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The best Samsung Galaxy Watch apps
The Samsung smartwatch ecosystem is one of the more established wearable platforms. Now led by the Galaxy Watch 6 series, Samsung’s wearable lineup packs many features for health tracking, customization, and more. A fair sum of Galaxy Watch apps are available to install on the Samsung Galaxy Store and Google Play Store, depending on which watch you own. Whether you want to improve your fitness or control your army of smart home gadgets, these are the best Samsung Galaxy Watch apps available.
The first part of this article focuses on Galaxy Watch 6, Galaxy Watch 5, and Galaxy Watch 4 apps you can grab from the Play Store. Or, scroll on to find Tizen apps for the Galaxy Watch 3, original Galaxy Watch, Galaxy Watch Active 2, and Galaxy Watch Active.
The best Samsung Galaxy Watch apps for Wear OS
Price: Free / In-app purchases
C25K’s claim to fame is its two-month program, which aims to help couch potatoes become regular runners. Like the Fitbit app, the Wear OS layout is simple. The app will display the workout day you’re currently on. You can also select another day’s program using the menu. While plenty of other fitness apps are out there, we enjoy C25K’s no-fuss layout, especially on Wear OS.
Plenty of Wear OS watch faces are available on the Play Store, but what if you want to build your own? Facer is a popular Wear OS app that does just that, giving users access to a healthy list of pre-made watch faces or tools to build their own.
If you love Bixby, you can keep scrolling. For everyone else, Google Assistant has become a must-have feature on the newer Samsung Galaxy Watch lines. Quickly query your watch for restaurants nearby, directions to that restaurant, and a reminder of the reservation all from your wrist using your voice. While Assistant still leaves plenty to be desired on Wear OS and is known for being a battery hog, we still feel it’s worth having on your wrist just in case your phone is out of reach.
After launching the Pixel Watch, Google made its Home app available across all Wear OS smartwatches. Like the smartphone version, Google Home on the watch lets you control devices on your smart home network, like Nest speakers, thermostats, and the like. It’s currently in public preview, so functionality isn’t as granular as expected. We still feel it’s worth having on your Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 or 4, especially if you own Google smart home or compatible products.
Gaining access to your notes from your wrist is incredibly useful. Google Keep streamlines this process on Wear OS, syncing with your phone and web scribbles. You can also add notes directly from the Galaxy Watch using the wearable’s keyboard, handwriting recognition, or your voice. The latter is especially useful if you cannot type on your watch while on the go.
Price: Free / ~$2.88 per month / ~€5.76 per month
An essential Wear OS app if you regularly yearn for a hike. Outdooractive lets you search for nearby trails using your Galaxy Watch 5 or 4’s GPS and lets you download any trail routes you want to keep. When you are out hiking, you can call up one of those saved trails. The app also provides turn-by-turn navigation, current elevation, and GPS coordinates.
Smartwatches often display phone notifications, but what if you wanted to change or view your phone’s settings? SimpleWear is an innocuous little app you probably didn’t know you needed. It effectively acts as an information and settings relay for your phone, mirroring the battery life status of your phone on your watch. It also enables quick settings toggles, including sound profile, Wi-Fi, location, phone lock, and more. It can also be set as a tile, adding to its utility.
Sofascore’s an absolutely essential app for sports lovers. Check upcoming fixtures for various sports as well as live scores and results. We love the app’s simplicity on Wear OS, feeding users the right amount of information without clogging up the display.
Soundcloud is a great platform for free music if you don’t want to fork out on a Spotify Premium or YouTube Music Premium subscription. It now has a dedicated Wear OS app that gives you access to your favorite music, created playlists, and a “For Your Workout” section that lists uptempo curated playlists. There’s no download functionality and the app’s stuttery when swiping through sections, but expect the experience to improve. As a first attempt, the app’s well worth adding to your app collection.
Price: Free / Premium Spotify account required for some features
If you have a Spotify Premium subscription, installing the Wear OS app on your wrist is a no-brainer. You can download tracks and podcasts to the Galaxy Watch 5 and 4 and beam them to your wireless earbuds if you pay for the service. The Spotify Wear OS app offers easy access to your “heavy rotation” artists, playlists, and podcasts, and also lets you broadcast the playing tracks to other speakers or devices.
Price: Free / $7.99 per month / $59.99 per year
Strava is one of the best-known fitness apps out there and a must-have if you’re into multisport. The app records many activities, from runs to bike rides to swims, and a host of additional statistics, metrics, and real-time data. Don’t like training alone? Strava has a host of social features baked in, too. If you’re not too serious about working up a swear, Samsung’s native Health app and your imagination should do just fine, but Strava does help when it comes to keeping up a routine.
