it so that you can view information about the dish you’re preparing without having to reach for your phone as you’re moving about the kitchen. Yummly displays the ingredients, number of calories, and how long a given dish takes to prepare at a glance.
There are better ways to kill time than continuously checking notifications or scrolling through Instagram. Elevate, for instance, offers quick brain training games that are tailored to your skill set. The Apple Watch version of the app features quick bite-sized games that challenge your mind without requiring too much interaction on the device’s small screen.
The Fandango app for Apple Watch helps with one of the biggest sources of anxiety for movie goers: getting to the theater on time. In addition to showing details about your ticket orders, the app features a countdown timer that lets you know when you’re cutting it close to showtime.
Pocket Yoga ($2.99)
Since Yoga often requires you to bend and twist in different directions, it can be tricky to look at a TV screen, computer, or phone while doing sessions at home. The Pocket Yoga app provides an image of particular poses in addition to how many calories the move burns right on your wrist, where it may be easier to see when you’re holding a tough stance.
One of the biggest challenges when traveling can be communicating in different languages. The iTranslate app for the Apple Watch helps with that by allowing you to speak a phrase and have it translated instantly without having to dig out your phone. The interface is simple and easy to use — just Force Touch on the language to change it, select the language you prefer, and speak the phrase you need translated.
The Rules! app is a workout for your brain. The game is based on a simple premise: follow the rules. This becomes more difficult as you’re asked to recall rules from previous rounds as the game progresses.