Smartwatches that run on ‘Wear OS’ are mostly the ones that give users the optimum convenience one would look for in any gadget. Not only will they tell you what time it is, but they can also be your overall companion throughout the day. Through different Wear OS apps that you can install, smartwatches elevate your lifestyle by providing you a way to access much-needed apps right on your wrist. However, Wear OS smartwatches can only hold a considerably fewer number of apps than smartphones. With that in mind, we are narrowing down your choices for the Wear OS apps that you should get.
In this article, we’ll be looking at the best Wear OS apps to have for your smartwatches that will surely help make your life easier. Note that these apps may or may not require a companion app on your smartphone.
What is Wear OS?
Simply put, Wear OS by Google is Google’s operating system for Android smartwatches. It’s a system that allows the developer to bring everything that everyone loves about Android to Wear OS devices. Wear OS by Google has gone through changes in the past years which have significantly improved its performance as a system for wearable devices.
You’ll find Wear OS by Google on smartwatches such as the Fossil smartwatches, Ticwatch, and Skagen.
Devices that run on Wear OS will have Google apps such as Google Assistant integrated into them. You can ideally use most Android apps on a Wear OS device provided that they are compatible with the operating system.
What Can Wear OS do?
Wear OS devices or smartwatches in general, acts as a second screen for your phone but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can do everything from your smartwatch. That said, here are a couple of things that you can expect to perform on Wear OS by Google device.
- Use Google Apps such as Google Assistant and Google Pay
- Install apps
- Customize watch faces
- Play music
- Stay connected
These are just some of the things that you can do on a Wear OS device. However, keep in mind that features may vary depending on the device itself and the version of the OS that you have.
25 Best Wear OS Apps for Smartwatches
While you can ideally install most apps on a smartwatch, here’s a quick guide to some of the best apps that are not only Wear OS-compatible but also very useful to have.
First up on the list is Spotify, one of the world’s highly regarded music streaming app. Notably, Spotify is also one of the best Wear OS apps to have because it allows you to stream your favorite tunes without the need to open or access your phone. It gives you the same uninterrupted listening experience without the need to use your phone just to access the app. You can control everything including volume directly from your smartwatch. What’s more interesting is that you can also access and create playlists, skim through your recently played songs, and even browse through your music library using the seemingly tiny screen of smartwatches.
Another must-have Wear OS app is Calm. The app provides users with ways to achieve a calm mind with sleep and mediation. It refreshes the psyche using meditation lessons that are perfect when you need a routine to help you meditate. The app also gives you a full meditation experience that you can access on your wrist. You’ll get guided exercises, meditation sessions, and even a 10-minute program to help you suit up for bedtime. It’s great for professionals and students who are looking to squeeze in a bit of meditation in-between their daily hustles. Moreover, it’s a useful add-on for those who yearn to have better sleep after a tiring, long day.
Bring! is a simple and straightforward grocery shopping list app that’s perfect for those who don’t want to waste any paper just to write down their list of necessities. You can easily list down whatever you need and you can even track your progress while you shop. It has a great layout that would surely appeal to most users. While there are a lot of note-taking apps in the market, Bring! offers a fresher layout and a format that you can use strictly for making lists.
4. Google Keep
Google Keep made it on the list of best Wear OS apps simply because of its functionality. Moreover, it’s one of the apps that most Android users will already have on their phones. It’s a convenient app to have for jotting down important notes, tracking your thoughts, and even making general to-do lists. Many Android users love Google Keep because they can easily sync the app with their other Android devices. Further, you can also use Google Keep on smartwatches to transcribe important notes as you speak for faster and easier note-taking.
5. Google Pay
One of the best Wear OS apps to date would have to be Google Pay. It allows for faster, easier, and cashless transactions whenever you’re out shopping. All you have to do is to position your watch near the terminal to pay for whatever you purchase. Gone are the days when you have to fish for your wallet or purse from your bag or pockets. Updated versions of Google Pay will even let you send and receive money, as well as store loyalty cards and boarding passes among others. Do note that your smartwatch will need to be NFC-enabled to be able to use Google Pay for your transactions; otherwise, you won’t be able to use your apps for payments.
ParKing is one of the best Wear OS apps to have because it’s simple and very useful. With this app, you’ll be able to record where you parked your car so you don’t have to spend time looking for it when you’re done doing your errands. Using the app is straightforward since all you have to do is to run the app and press the ‘Car’ button to log the vehicle’s location. After that, you can shop at ease knowing that you won’t have to spend time looking for your vehicle afterward. The map looks very simple and you won’t have a hard time navigating through it.
7.) Google Fit
There are a lot of fitness apps that are compatible with Wear OS but arguably, Google Fit is among the best. The app might not have been stellar when it was first released on Wear OS, but it has gone through significant changes since its first launch. It tracks everything from your daily steps, runs, and workouts. Its clean interface will show snippets of data such as the calories, minutes, and steps without being too hard on the eyes. Further, it’s the perfect fit for any Wear OS device as both are developed by Google.
