If you’ve got your hands (or should that be ‘wrist’) on an Apple Watch Series 8 or Apple Watch SE, the first place you should go is the App Store. While it has a truckload of sensors onboard and a very premium design, the apps that run on it take the Apple Watch to the next level. Of course, the Apple Watch comes with many health and fitness apps and features, and by default it installs watch-friendly versions of apps already on your iPhone, but there are many more. Transform your Apple Watch experience. Best of all, most of them are completely free. So if you’ve got an Apple Watch Series 8 or Apple Watch SE and want to get more out of them without spending a dime, go ahead and grab these eight free apps.
(Note: To see Apple Watch apps, you can go to the App Store on your Apple Watch Series 8 or SE. If you want to see them on an iPhone, go to the Apple Watch app, select the Discover tab, and then select the Explore Watch Apps option, where you’ll see some watch apps.)
Making the Apple Watch note-worthy
Some may find it hard to believe, but the Apple Watch does not have a proper note-taking app, even though it has a Voice Memos app. Luckily, there are some great note-taking apps for smartwatches, and if you want one without paying a dime, go with Bear. The app has a simple interface and allows you to record your notes not only by typing on the tiny keyboard on your watch but also by converting your voice to text. So you can speak into your Apple Watch Series 8 or SE and see the words appear on the screen. You can edit notes and switch between voice and keyboard input on the same note. Very simple and of course, it syncs seamlessly with the iPhone app, it’s very powerful and, hooray, doesn’t even have a price tag (though you’ll likely pay bucks for a premium version with more features).
You’ve got YouTube on your wrist
Watching YouTube on a small display may seem like tech overkill. Until you actually do. WatchTube brings the YouTube experience to the Apple Watch and does an excellent job of it, especially with large 45mm cases. Videos are reasonably sharp and sound levels are also impressive. We’re not saying it’s a replacement for watching or binge-watching video on your iPhone, but it’s perfect for checking out a quick video when you don’t feel like picking up the phone. You can also like videos and comment on them and share them. We suggest using the app with caution, though, as it can be a huge battery drain, and Apple watches aren’t exactly battery champs. Not yet.
Don’t forget a drink (water).
Although the Apple Watch comes with a number of health and fitness apps, most notably, there is no app on it to remind you to drink water – which is very important. The rather cleverly named Thirstiq Smart Water Tracker looks to do just that. It works out the amount of water you should consume based on your age and weight, and even adds some extra smarts by factoring in your activity level. The app comes with a clean interface that not only tracks the amount of water you’ve consumed (you have to enter it), but also attempts to quench your current level of thirst, which is a nice touch. It also reminds you to drink water, ensuring you reach your healthy water consumption goal each day.
Remember your language… any language
Yes, we get a bit of subtle irony in recommending a Microsoft app for an Apple product, but more seriously, if you’re the type to travel to different places and aren’t multilingual, this is pretty much the app for you. You can speak or type a sentence into it and get the equivalent in another language, both written and spoken. There are dozens of languages to choose from and many Indian languages as well. It is easy to use and delivers results fast. Once again, this allows you to keep your phone in your pocket, which is really one of the core capabilities of the Apple Watch.
Wikipedia is literally at a glance
Who needs the entire Wikipedia on your wrist? Well, as ridiculous as it sounds, it’s actually pretty cool. MiniWiki is a very impressive app for not just browsing Wikipedia but also for getting information about places around you. The app also shows images associated with the topic you searched for, and if the articles seem endless (well, there’s a lot you can see on a small display), you can use the Apple Watch’s crown for scrolling. A wonderful resource right on your wrist for those moments when you don’t feel like digging out your iPhone.
Name that song!
Shazam on the Apple Watch is truly a one-trick pony. That said, this is one heck of a trick. If you hear some music playing and want to know what it is, launch the app, tap on the symbol and…hold up your Apple Watch-ed wrist. Shazam will identify the song for you. You can also listen to a preview of it and it will be saved in your recent Shazams (use the crown to watch it). It might sound basic, but the best part is that it works great. We actually think it’s easier to use on a watch than on a phone.
So where do you want to go?
A few years ago, Foursquare was an app where you would log in (cafes and roundabouts had ‘mayors’!) when you arrived at a certain location, with the chance to get special benefits and statuses. But since then, the app has evolved into a very handy city guide that lets you find out about restaurants, bars, cafes and other places in different parts of the world. On the Apple Watch, Foursquare is great for quickly finding places near you. You’ll also get brief descriptions, some visuals, some user comments, and directions on how to get there. It’s easy to put on your wrist at short notice.
Time to waste time with words
There are plenty of innovative games on the Apple Watch, but most of them are cramped by a relatively small display or come with a hefty price tag. However, if all you want is mental exercise, Snappy Word is a great game. This is a variation of the iPhone game and as in it, you have to form a word with the four letters that appear on the display, while the clock keeps ticking. It is well presented and runs smoothly. It may sound simple, but it’s not as easy as it sounds and some words can be tricky. An absolutely wonderful way to while away some of those short breaks in the day when you don’t have much to do and can’t be bothered to try something more elaborate.