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The best Wear OS apps (formerly Android Wear apps) for your watch (July 2021)
Wear OS may not be turning the heads that many of us envisioned it would, but it competes pretty well with the Apple Watch platform. It still has a lot of work ahead of it, but some decent apps are available right now. To help you fill out your wearable experience, we’ve rounded up the best Wear OS apps.
For this list, we focused on apps made specifically for Wear OS. You should definitely check the apps you already use to see if they support Wear OS before switching to one of these.
Don’t miss: Wear OS buyer’s guide: What you need to know
The best Wear OS apps
Price: Free / Up to $2.99
AccuWeather was one of the first weather apps with Wear OS support. The app handles all the basics, including current temperature, forecast, radar, weather alerts (US only), and smaller stats like humidity, wind speed, etc. It works well on both Wear OS and your mobile device. There aren’t a lot of downsides. Note that the free version has advertising, but you can pay for the pro version to remove it. Otherwise, both versions are basically the same.
Price: Free / $14.95 per month
Audiobooks.com is one of the bigger audiobook apps, and it has a nice Wear OS app. It features a collection of over 100,000 audiobooks, over 7,000 of which are free selections. Other features include variable read speeds, Android Auto support, and Wear OS support, of course. The service costs $14.95 per month. You get one free audiobook with an option to purchase more at a discounted rate. We’re not a huge fan of subscription book services, but this one does work well on the platform.
Bring Grocery Shopping List
Bring is a shopping list app. The app comes with a good design, plenty of options, and Wear OS support. You can make separate lists for separate activities. In addition, it uses a card and tile layout. It feels fresher than most other grocery app lists. There are plenty of note-taking apps on Wear OS, but this one is very charming. It’s also free to download with no in-app purchases or ads. Google Keep is another great app for this kind of stuff, or if you need a more general note-taking app.
Calculator by Xlythe
Price: Free / $2.99
Calculator by Xlythe is an expanded version of the stock Android calculator app. It handles the basics like arithmetic and some algebra. The app also includes some graphic calculator functionality, an equation history, and, of course, Wear OS support. It also looks a lot like the stock app. The Wear OS version is a little cramped, but it functions perfectly fine. Additionally, this app is open source in case you ever want to see what makes it tick. It’s pretty good when it comes to calculator apps. However, it’s arguably the best calculator for Wear OS. The premium version goes for $2.99.
Google Maps is another easy pick for the best Wear OS apps. It’s probably the best navigation app on the platform and definitely the best navigation app on a smartwatch platform. You’ll find most of the same features as the smartphone version; that includes directions, local business information, and a lot more. Admittedly, it’s a little difficult to follow directions on your wrist while driving. We encourage our readers to exercise the utmost caution while using this app on the road. We have no doubt it’ll continue to improve both in general and on Wear OS.
NavMusic is an excellent local music player for Wear OS. It lets you download music straight to your Wear OS device and stream it to Bluetooth headphones while offline from the Internet. It has controls for play, pause, skip, and seek, support for Bluetooth controls, playlist support, sorting, and search functionality. It won’t blow your socks off, and it’s not super in-depth like some Android music players, but it’s definitely more than enough to jam out with your wrist. The developer has a few excellent Wear OS apps, including Nav Explorer, NavCasts, Nav Fit, and a few Wear OS watch faces.
Price: Free / Up to $4.99
Podcast Republic is one of the few podcast apps on Wear OS. It features a large library of both video and audio podcasts. It also includes automated downloads, multiple playlists, syncing support, multiple language support, and SD card support. There is even theming. The Wear OS version of the app isn’t quite as robust, but that’s okay — it still works pretty well. The free version contains advertising, and the paid version does not. That’s about the only difference between the two. Wear Casts is another compelling option if you want more control over your Wear OS device.
Price: Free / $0.99 per month / $10.99 once
Pulse SMS is among the best texting apps available. Wear OS has cursory SMS support, but Pulse SMS allows for support between your phone, computer, and watch. It is the only SMS app to our knowledge with support for all three platforms. It also features a decent design, snooze notifications, GIF support, archiving, denylisting, schedule messages, dual-SIM support, and more. You can use the phone app for free. Getting support for other platforms involves either a subscription service or a one-time payment. We recommend the one-time payment.
Price: Free / $9.99 per month / $39.99 per year
Runkeeper is among the most popular fitness apps. It also has one of the better Wear OS apps. The app keeps track of your running and exercise. You can set goals for weight loss, running pace, and other stuff. It also supports biking and virtually any other activity aside from running. The Wear OS app is a good extension of the main service. Like most, it doesn’t have every feature, but it has enough. The full experience does require a subscription, though, and one that we think is a little expensive. Strava and Lifesum are also excellent Wear OS apps in this space. Of course, if you want it for free, Google Fit is still the best free fitness app for Wear OS.
See also: The best fitness apps for Android
Wear OS official app and Google Assistant
Wear OS is the official app from Google. It’s required to pair your smartwatch with your smartphone. Additionally, the app contains stuff like settings for Google Assistant, Google Fit, and some other stuff. However, its most important feature is its apps and watch faces info. The app is a great directory for such things. Google Play does a good job, but this app definitely gets you there faster. Google Assistant comes with Wear OS as it is. We highly recommend using it as well. It can do all of the fun stuff it can on your phone except on your wrist instead. Additionally, it can do stuff like take notes, turn your smart lights on or off, and more stuff like that. Wear OS is basically Google Assistant on your wrist with the time and date.
That’s it for our list of the best Wear OS apps. You can click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists. If we missed your favorite app, feel free to shout it out in the comments below.