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The best Apple Watch apps in 2020

Best Apple Watch apps
(Image credit: Citymapper)

The best Apple Watch apps help Apple's Watch become an essential companion in your everyday life. Tim Cook likes to position the Apple Watch as the world’s best wrist-worn fitness tracker, and it’s certainly very good when it comes to monitoring your health. But with the right Apple Watch apps, it’s also much more than that.

That’s why we’ve rounded up the best Apple Watch apps available right now. Whether you want to track your day’s tasks, schedule a meeting with a client or enjoy your downtime, these are the apps that can help you do it all from your wrist. And while there are some fantastic Apple Watch apps that come with your Watch, here, we've listed the best third-party options, for those who are looking to explore something a bit different.

If you're after a new Apple Watch, don't miss our Apple Watch deals roundup, and if it's apps you're after, you also might enjoy our lists of the best calendar apps and the best language learning apps

01. Citymapper

best Apple Watch apps: Citymapper

Citymapper’s UI packs in all your vital travel info in an easy-to-absorb way (Image credit: Citymapper)
  • Price: Free
  • Requires: iOS 10.3 and watchOS 3.0 or later

Citymapper is the best free Apple Watch app, in our opinion. As designers, we all have plenty of meetings with clients, and it’s essential to avoid arriving late – or not at all. That’s why Citymapper’s Watch app is so good, as it is perfectly made to ensure you make it to your destination.

The focus is on giving you information exactly when you need it – how many stops until you need to leave the bus, or how far to walk to your destination, for example. You’ll get buzzes on your wrist telling you when to leave and which train to catch, plus complications on the Apple Watch face. Right now, it works in 39 cities, all totally for free.

02. Fantastical 2

best Apple Watch apps

Organise your entire day from your wrist with the Fantastical 2 Apple Watch app (Image credit: Flexibits)
  • Price: £4.99
  • Requires: iOS 11.0 and watchOS 4.0 or later

Fantastical is already one of the best calendar and reminder apps on Mac and iPhone, so it’s no surprise that its Apple Watch app is our best Apple Watch app for organisation and productivity. It’s everything you need to keep your day organised when you’re on the go, combining powerful features with an easy-to-use interface.

A good example is its set of complications. You can choose between various details to show on your Apple Watch face, in both large and small sizes. That way you see only what you need to without distractions. It understands natural language voice commands (in six different tongues), and uses helpful colour coding as a visual aid.

03. Spark

best Apple Watch apps

Want to ensure you don’t miss a vital email? Spark’s smart sorting system does the trick (Image credit: Readdle)
  • Price: Free (offers in-app purchases)
  • Requires: iOS 11.0 and watchOS 2.0 or later

We all use email, but often it’s a painful experience. Not so with Spark, our best Apple Watch app for email, which uses smart inbox sorting to make sure your most important mail isn’t lost in the scrum. The app’s home screen features big buttons for each of these categories so you can easily bypass everything you don’t need to see.

There are Messages-style quick replies, and you can ‘snooze’ a message so you get reminded of it when you’re back at your desk. It’s clear from these features and more that every element of Spark is designed for how people actually use the Apple Watch.

04. Streaks

best Apple Watch apps

Streaks can help you not only get fit but give up smoking, read a book, make your appointments and more (Image credit: Crunchy Bagel)
  • Price: £4.99
  • Requires: iOS 9.0 and watchOS 3.0 or later

Streaks is the best Apple Watch app for health and fitness for a reason. It's all about forming lasting, positive habits that can improve your life. It’ll help you track anything from eating healthier food to cutting down on smoking, and is particularly useful if you want to improve your fitness. It’s so effective that it’s been recognised with an Apple Design Award – high praise indeed.

With simple iconography and handy progress bars, the Streaks Apple Watch app clearly displays your progress so you know how far along your routine you are. You can mark your progress as you go, and everything syncs up with Apple’s Health app on your iPhone.

05. AutoSleep

best Apple Watch apps

Make sure you get enough rest for that important client meeting using AutoSleep (Image credit: Tantsissa)
  • Price: £2.99
  • Requires: iOS 11.0 and watchOS 4.0 or later

If you suspect you’re not sleeping properly after a hard day’s work, the best Apple Watch app for sleep, AutoSleep, could help. Wear your Watch to bed and the app can analyse your sleep quality, including the amount of time you slept, your restlessness, your heart rate and your time awake during the day.

It’s designed to look like an Apple app, and if you’re used to tracking your fitness with Apple’s ring system then AutoSleep will feel instantly familiar. Pair it with your iPhone and you get a Today view to display all your metrics in one place, with sections dedicated to calculating your daily readiness, latest bedtime, whether you’re under- or oversleeping, plus much more.

06. Overcast

best Apple Watch apps

We love Overcast’s intuitive design and unique features; there’s no better podcast app (Image credit: Overcast Radio)
  • Price: Free (offers in-app purchases)
  • Requires: iOS 13.0 and watchOS 5.2 or later

The Apple Watch is at its best when it lets you perform quick tasks that don’t interrupt your workflow. Overcast is a great example of that. It's our best Apple Watch app for podcasts as it’s a well-thought-out app with a focus on unobtrusive design.

You can adjust podcast volume using the Digital Crown (genius!), and swipe to quickly start a new podcast episode. The app features clever features to equalise volume levels and cut out dead air, and it’s beautifully designed both on your wrist and your phone.

07. Carrot Weather

best Apple Watch apps

With Carrot Weather, getting drenched on the way to the office can actually be pretty funny (Image credit: Grailr)
  • Price: £4.99
  • Requires: iOS 12.0 and watchOS 4.0 or later

Checking the weather on the way to the office isn’t often an hilarious experience, but that’s exactly what you get with the best Apple Watch app for the weather,  Carrot Weather. It’s infused with a snarky, witty AI that revels in your misfortune as a blizzard bears down on your humble abode.

It’s not just funny, though. Carrot Weather uses Dark Sky’s accurate data, and employs some clever design and colour coding to give you important info at a glance. There are numerous complications, notifications, weather maps and even a Siri watch face integration.

08. Hole19

best Apple Watch apps

Enjoy your downtime and improve your golf game from your wrist with Hole19 (Image credit: Stat Track Technologies)
  • Price: Free (offers in-app purchases)
  • Requires: iOS 11.0 and watchOS 3.0 or later

Did you know that there was a best Apple Watch app for golf? Apple Watch is jam-packed with sensors, making it the perfect companion to analyse your golfing game on your days off. Add in Hole19 and you get all the data you need to improve your play and increase your handicap.

The free version lets you track your score, see how far it is to the hole, and understand your game with stats on your accuracy, putting and more. Opt for the premium membership and you get club recommendations, shot distance tracking and much more, all without taking your phone out of your pocket.

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