Best apps for the Apple Watch (so far)

Apple Watch hero

The Apple Watch is officially arrives April 24th, but you can pre-order the watch now. It might be a bit of a wait though as shipping times for the watch have slipped into the summer. The watch starts at $350 for the lowest price Sport model and over $10,000 for the absurd, limited Watch Edition.

Although Apple worked hard selling the design and materials for the Apple Watch, the device would be useless without apps. We already saw some of the first-party apps created by Apple during its event in September.

Here’s are the most important apps launching with the Apple Watch. Check out CNET for its excellent and complete list of apps.

Messages

Apple Watch Messages

Arguably the most important app for most people is Messages. With Messages, you can read and reply to your text messages from your Apple Watch. Apple makes it easy for you to respond with canned responses or with voice-to-text. You can choose to send an audio message instead.

Apple Pay

Apple Watch Apple Pay

Although Google Wallet came out before Apple Pay, it never really took off. With Apple Pay, many more retailers are joining the phone payment revolution. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus make it easy to pay with Apple Pay, but the Apple Watch will make it even easier. Simply tap your watch to the pay terminal and your transaction will go through. No need to take your phone out of your pocket.

Maps

Apple Watch Maps

One of the killer features of any smartwatch are maps on your wrist. Apple’s own Maps may not be as good as Google Maps but it’ll work for most users. Get turn by turn directions on your wrist, which are especially handy while exploring a new city.

Passbook

Apple Watch Passbook

If you’re a frequent flyer, Passbook will be invaluable. Passbook stores your boarding passes, loyalty cards and other tickets. You’ll never have to remember to print out a ticket or boarding pass. All of the info will be stored on your wrist for easy access.

Siri

Apple Watch Siri

Apple’s virtual voice assistant will follow you on your Apple Watch, waiting for your commands. Anything Siri can do on your phone, you can now do via your Apple Watch. Weather information, restaurant search, and snarky humor are all available on your wrist now.

Instagram

Apple Watch Instagram

Instagram for Apple Watch is actually pretty full featured. You can browse your Instagram feed and like photos right on your wrist. However, I don’t think looking at postage stamp sized photos on your wrist is best way to view Instagram photos. Still, this app is great if you’re too lazy to take out your phone or just want to waste a few seconds on Instagram.

Twitter

Apple Watch Twitter

Check your Twitter feed, see what’s trending, post a tweet, and reply to tweets all from your wrist. Twitter works well in this format, letting you quickly scroll through your feed with the crown on the Apple Watch. The interface looks spartan but it works well.

WeChat

Apple Watch WeChat

Popular messaging WeChat is coming to the Apple Watch. Beyond showing your messages, WeChat lets you reply using voice and stickers. Tapping on the sticker icon will pull up a menu of available sticker packs, one of WeChat’s most popular features. I suspect other messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and LINE will adopt this feature as well.

Nike+

Apple Watch Nike+

Nike has always provided great support for Apple products and that’s no different with Nike+ for Apple Watch. Track your runs and get motivated via the app’s notifications. Although Apple has its own Workout app, Nike+ is great for those who have invested time into the Nike ecosystem.

Workout (Apple)

Apple Watch Workout

If you haven’t tried any fitness apps, Apple’s own Workout app is a great place to start. Workout integrates with Apple’s Health app, a hub where you can view all of your fitness data. Workout lets you track your workout, heart rate and much more.

Todoist

Apple Watch Todoist

Todoist for Apple Watch is great if you have a terrible memory. Get all of your to-dos and reminders right on your wrist so you never forget to pick up milk from the store again. Todoist will let you check off your to-dos and assign due dates and times for your tasks and reminders.

ESPN

Apple Watch ESPN

Sports fans who want to stay on top of their team’s scores will want to download ESPN for Apple Watch.

NYTimes

Apple Watch NYT

Stay on top of breaking news with NYTimes for Apple Watch. Get news alerts delivered to your wrist so you don’t miss an important story.

Shazam

Apple Watch Shazam

Shazam is a great app to help you identify what’s playing without fumbling to get our your phone and missing the song. Tap on the icon to let Shazam start listening. Once it identifies the song, the app will give you info about the artist and even lyrics for you to sing along.

BMW i3 Remote

Apple Watch BMW

If you own a BMW i3 electric car, you can control it from your watch. Check your car’s battery power and control your door locks all from your wrist. Hyundai also has an app called Hyundai BlueLink that’s coming to the Apple Watch that will do similar things for its vehicles.

Uber

uber

Hail a cab from your wrist using Uber. The app will tap you on the wrist when your ride gets close so you don’t miss it. Uber for Apple Watch will also let you select what type of Uber car you want.

Honeywell

Apple Watch Honeywell

The internet of things is a reality and Honeywell is ready with an Apple Watch app. Monitor and access your lights, thermostat, and more with just a few taps on your wrist.

Alarm.com

Alarm.com Apple Watch

Apple showed off the Alarm.com Apple Watch app, showing how someone can let their kid into the house after being locked out. The app will provide a dashboard view of your home’s status. See which locks are triggered and if your security system is armed. You’ll never have to wonder if you remembered to turn on the alarm before leaving.

W Hotels (SPG app)

Apple Watch W Hotel

Never have a hotel keycard demagnetize in your wallet or purse again. SPG is partnering with Apple to let you access your hotel room using your Apple Watch.

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Follow me on Twitter: @lewisleong

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