Smartwatches are great companions for traveling because they’re compact and always available to give you directions without having to take your phone out of your bag. Citymapper is one of those Wear OS apps that can come in handy if you need directions or transport instructions. You’ll be able to access offline maps that you can use to get to your destination. In addition, the app can be used on any means of transportation including taxis, buses, trains, and even ferries. It’s a great app for travelers and locals alike who need alternative means of transport to get to their target destination.
9. App in the Air
App in the Air is an app that frequent flyers will find extremely functional. The app provides you with all your necessary flight details including your real-time boarding and flight status. Another great feature of the app is that it works offline so you won’t have to worry about wasting battery life while using the app. Moreover, the app also provides you with airport tips and maps that might come in handy if you’re running late for a flight. App in the Air works offline and is a great companion for frequent flyers who are looking for a handy app that will help them manage their travels.
Accuweather is an app that might not need an introduction as it’s one of the most renowned weather apps in the market to date. The interface is very simple and lacks some of the features that the phone version possesses such as multi-location support. However, it does provide you with data for your present location on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis. In all, it’s a no-frills weather app that will provide you with what you need. Despite its simplicity and lack of certain features, it’s still one of those Wear OS apps that’s great to have especially if you’re one who spends more time outside or travels a lot.
Uber is a popular ride-hailing service app that you would want to have on your Wear OS device. The app lets you call a ride and check your ride status. In general, the app serves its purpose as a ride-hailing app without having any trouble. It’s very simple to use and serves its purpose just well. However, expect that it will not function in the same capacity as the phone app does. Nonetheless, if your Wear OS device has LTE, you won’t have to pair the Wear OS app to your phone anymore; you can call for a car right on the device.
12. Sleep as Android
Sleep as Android is a great sleep-tracking app to have on your Wear OS device. Contrary to other apps, this one is dedicated to making sure that you sleep well by using your sleeping patterns. The app helps you optimize your wake-up time, tracks your sleep cycles, and analyzes your sleeping habits. The app also helps to wake you up at the best time possible to ensure that you got the best of your sleep and you start your day well. It’s a great app to have if you’re looking for something that’s solely for sleep tracking.
- 13. Lifesum
The Wear OS version of the Lifesum app is great for those who want to keep track of their calorie intakes. As expected, this version doesn’t have the full functionality of the phone app and most of its features can’t be accessed as well. However, you’ll still get to check your calorie intake and see how many calories you have left for the day. It’s not as detailed as the phone version but if you just want to monitor your daily calories, the Wear OS app might just be the one for you.
Recording on your phones can be a hassle sometimes and it can even cause trouble if you’re looking to be discreet. But if you have a smartwatch, that won’t be an issue with the help of Recordr. With this app, you can easily record or grab the audio that you want and it will be transferred to your phones. You can also easily transfer them to a storage app such as Dropbox or Drive. This is a helpful app for students who need to jot down notes for class or for professionals who want to capture meeting discussions for future references.
This fun app allows you to link together apps to perform correlated actions. IFTTT stands for “If This Then That” and it allows users to create applets to perform specific actions. For example, you can set a rule that ‘IF’ you upload a photo on Instagram, ‘THEN’ it will also be saved to your Google Drive. It helps you do two tasks in one with less effort. The app becomes handier if you have certain tasks that you need to do after one of them goes off. It saves energy and effort, giving the user more time to be productive.
16. Zombies, Run!
While Google Fit is already on the list, Zombies, Run! deserves a bit of recognition as well. It’s one of those Wear OS apps that combines trivial tasks with fun elements that will inspire you to do them. This app is especially helpful if you want to go for a run but couldn’t just find the drive to do so. It will track your running segments and will use your progress to gauge whether you’re ready to move on with the story or not. Zombies, Run! will turn your basic run into a zombie survival story, complete with missions that will surely get you up and run for your life.
17. Google Maps
Looking for a fast way to navigate? Google Maps has got you covered. It’s easily one of the best Wear OS apps to have as it’s considered to be the best navigation app for smartwatches. While other apps will have significant differences with their phone counterparts, Google Maps has almost the same functionality available on the Wear OS app. You’ll have access to directions, local business names, and even possible transportation options. However, the app is more recommended to use for walking, since looking at your wrist would be quite dangerous especially if you’re driving.
While dating apps would be the least you’d expect to find in a list of Wear OS apps, Tinder is an exemption. Tinder is one of the only dating apps available on Wear OS and coincidentally, it makes matching easier and more discreet. With the ability to access the app on your wrist, it’s much easier to find and swipe right to matches without worrying about the people around you. It offers the same functions as the phone version and it isn’t difficult to use. All you have to do is to boot the app and you’ll be able to find your matches.
19. Podcast Republic
If you’re a fan of listening to podcasts, Podcast Republic is an app that you would want on your Wear OS device. The app features a variety of video and audio podcasts with syncing support, SD card support, and automated downloads among others. Like most Wear OS apps, the app doesn’t function at the same capacity as its phone version, but it still delivers great podcasts. The free version of the app contains ads and purchasing the paid version will remove the advertisements. But apart from that, there’s not much of a difference whether you opt for the paid version or not. It’s one of the very few Wear OS apps that are dedicated to podcasts and it’s a must-have for podcast lovers.
