The value of an app on the Apple Watch isn’t defined by the app itself, but by its complication in the watch faces. We generally use the Apple Watch to quickly see information on it and collect information in the background (steps, heart rate…). So it’s especially useful when an app has a handy complication to make it useful to us at a glance when we raise our wrist.
From time to time, I like to do a general review of the watchOS App Store and test out the new apps that come out, with a particular focus on their complications. What are the best? It depends on what each needs. For some people, what Apple offers by default is more than enough, for others who want more, there are many options in the App Store.
Apple Watch apps to try
After testing a number of apps and their respective complications, I’ve compiled a total of 13 of the most interesting ones. The value of a complication is that it isn’t a simple button that serves as direct access to the app, rather it displays relevant information to the user. Here are thirteen examples:
All the Rings: An app that we have analyzed extensively in Applesfera. As we saw then, the grace of this app on the Apple Watch is that not only does it highlight the progress towards closing the three rings, but it also notifies you when you have completed the standing minute or not at the current time. It works very well with virtually all complications and is very customizable, my favorite being the XL.
Better Day: An app designed just for Apple Watch and its complications that is the most customizable when it comes to displaying data on Apple Watch. There are so many options and possibilities that it is worth trying them out for yourself rather than listing them.
Cardiogram: This app is not only ideal for analyzing the heart rate on the Apple Watch, but also for seeing in its complication how high our current or last measured heart rate is. An option that Apple’s default app doesn’t offer. I personally like the circles on the modular sphere as their progress bar also shows how high or low our heart rate is.
Carrot: Lots of options to customize the app’s complications and lots of information to view. Carrot is not only the boldest app when it comes to offering weather information, it is also the most complete. We analyzed it extensively in Applesfera.
Citymapper: Detailed information about routes and public transport in major cities. The various Citymapper complications are particularly interesting as they display real-time information about the route we are taking.
Awesome: My favorite app for managing calendars on iOS, macOS and watchOS. Fantastical has very good complications for the Apple Watch, since we can customize it and see what the current or upcoming event is on the calendar, for example through colors.
Focus: When you want to focus and be more productive, one of the most effective techniques is the pomodoro. Focus is a tool specifically designed for this, which we analyzed earlier in Applesfera. Your Apple Watch complication shows the time remaining in your current Focus session.
Just press record: this complication doesn’t follow the “show relevant info” rule, it’s just a shortcut to the app. But it’s a much more useful access than the others because as soon as you click the button, the app opens and starts recording. This is essential in a voice recording app when you want to capture something quickly and not miss it.
Pillow: My favorite sleep monitoring app thanks to its simple and efficient interface. Its Apple Watch complication shows us the sleep quality of the last session/night slept.
Streaks: This app is best for habit tracking thanks to its integration with Apple Health. The Apple Watch app is very complete and also allows you to customize the complications, for example to see the next habit to complete, a list of all or small dots that indicate the status of each individual habit.
Things: What else can be said about a task manager that you can’t fault. Its app for the Apple Watch is one of the most sophisticated and its complication shows us a circle that fills up as we complete today’s pending tasks.
WaterMinder: WaterMinder is a very simple app: we define the water goal to drink per day and then we complete it. In the Apple Watch complication we can see how we achieve our daily goal.
Zero: If you practice intermittent fasting, this app is very useful on iOS, recently analyzed by our colleagues from Vitónica. Your complication will indicate a small circle that will fully close upon the completion of the current fasting session.
One last trick is to use a few different bullets. The most versatile of all for me is Modular Infogram, I have several of these depending on the time of day or activity. A work sphere with productivity complications like Things and Focus, another sphere for sports with complications like All The Rings and Cardiogram, a nighttime app with Pillow and Streaks…
image | Jason L