If you own a Wear OS smartwatch you’ll want to fill it with the best apps around, so we’ve put together a selection of the top choices on the Google Play Store right now.
The selection of apps ahead of you is growing everyday and many have improved since the introduction of Android Wear 2.0 in 2017, which brought new features to a great selection of watches.
Since then, Google has rebranded Android Wear as Wear OS and while the selection of apps has continued to grow we’ve seen the company gently updating all of its existing watches to the new name. Whether you own a Huawei Watch 2, an LG Watch Style or even a Misfit Vapor or any other Wear OS watch, this list will give you the best selection of apps you can use to fly the flag of Google’s wearable OS.
To help you avoid the real junk on Google’s Wear OS platform, we’ve picked 15 of our favorites for you to download – so let’s get started.
- Check out our selection of the best Wear OS smartwatches
- Look at the best Wear OS faces you can download right now
- Read our how to master Wear OS guide too
Avoiding the fiddliness of using Google Maps for directions from your Wear watch, Citymapper is a great pick. It lets you navigate straight to the Home and Work locations you’ve already specified in the mobile app, not to mention track any more complicated journeys already planned out in the app.
It means no more having to pull your phone out every 20ft just to check you’ve not missed a turn off. It’ll also make you look much less like a tourist when you’re trundling around the streets of a big city.
- Runtastic Pro
- $4.99 (£4.99, about AU$8.63)
A clearly laid-out, easy to read running app for joggers who don’t like fiddling with their phone but who also don’t like the complication that some dedicated running watches present.
Features include one-tap operation, start and stop with voice commands and easily viewable time, distance and calorie stats. Over 40 million registered users are ready to be out-healthed by you.
- Google Pay
One of the most useful aspects of Wear OS is its payment system. Google Pay can be installed on a variety of Wear OS products, but you may want to triple check before you download it that your watch is compatible.
You’ll need NFC on your watch to be able to use this, and if you have it you’ll find it so simple to tap your watch on a contactless payment reader and not have to deal with cash anymore.
- How to use Google Pay on your Wear OS watch
It may look like a complicated name, but IFTTT stands for “If This Then That”. It lets you link your ‘Channels’ – i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Gmail etc – by creating ‘Recipes’.
So, for instance, you can set things up so when you like an Instagram photo it’s instantly saved to your Dropbox. You can do this, get alerts and more straight from your Wear OS device
- Free (premium service is available)
The most popular cycling app around, we imagine any keen cyclists out there will probably already have tried this hit.
There’s now also a Wear add-on. What this does is let your Wear watch act a bit like a cycle computer, telling you how long you’ve been riding and how fast you’re going. Buy yourself a handlebar mount and you’re there.
You do still need to take your phone out on rides, though, as this is a classic ‘second screen’ app.
Golf anyone? Hole19 is a comprehensive Android golf assistant that itself is extremely helpful.
Given that taking your phone out on the course is a big no-no, you’ll be better off making use of the distance to the pin (using your mobile’s GPS) and scoring features on your smartwatch.
The popular cab hailing app is on Wear OS and allows you to order a taxi directly from your wrist. If you don’t want to get your phone out of your pocket you can just do it all from your watch instead.
It’s also useful to keep track of where your taxi is, plus it’ll give you updates on the price and estimated arrival time when you’re on the journey itself. This is a must-have Android Wear app for anyone who uses Uber to get around.
- Google Fit
Google Fit is a great fitness app, especially if you’re not just into running.
Strava and RunTastic Pro – previously highlighted in this list – specialize in speedily putting one foot in front of the other, while Google Fit is more useful for those interested in biking and walking (though it can track runs as well).
It has an easy to use interface and will display all of your fitness data on your wrist at the touch of a button. You can also connect Google Fit with a variety of other mobile fitness apps as well such as MyFitnessPal or LifeSum.
This is only suitable if you have a Nest product at home, but if you have a Nest Learning Thermostat this is a must-have on your Wear OS watch.
You can control your home heating directly from your wrist. If you want to get home to a lovely warm house while you’re riding back on the bus, you can just turn your heating on from your Android Wear watch. This is living the tech dream.
You know the deal: swipe right to like, left to pass, like a horny modern day Roman Emperor. But what you might not know is that the phenomenon that is Tinder and Wear OS is a match made in heaven.
Just say “Start Tinder” to start swiping, send messages and view profiles all from the privacy of your wrist.
The likelihood is you have a Gmail account whether it’s for personal use or business, but you should set up the app on your wrist to make sure you’re always seeing your emails on time.
It means you won’t need to take your phone out of your pocket every time your phone buzzes. This is by far the best email client on Android and having it on your wrist makes it much easier to control.
One app we can imagine being useful for just about every Android Wear owner is TripAdvisor. Just like the mobile app, it lets you search for nearby restaurants, attractions and hotels.
Sure it cuts down the phone app experience a bit, but still lets you flick through 25 entries for each of those categories, and even check out the scores and review summaries for each place.
Like all the best Wear apps, it doesn’t feel like it chucks you out to the mobile phone app as soon as you try to do anything a bit more involved.
One of the best messaging clients is Facebook’s Messenger app. Anyone you’re friends with on Facebook is instantly available with this service and you’ll be alerted immediately on the Android Wear app when they send you a message.
You can also send messages, and even dictate your messages rather than typing them out, but you may only want to do this when in private rather than talking to your watch in public.
- Google Keep
There are many great note apps on the market, but few are as good as Google Keep.
You can make to-do lists, notes and reminders in all forms, shapes and sizes. Just say “OK Google, take a note” and then dictate what you want the app to enter.
You can put images into your notes within the Android app, but you won’t be able to do that on an Android Wear watch. You’ll still get notifications with reminders to your wrist.
Spotify is finally on Android Wear, and it was one of the most anticipated apps ever for the platform. At one stage we even included a third-party Spotify player on this list so you could listen to your tracks on your favorite streaming service.
Spotify’s official app is a much better choice though, and gives you access to your now playing feed as well as all the functions you’d expect such as skip, forward and pause.
You can even choose your playlists directly from your wrist, so you won’t need to take your phone out of your pocket to switch tracks.