LookBehind is a Wear OS app that allows users to sync their phone’s camera and watch to create a remote camera that’s accessible from your wrist. You can access most of your camera settings on your smartwatch including zoom, flash, and rotation. Moreover, it also shows you the phone’s battery life so that you’ll know if you need to charge it. It’s a handy app to have if you’re looking for something in the dark. Note that the LookBehind is a paid app and is not available for free.
21. Calculator for Wear OS
It’s no brainer that a calculator is a must-have on your smartwatch. Calculator for Wear OS is a no-frills app that does exactly what it promises to do. It’s an easy-to-use calculator with a simple layout and easy to hit buttons despite the small size of the smartwatch. In addition, the app also has a scientific calculator that you can use for more complex equations. In all, it’s an app that serves its purpose and is one of the best Wear OS apps to have on your smartwatch.
If you’re looking for a safe messaging app for your smartwatch, look no further than Telegram. It’s one of the most popular instant messaging apps in the market for its simplicity, reliability, and security across all platforms. Telegram allows users to view chats, send messages, and even take audio messages with their smartwatches. Further, it’s also a great app to have if you’re looking for one that doesn’t charge you for sending messages. As long as you’re connected to Wi-Fi or have your data on, you’ll be able to send messages via Telegram.
If you’re fond of learning but have to do it on-the-go, Duolingo is the Wear OS app for you. With this app, you’ll be able to learn Japanese, German, French, and Spanish among other languages and you’ll be able to do so without even using your phone. While the features of the Wear OS app might be a bit subpar as compared to the features of the phone version, you’ll still have access to basic learning tools such as flashcards. Overall, it’s one of those Wear OS apps that’s great to have if you’re looking to kill some time or simply if you want to learn a new language while you’re on-the-go.
24. Seven Minute Workout
While you have apps such as Google Fit to help you keep track of your workouts, Seven Minute Workout provides you with quick seven-minute guided workout sessions that will help you stay in shape even if you don’t have the luxury of time. However, the Wear OS app isn’t tailor-made for the hardcore fitness buffs as you’ll only be able to access easy workouts with the app. Nonetheless, the app will suffice if you just want to go through basic circuits and exercises before starting work.
25. Healthy Recipes
Looking for an easy way to cook without having to look at your phone or tablet? Then having the Healthy Recipes app on your smartwatch is a great alternative if you need cooking guidance without messing up your handheld devices. The app gives you complete instructions, complete with images to further simplify your cooking sessions. It also lessens the potential danger of having your phone or tablet damaged while cooking as you’ll only need to look at your wrist from time-to-time. Healthy Recipes is a great Wear OS app for those who don’t want to use handheld gadgets while cooking something in the kitchen.
Setting Up Your Wear OS Apps
Now that you’ve settled for an app that you want to have on your smartwatch, the next thing to do is to download it and set it up. In that regard, we’ve compiled a quick and easy guide to help you out with the basics of setting up your Wear OS apps on your smartwatch.
1. How to Download Wear OS Apps?
Before downloading an app, you need to make sure that you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network. If you haven’t done so during setup, simply head to Settings > Connectivity > Wi-Fi on your watch to sort it out.
There are two ways to go about downloading an app: the first is through the watch itself and the second is through a computer.
To download from your smartwatch, all you have to do is to open the Play Store and choose the app that you want to download. Just tap on the app and you’re good to go.
If you’re using a computer, you will have to send it to your phone first before you can install it on your watch. However, this only happens for devices that haven’t been updated to Wear OS 2.0 or above. You won’t have to worry about it if you have an updated watch.
2. How to Install Wear OS Apps?
For smartwatches that run on Wear OS 2.0 and above, all you have to do is to browse for the app on Play Store and simply tap on the ‘Install’ button. The app should run after the installation process.
For those with smartwatches that run on lower versions of Wear OS, you will have to install the app on your phone first before moving them to your smartwatch.
To do this, head to the Play Store on your smartwatch and look for the ‘Apps on Your Phone’ menu on the front screen. From there, you can install the Wear OS-compatible apps on your smartwatch from your phone.
3. How to Remove Wear OS Apps?
If you find that certain Wear OS apps are taking up too much space or if you don’t need the app anymore, it’s time to remove it from your smartwatch.
To do this, head to the Play Store app on your smartwatch and head to ‘My Apps’. From there, all you have to do is to tap on the app, scroll to the bottom of the menu, and tap ‘Uninstall’.
The best Wear OS apps are always subject to the needs of the users. There will be apps that are very useful to someone but won’t work the same wonders with others. Basically, choose an app that will help satisfy your needs as a user and will help you with your everyday hustle. Always remember that not all Android apps will be compatible with Wear OS, so it’s always important to check with the Play Store first for their list of compatible apps to not waste your time and effort.