18 Life-Changing Apps For The Apple Watch

Photo: Courtesy of Apple.
Let's get this out of the way: Setting up a new Apple Watch is time-consuming and a little overwhelming. And, when you go to load it with fresh apps, there are more than 3,000 to choose from. Don't sweat it — we've handpicked some of the best.

From maximizing your workout to keeping track of your ever-growing to-do list, we've found offerings that take advantage of the Apple Watch experience. They can truly enhance your life by helping you get things done.

You'll notice some big names (Instagram, Twitter) aren't on this list. Why? At least for now, these apps and many others work better on a smartphone than on your wrist — unless you just absolutely need to see the most recent trending tweets at every hour of the day. But, being able to re-order your last Seamless meal with a tap on your watch? Keeping hanger at bay is priceless. 

Read on for Refinery29's list of interesting, innovative, and helpful Apple Watch apps. 
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Photo: Courtesy of Yummly.
Food & Restaurants

For at-home dining, we liked Yummly’s watch app better than Epicurious and some other options. Why? This app not only lets you check out personalized recipe recommendations on your wrist; it also gives you access to your shopping list. You can search for recipes by voice and check out recipe recommendations based on what day it is, the time of day, your location, and the season.

Yelp was made for the Apple Watch. Use the app to browse restaurants, bars, coffee joints, and “hot & new” destinations near you. Tap on a listing to get more details — like exact location on a map — and to review highlights. If you tap the map, you can even get walking or driving directions. This app, while useful, has a few caveats: It was buggier than many of the others we tested, and it doesn’t let you search using filters like “open now” — you just see (clearly labeled) listings of businesses that are currently closed mixed in with ones that are open.

We’ve got our favorite take-out spots, and our favorite orders we always place. With Seamless’ watch app, you can get those regular fixes in a jiffy. The watch app doesn’t do a lot, but it does let you re-order a previously placed meal and then track the status of your food (which is basically all you need to do, anyway).
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Photo: Courtesy of Misfit.
Working Out

Misfit Minute
Misfit makes its own activity trackers, the Shine and Flash, but it also has a great Apple Watch app called Misfit Minute, which helps you squeeze in a quick workout when you’re short on time. Open the app and enter how much time you’ve got — even as little as one minute — and you'll receive a full-body exercise (like planks) and a timer for completing it. The app also gives you encouraging little quotes to remind you of the badass you are.

Runkeeper’s watch app doesn’t just track your run; it shows you the the length, distance, and your pace stats, but also gives you cues for training plans and interval workouts — so you don’t have to think about when it’s time to kick up the pace and when it’s time to recover.

7 Minute Workout
Wahoo's 7 Minute Workout app includes quick, intense sets of jumping jacks, push-ups, step-ups, crunches, and more. All in all, the workout includes 12 different exercises, each for 30 seconds. The watch app times each set along with a 10-second rest period, so all you have to do is feel the burn.
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Photo: Courtesy Orbitz.


The last thing you want to do while traveling is dig through your purse and phone looking for flight information. Orbitz makes that information super-handy by aggregating upcoming trip information in its watch app. In its “Glances” view, you can see upcoming itinerary info up to 24 hours before a planned trip. This includes gate number, flight status, rental-car pickup information, and hotel check-in details. Notifications will alert you if anything changes and will even let you know which baggage-claim carousel you need.
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Photo: Courtesy of Keep.
Fashion & Shopping

Keep Shopping
Stay up-to-date on all the fashion items currently trending with Keep. The watch app is nothing but a scrollable feed of images of hot new clothing, accessories, and home decor items. Tap to get more details (like where an item is available) and save to your favorites or add to your cart. To complete a purchase, you’ll have to head back into the iPhone app — a slight inconvenience, but it’s probably better for your wallet that way.

Slice is like your personal shopping assistant, helping you manage your budget, alerting you to price drops on favorite products, and letting you keep track of the shipping status for things you’ve ordered. On the watch, you get notifications for: shipped, out-for-delivery, and delivered packages; a glance-able summary of what items should be delivered that day; and a map showing where the item is on its shipping journey.