Wear Gesture Launcher
Although it’s no longer under active development, this app still has plenty to offer Galaxy Watch 5 and 4 users. Wear Gesture Launcher lets users map different apps to letters or shapes drawn on the watch face. This lets you bypass the crowded app drawer on Wear OS 3 and go directly to an app you’ve set a shortcut to. Operation is swift, but the learning curve isn’t completely flat. You’ll need to remember where you’ve placed the launcher’s hot zone on the display to activate it, too.
Meta finally rolled out a Wear OS WhatsApp build in 2023, bringing your group chats and personal conversations to your wrists. It isn’t completely seamless and loading chats from your paired device takes a while. Nevertheless, it’s now easier to quickly reply to messages than ever before. You can also view images sent over WhatsApp on your watch and start new chats with users on your contact list.
This nifty app turns your Samsung Galaxy Watch into a HID Bluetooth wireless mouse. WowMouse lets you control items on supported devices, including iPads, Android phones, and Windows machines. It’s a fairly useful app when the situation demands it, but not everyone will explicitly need it. It’s a nifty app to add to your wrist, but it is fairly expensive for what you get.
The best Samsung Galaxy Watch apps for Tizen
A calculator on your wrist is super handy. While perhaps not an essential app, Samsung’s Calculator app does allow users to complete basic mathematic functions on the run. The app also has a built-in tip calculator, making calculating dinner time overheads easier. It’s an extremely lightweight app, too, so it’s well worth the install.
Customization is part of the smartwatch experience, so an app that allows you access to various styles is a must. Facer does just that. Established as a Wear OS app, Facer is also available to Samsung Galaxy watch users and provides similar functionality. The app allows users to tweak various elements of their watch face, sample a bevy of designs from other users, and create their faces if they’re so inclined. Facer requires a companion app for Samsung watches and the primary app for Android phones.
Here WeGo is the most popular mapping app on the Samsung Galaxy Store. The app provides watch users a real-time, interactive map with audio navigation and alerts. Offline maps support also makes Here WeGo an excellent companion for tourists, while traffic info lets you better understand how long a taxi across town may take. Although it’s not quite Google Maps and lacks that social aspect, Here WeGo is an excellent navigation app in a pinch for the Galaxy watch.
Under Armour’s MapMyRun is another quintessential app for regular runners. While it does lack the versatility of Strava, it provides specific and acute details catering to runners. This includes real-time stats. MapMyRun uses the Samsung Galaxy watch’s onboard GPS to compute distance traveled and pace, too. Heart rate monitoring, a live map, and goal-setting smarts add to the experience.
Shake Launcher quickly transforms shake gestures into shortcuts to load apps on your Samsung Galaxy watch. Although it’s a paid app, it adds a pretty smart interaction level to the watch. Shake Launcher lets users launch set apps after several predetermined wrist shakes. These movements can be anything from one shake up to 10. The app can also function when the screen is off, and a delay can also be added to ensure you don’t open the same app continuously. It’s great if you hate navigating your display or want to launch key apps quickly.
Samsung SmartThings is a must-have app for those who own other Samsung smart home devices. For instance, air conditioner owners can adjust the thermostat from their wrists. Those who own Samsung washing machines can get a real-time status update on the washing cycle. SmartThings lets users control the brand’s smart TVs and command smart lights. The app turns your Samsung Galaxy watch into a mobile command center.
Price: Free / Premium Spotify account required for some features
As one of the most popular music streaming services, Spotify may be one of the most obvious installs for Samsung Galaxy Watch users. The service has a capable wrist app, too. Premium users can download tracks and podcasts to the watch and stream them to wireless earphones. It’s a perfect combination for those who like catching up on charts while running or doing chores around the house. Of course, you need to pay for a Spotify membership to download tracks and peruse the full library, but this app might make it worthwhile.
Strava is an incredibly versatile app for your Samsung Galaxy watch. It tracks several physical activities, from cycling to running, hiking, or swimming. Strava also provides more acute details of those activities, allowing more serious users insight into their training regimes. If you want to get fit, it also adds context to your experience by providing average speed, distance, and other indicating factors. Although Samsung already has its own Health app, Strava is an excellent addition for more serious users.
Voice Recorder lets users quickly record bright ideas when a phone or a writing pad aren’t nearby. It uses the Samsung Galaxy Watch’s microphone to record brief audio snippets. Activate the app, hold the watch to your mouth, and speak to it. You can tap the stop button if complete or pause if you’re interrupted. If you’re worried about occupying storage space on your phone, the app will offload the data to your Samsung phone when possible.
Wrist Flashlight is as simple as apps get. As its name suggests, it turns your Samsung Galaxy watch into a torch or accent light. It’s excellent if you need dim light to navigate dark areas or alert motorists of your presence while on a nighttime run. Unlike other torch apps for Galaxy watches, Wrist Flashlight can also glow red, orange, or blue, along with the more traditional white. Brightness can also be adjusted using the watch bezel or display so you don’t blind fellow passengers or yourself during nighttime flights.