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The 10 best free Apple Watch apps

best Apple Watch apps best Apple Watch apps
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Hot Topics breaks down the 10 best Apple Watch apps you can get for free on Apple's newest hardware.

The Apple Watch has yet to adhere to the Apple mandate: to be a device that you can’t live without.

As a result it’s already being billed as the most successful flop in history, alluding to the fact that when even when an Apple product does not reach its lofty expectations, it can still sell over a billion dollars worth of hardware in pre-orders. In one week.

Clearly Apple is playing in a different league than other tech companies.

So what’s stopping the Apple Watch being billed as a success? Battery life and slow-running software have been cited as concerns, as well as a lack of good apps.

That’s not to say that the existing apps don’t already have their uses – it’s just that a lot of the software developers have yet to find the right recipe to combine all of the Apple Watch’s unique features into one package.

The best Apple Watch apps need to take advantage of the unique features that a smart watch offers: size, providing obvious notification right to your wrist and the ability to measure a person’s physical activity.

There are a few developers who have managed it though, so with that in mind, here’s our list of the best Apple Watch apps you can get today.


design-fundamentals-large-icon-fitnessFor fitness purposes, Workout is one of the best Apple Watch apps. A dead battery is a small price to pay for a constantly measured heart rate; it’ll also do a good job of counting how many calories you burn in a given workout.

It makes monitoring your workout progress easy and it’ll give you a buzz when you approach your target calorie/distance goals.

Breaking News

icon175x175Apple Watch was never going to be great for reading full-length articles, so it makes sense to have Breaking News as your go-to app. Much like the smartphone app it’ll give you a brief summary of the breaking news in your area.

City Mapper

citymapper-real-time-transit-VIYW1LkCity Mapper’s popularity from android and iOS carried over nicely to the Apple Watch. Much of the same usefulness in a smaller package, updating you with the public transport options in enabled cities: London, San Francisco, and Paris to name a few.


design-fundamentals-large-icon-mapsPossibly the niftiest navigation app for the Apple Watch, Maps lets you plan your route from your wrist rather than getting your iPhone out, giving you a series of coded vibrations that will guide you towards your destination.

No more will Siri be interrupting your podcasts and playlists with your next set of instructions, making this one of the best Apple Watch apps for navigation.


SlackSlack’s usefulness as a team communication app carries over well onto the Apple Watch. In this pared-down version of the full app, you can browse your direct messages and mentions and reply using Siri or a selection of pre-selected answers.


design-fundamentals-large-icon-messagesNot to undersell the obvious and significant cultural benefits of obtaining unique Apple Watch emojis, but Messages’ real selling point is how well it synchronizes with your various other iThings.

A natural and useful integration of an existing service into a new device.

Apple Pay

apple-pay-icon copyIt doesn’t take a genius to work out why having Apple Pay on your wrist is better than having it in your pocket, especially now that you can use it to pay on the London Underground.

Anyone that has accidentally elbowed someone in chest as they try to get their phone out their pocket at a turnstile can relate.


Uber-iconWell done to Uber for creating one of the best Apple Watch apps. It does exactly what you’d want an app to do; displaying all the information you’ll need from Uber in a simple layout.

You’ll get a photo of your driver, their registration and their rating all on your tiny Apple Watch screen.


icon128The novelty of having an encyclopedic music knowledge is only intensified by having it on your wrist.

Nothing more to add; Shazam works well.


sunrise-calendar-2015It’s apps like Sunrise that the Apple Watch was built for. It syncs with your calendar from your mac/iPhone and allows you to see your important updates for the day via glance, ensuring that you never miss another appointment.

In terms of convenience and functionality Sunrise appears to be one of the best Apple Watch apps available.