The best free apps for the Apple Watch

Find out which are the best free apps for your Apple Watch. We choose apps already built in and ones to download from the App Store

What is Apple Watch?

Apple Watch delivers your iPhone messages, calls and notifications to your wrist. Get instant updates at a glance, and also set reminders and dictate messages with your voice.

Use it to pay for your groceries with Apple Pay, and to keep tabs on how much exercise you’re getting.

But you can do much more than that thanks to the wealth of amazing apps to download.




Style as well as substance

Features aside, the watch looks very cool. The premium stainless steel finish, with typical Apple chic gets our thumbs-up. So too does the Digital Crown.

A most Apple-like feature, the Digital Crown sits on the side of the watch, just like a traditional timepiece. But twist it and you can scroll through menus, and zoom in and out of maps.  

The best Apple Watch apps to download


In a nutshell: Get detailed performance info about your next run or bike ride.

Want to monitor your fitness without the need for a separate device? Record and track your next run, right from your wrist with Runtastic for Apple Watch.

Find out how many calories you’ve burned, how many miles you’ve run, and the steepness of hills you’ve climbed.

All without the need for a separate fitness tracker.

We love the speed insights on your tracked route map (green = slowest, red = fastest) showing where you pushed it and where you slackened off. It’s great motivation to power up the hill you always dread and change that bit of your map from green to red.


In a nutshell: Keep tabs on your friends and celeb crushes from your wrist

The day you can Instagram a photo of your lunchtime sushi from the Apple Watch hasn’t arrived yet – you’ll still need your iPhone camera. But the Instagram app brings loads of cool features to Apple Watch. For instance,  you can:

·         see posts from friends and celeb crushes  

·         check out likes and comments

·         swipe to view and like photos

·         tap to see profiles  

It even notifies you when your fave accounts post. Great when you’re waiting for that first pic of your sister’s new baby, or shots from Taylor Swift’s last gig.  


In a nutshell: Identity a new song and buy it in minutes with the popular music capture and recognition app

No more hearing a song on TV and wondering forever what it was – Shazam delivers. You’ll still need to wave your iPhone at the music source, but you can watch videos and get artist info, lyrics, and history on your Apple Watch.

We like the Buy option on the Apple Watch track page. Select, then hand off to your iPhone to complete your purchase. Track heard, captured, recognised and bought in minutes.

Guardian Moments

In a nutshell: Top stories, breaking news and comment from The Guardian on your wrist

Create a personalised homepage about the issues that concern you and Guardian Moments will ping items to your Apple Watch throughout the day. Browse the stories in more detail on your iPhone.

The goal alerts are genius for football fans. No more constantly checking your phone – when United put one in the back of the net, you’ll know about it.

Right there on your wrist, so you can even pretend you’re not checking up on the football.


The best built-in apps

Siri digital assistant

In a nutshell: Talk to your Apple Watch, and it listens – like magic  

Want to find out something really fast? Ask your Apple Watch via the built-in Siri digital assistant.

OK. It’s a bit Dick Tracy-ish talking into a phone on your wrist, but it’s the quickest, simplest way to get information from your Apple Watch. Just raise your wrist and say ‘Hey Siri’, before asking a question.

You can even ask it to open apps for you. Now that is lazy.


In a nutshell: Never miss that meeting because you forgot to check your phone

Missed an appointment because your phone has been bleeping away on silent, or on your desk or at the bottom of your bag?

Say goodbye to such annoyances with Apple Watch.

Reminders appear on your Apple Watch in good time – whether it’s a lunch date, your next meeting, or the birthday of someone special.

When someone sends you a meeting appointment, you can accept or decline with a simple tap on your watch screen. No excuses.


In a nutshell: Receive, send and reply to messages without fumbling around for your iPhone

The most important feature of a smartwatch, when you drill it down, is that it can deliver messages to your wrist at times when you’re not able to get at your phone.

You can’t pull out your phone in the middle of a meeting, or on a hot date.

If you do, it’s not going to end well. Spare yourself the blushes by getting your messages directly delivered to your wrist. When a message lands you get a gentle tap on your wrist, to let you know.

Raise your wrist to see who the message is from, and what it says.  

. You can reply by:

·         using smart replies: Apple offers a list of short, smart replies that are relevant to the message.

·         animated emojis: if you want to convey an emotion, or simply show receipt of the message, an emoji could be good – choose from throbbing hearts, 3D thumbs down, and smiley faces.

speaking: Tap the Dictate button and start speaking – Apple Watch translates your words to text. Hey presto.  

Check out Apple Watch