The 12 best Apple Watch apps for 2018: From Citymapper to Evernote

The Apple Watch and its various iterations consistently rank amongst the top wearables. With the Apple Watch Series 4, the company tweaked the formula to include a wider display and advanced heart-rate monitoring. Hardware updates might steal the headlines, but its Apple’s legion of apps that really make the Watch stand out from the competiton. 

Here’s our roundup of the best free and paid-for Apple Watch apps for 2018.

Best Apple Watch apps 2018

From getting great action shots to recording interviews or memos, these apps and games will help you get the most out of your Apple Watch.

Citymapper (free)

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This app is fantastic for easy access to step-by-step directions, perfect for navigating to a new restaurant or even a new city. It comes with the same features as the iPhone app, which includes a list of your favourite places and live information on public transport routes.

What’s more, if you’re prone to falling asleep on public transport, the Apple Watch will vibrate when your stop is imminent, meaning you don’t miss it. I once fell asleep trying to get the train from Newcastle to Durham (15 mins) and woke up in London King’s Cross some three hours later. Boy, I wish I’d known about the Apple Watch Citymapper app back then.

Find Near Me (free)

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How many times have you arrived at a new place desperate for a coffee, only to have to draw up a web browser on your smartphone and wearily type out “coffee places near me”? Same applies for gin and tonics, bike repair shops and places of interest.

Find Near Me is a handy little app which will help you source establishments, facilities and landmarks in your vicinity; you can search for everything from banks to bars, hiking points to train stations. All on your wrist.

Sleep++ (free)

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The Apple Watch is best known as an activity tracker, but a few apps make it pretty good for monitoring your sleep too. Sleep++ is one of the best apps around, and setting it up is as simple as telling it when you’re about to sleep, and notifying it again when you wake up.

After using the app, you’ll start to see just what sort of sleep you’re getting – and just how much. The only drawback? You’ll need to find a new time to charge your Apple Watch.

iTranslate (free; with in-app purchases)

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One of the most useful apps available for the Apple Watch, iTranslate gives users the ability to translate phrases and words in more than 90 languages. What’s more, it can play translated phrases back using the Apple Watch’s built-in speaker.

Users can launch the app directly from the watch face, and the app can detect the user’s location to determine which language to translate to. A larger complication displays useful phrases depending on the time of day – and it’s compatible with Time Travel.

Twitter (free)

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Twitter, like Facebook, is omnipresent. You can access it from almost any device with a screen and an internet connection, and now you can get it on your wrist as well.

You can set to be notified whenever a new tweet hits your timeline, or when you get a mention. And, if you just have to send out a tweet, you can do so without the need for your iPhone, using the Apple Watch’s dictation features instead.

Strava (free; with in-app purchases)

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While you’ll need the iPhone app running to make use of it, Strava for Apple Watch gives you real-time stats on your workout activity.

You can view segment-by-segment updates and details of your workout, including heart-rate information, to help improve your routine. The app will even award you a little trophy if you set a personal record, which is genuinely quite satisfying.

Shazam (free; with in-app purchases)

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If you’ve never used Shazam before, it’s a cool programme that listens out for music then tells you what the song is. Now all you need to do is wave your wrist when you hear something you can’t identify to get Shazam to do its work.

As well as details on the song and artist, it also pulls down the lyrics for you – all in a matter of seconds. You can also use the app to purchase songs you hear via iTunes.

Evernote (free)

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Evernote is, quite possibly, the best notation app around.

On the Apple Watch, you can see your Evernote notifications, dictate a quick note and set reminders for events. You can also bring up old notes using the app’s voice-search feature – great for recalling stored information on the go.

Hole19 (free)

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If you’re into golf, Hole19 is a must-have app. It’s already one of the most impressive, comprehensive apps on the iPhone – but it’s arguably even more useful on the Apple Watch.

Although it doesn’t display as much data as its smartphone counterpart, it makes things like checking your score as simple as raising your wrist. Simply putt, Hole 19 is an essential app for any Apple Watch owning golfers.

Peak (free; with in-app purchases)

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Featuring vibrant and often addictive tasks, Peak is already one of the best brain-training apps on the iPhone, and is now available on the Apple Watch too.

The games are simple and quick to complete, meaning they’re well suited to a smartwatch – and offer a great way of keeping your thinking sharp. What’s more, Peak was created by a small team of neuroscientists and designers, so it’s likely to have some real benefits. Get playing!

Uber (free)

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Uber for Apple Watch lets you request rides with a single tap and monitor the progress of your drive without needing to reach for your iPhone.

While it’s rather basic, it provides you with all the information you need about your booked Uber. In one snapshot, you’ll see the estimated arrival time of your driver, as well as a photo of him/her, their rating, and the number plate of the vehicle.

Slack (free)

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Slack has become one of the most popular team communication tools out there, and is a useful addition to your wrist arsenal.

The streamlined app strips down Slack to direct mentions and messages, so there’s no need to scroll through your entire feed. You can reply with predefined answers through Siri or using emojis.

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