If outfit-planning is your M.O., you need Dressed. Use the main iOS app to add images and details about the clothing items in your wardrobe, and then, like in Cher’s closet in Clueless, scroll through to visually build a look. In the watch app, you can browse the outfits you have planned for the week (so you know to iron that crinkly blouse for Wednesday) and check details for a particular item — like where it was purchased, the brand, and the price.
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Photo: Courtesy of Clue.
Reproductive Health

Are you feeling bloated today because of that delicious steak dinner last night, or because that time of the month is near? Clue makes it a snap to know exactly where you are in your cycle, giving you a heads-up for when your next period is arriving, when it’s time to take your birth control pill, when you’re ovulating, and when you can expect PMS to strike.

The Bump
Pregnancy is one of the most transformative periods a woman can go through, and with The Bump’s watch app, you can stay updated on every change your body is undergoing, week by week. At the start of each week, the app notifies you of upcoming doctor’s appointments and suggested to-dos. It also lets you use Siri to add appointments and tasks, and offers a visual guide of your baby’s development based on how far along you are. And, it provides a countdown to your due date and lets you browse photos you’ve uploaded of your belly growth.
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Photo: Courtesy of Lark.


Need a little guidance when it comes to making healthy food choices? Lark’s watch app acts like a nutrition coach. Tell it what you ate at each meal, and it gives you small bits of feedback, such as “Making your own food is the best way to stay in control of what you eat.” The app also reminds you to get up and get moving if you’ve been sitting too long (something Apple’s Activity app does as well). It can also track your sleep.
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Photo: Courtesy of Mattel.
Making Decisions

Magic 8 Ball
Whether the decision is tough or trivial, the trusty Magic 8 Ball has always been there to help you choose a course of action — and now its magical, decision-making abilities are available on your wrist. With the Magic 8 Ball app, you speak a yes-or-no question into the watch, then tap or shake to reveal an answer. If the result is particularly delightful, you can share your results on social media. And, if you’re in need of a little creative-thinking inspiration, you can have the app send you a “thought-provoking” question each day.
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Photo: Courtesy of Yahoo.

Yahoo Weather
Yahoo!’s weather app provides just the right amount of information on the Apple Watch’s screen. When you open it, the app shows the current temperature, the day’s high and low, and the current conditions (sunny, rain, partly cloudy). You can scroll down to see more information, such as wind speed, sunrise and sunset times, and conditions for the morning, afternoon, and evening. If you double tap, you can view a line graph of how these conditions will change over the course of the day.
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Photo: Courtesy of IFTTT.

Not everything has an Apple Watch counterpart — yet. You can skirt around this using IFTTT’s apps, Do Button and Do Note. With the Do Button, you can control electronics (like your Nest Thermostat) from your wrist; with Do Note, you can dictate an event to add to your Google Calendar, or a new Facebook status update to post. If you're not familiar with the concept of IFTTT (which stands for If This, Then That), note that it allows you to accomplish a myriad of tasks by creating simple "recipes" using the app. Examples include "If I post an image with the hashtag #awesome to Instagram, post it to Tumblr" or, in the case of the watch, "If I hit this button, change the temperature on my thermostat to 70 degrees."

Project-management app Trello organizes tasks into visual cards, which you can then complete (like a to-do list) or move around to different subsections to indicate their current status. For example, an item called “proofread presentation notes” could be moved from a "to-do" column to an "in-progress" column to a "completed" column. You can customize the app so it’s optimized for you and your team. Trello also has a useful Apple Watch counterpart that lets you add new cards, view recent cards, check recent notifications, and check what items are due soon — making it even easier to stay on task and get things done.

Evernote is tops for keeping all your notes, ideas, upcoming tasks, and images in one place. With its watch app, you can: dictate notes that will be transcribed and synced with the service; view notes; search through your notes using your voice; and create reminders for upcoming tasks.