The functionality of the Apple Watch can be significantly expanded with good apps. Since watchOS 6, the smart watch has its own app store, in which thousands of apps can be downloaded without going via the iPhone. TECHNOLOGY BUTTON has filtered out particularly exciting watch programs that also work with watchOS 7.
Although Apple does not officially name any sales figures, all of the major analyst firms show that the Apple Watch is by far the most popular smartwatch worldwide. According to a current study (as of March 2021) by Statista , Apple made almost 34 million US dollars in sales worldwide with the smart watches in 2020. Compared to 2019, that is an increase of 19 percent. Just to put that in perspective: Huawei is in second place with a clear gap. The turnover in 2020 was “only” 11.1 million. The in-house watch app store delights users, although large companies such as Google, eBay or Amazon are now doing without their own Apple Watch apps. Nevertheless, thousands of apps are available for download. TECHNOLOGY BUTTON recommends five Apple Watch apps that belong on every smart watch from Apple.
The NapBot sleep tracker for the Apple Watch can record sleep without an iPhone nearby. So you can banish your smartphone from the bedroom at night if you want. The data is recorded inconspicuously in the background. Also practical: the “Today” widget for quick access to sleep statistics. You can also easily connect this to the health app so that the data can also be viewed and incorporated into the evaluation. You can also use NapBot to set personal sleep goals and the Apple Watch app is increasingly getting to know your sleep habits. The app is available free of charge to a limited extent. However, in order to be able to use all functions, you have to pay 0.99 euros. With the annual subscription for 10.99 you save a little more.
Minimalist design; relies on machine learning; distinguishes between light and deep sleep phases; also evaluates heart health during sleep; shows sleep history graphically
Pro version costs 99 cents / month or optionally 10.99 euros with an annual advance payment; iOS 13 and watchOS 6.0 required
Also interesting: Exchange program for defective Apple Watches started
2. Radio player
Access to your own Apple Music library (eSIM with LTE required) is a practical matter. But often you just want access to radio stations with changing music programs and the latest news on the go or while exercising. This is where the new standalone watch app Radioplayer comes in handy. As one of the few apps, the radio player also supports playback directly on the smart watch. Quick access to the favorites you have marked yourself and to the stations last listened to is guaranteed. Telekom’s StreamOn offer is also integrated into the Radioplayer app. Listening on the go does not eat up any data volume for Telekom customers who have booked StreamOn for free.
Intuitive operation despite the small watch screen; Station search can be dictated or scribbled; Access to music categories such as pop, rock, lounge or news possible; Podcasts are also offered; also shows track information of the radio music being played on the display; even warns of ghost drivers.
Direct search possible, but currently too few display options, since 2000 stations are listed “from A to Z”, but above all foreign network radios are often missing; Due to the nature of the system, volume control runs via the Digital Crown – a somewhat awkward process, but one that Apple wants.
The route app Citymapper integrates information about public transport and guides you through foreign or your own city. The Apple Watch app also provides reliable information about possible bus and train delays. The destination entry works reliably, regardless of whether you enter a specific address or a place of interest. The app has also received the Apple App of the Year award five times in a row – and rightly so. Route navigation for pedestrians is also reliable and intuitive. Citymapper is available to users free of charge, but in-app purchases are possible.
Very reliable, intuitive operation and clear route information; Real-time information, sometimes more precise than the app solutions of the transport companies; free
Can only be used in large cities in Germany (Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Hanover, Stuttgart, Cologne, Bremen), so it is only suitable for real city trips
Also interesting: Spotify for Apple Watch – Stream music without an iPhone
Wikipedia right on your wrist – a really practical application is MiniWiki from developer Will Bishop. The online lexicon can not only be searched on the smart watch, but content can also be downloaded. The appropriate language for the article display can be set; previously the app was bound to the system language that was preset in each case. If you just want to browse a little in between, you can use the “Random article” option. Most recently, the developer has also optimized the way to find images, and the app also offers the option of displaying the most-read articles. Bookmarks can also be set in order to remember particularly exciting wiki entries.
Completely free of charge (developer has introduced a donation button); Direct access to over 40 million Wikipedia articles; if the article you are looking for is not available in another language, MiniWiki automatically displays the article in English; also finds information about the proximity search
A little exhausting reading long texts on the small watch display
5. Carrot Weather
The somewhat different (English-language) weather app not only relies on an extraordinarily colorful look, but also on artificial intelligence. The Apple Watch app randomly generates funny sayings about the current weather situation. An example: “Thank God, you need a hot bath”. So maybe you can even smile about it when the weather promises clouds and rain again. Carrot Weather also provides very detailed forecasts of cloud density, precipitation inclination, air pressure, air quality, wind strength and perceived temperature. Various other pro functions can also be activated in-app. Hourly forecasts are included in the basic version (although the display is only in English here).
Thanks to various “Premium Tiers”, it can be expanded almost without limits; Developer regularly delivers large updates and maintains the app in detail with quick bug fixes; Excellent customer service, if you send a message to support, we will respond quickly after our tests
Pro functions only via in-app purchase; The basic version already costs 5.49 euros, but can also be used as a weather app on iPhone and iPad in parallel; English-language announcements only