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The best Wear OS apps for your smartwatch
The Wear OS renaissance is well and truly here. Some of the best smartwatches, including devices like the Galaxy Watch 6, now run on the platform. If you’ve just purchased your new smartwatch, you’re likely looking for apps to maximize its utility. Look no further. Below, we round up the best Wear OS apps for your smartwatch.
The best Wear OS apps
We focused on apps that run exclusively on Wear OS, but some may require an Android companion app to function properly.
- AccuWeather is the best weather app on Wear OS. You get all the data you’ll need right on your wrist, from alerts to current conditions and forecasts.
- Bring Grocery Shopping List is a great grocery list app that helps you keep tabs on multiple products across several shopping lists using a card and tile aesthetic.
- Complications Suite brings additional complication options you never knew you needed to your favorite watch faces.
- Facer has a dizzying number of watch faces available. It’s a must-have app if you’re never quite satisfied with your device’s dial.
- Fotmob is a score notifications app specifically for soccer fans.
- Gboard is self-explanatory but necessary on Wear OS devices beyond the Pixel Watch.
- Flightradar24 is a great app for aviation geeks. It sweeps the skies above your location to reveal aircraft in your vicinity.
- Google Keep is the first app you should consider installing if syncing notes across your watch and smartphone is important.
- Google Home is fairly basic at present, but it does let you command and control various smart home equipment from your wrist.
- Google Maps is an indispensable mapping app and the best you can get on Wear OS, especially for inner-city navigation on foot.
- Google Messages lets you read and reply to messages on your Wear OS device.
- NavMusic is an excellent offline music playback app for Wear OS that lets you upload your music to your watch and listen to it through Bluetooth headphones.
- Outdooractive is a great guide app for those seeking nearby hikes or navigating trails.
- Simple Wear is a useful little app for controlling settings and opening apps on your phone from your wrist.
- Spotify has an excellent Wear OS app that brings everything that makes the service great to the watch.
- Wear Casts lets you subscribe to, download, and play podcasts directly from the watch.
- WhatsApp finally lands on Wear OS and gives you direct access to your messages from your wrist.
- Windy is a great weather app with detailed forecasts a week ahead and radar readouts of current conditions.
- Excellent weather app with basic info.
- RealFeel temperature details what the weather “feels like.”
AccuWeather was one of the first weather apps with Wear OS support. The standalone version for Wear OS now includes a much simpler interface. The primary readout is of the current weather conditions, including temperature, conditions, and its RealFeel temperature. There’s also a precipitation notification, which is great if you expect rain within the hour.
Bring! Grocery Shopping List
- A grocery shopping app with an excellent design.
- Create multiple shopping lists.
Bring! is a shopping list app. The app has 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, but you need to set up an account before using it.
- Adds new complication options to your watch face.
- Includes complications for Bitcoin pricing, daily countdowns, world clocks, and more.
Have you ever thought Wear OS could use more stock complication options? This nifty app adds complications that aren’t already available. Choose between various options, from a countdown to sunrise or sunset, two options for world clock displays, Bitcoin price information, and more. It’s nothing fancy, but Complications Suite adds loads of utility if you often rely on your watch face for instant information readings. A nifty alternative is WearOS Toolset, but you must pay to unlock all its features. Health Service Complications is an excellent premium option if you crave more health-related complications.
Price: Free / Varies
- Loads of watch faces at your fingertips.
- Free options and premium faces.
Facer is one of those apps frequent customizers will love. It features many watch faces to install and caters to those who want premium and free dials. Users can also tinker and create their own watch face if inclined. Facer partners with several other companies and brands to make bespoke and limited edition faces, calling back to your favorite show or options from established designers The app can be overwhelming at first, but it’s well worth grabbing for its remarkable list of choices.
- Provides fixture details of all major soccer leagues.
- Includes team form, kick-off times, and countdowns to fixtures.
Soccer fan? This is the Wear OS app for you. It displays current and upcoming fixtures across all major global soccer leagues. Tap on a fixture, and the app displays the three-match form of each team, kick-off times, and a countdown to the fixture. It’s a great way to keep up with your favorite league. Notably, if you want a more holistic sports app, consider SofaScore.
- Excellent swipe typing support.
- Reliable recommendations.
- Surprisingly easy to type without mistakes.
After struggling with Samsung’s stock keyboard on the Galaxy Watch 4, I relented and installed Gboard. I was instantly reminded how much better Google’s keyboard is. Swipe typing is excellent; it more readily understands what you’re trying to type on the small watch display. Suggestions are also excellent. You likely won’t need to install it if you own a Pixel Watch, but we recommend Gboard on Samsung watches.
Price: Free / Optional premium tiers
- App for aviation enthusiasts.
- It highlights aircraft in your vicinity.
- Provides aircraft information, like tail number, origin, destination, and more.
Here’s one for aviation geeks. This doesn’t require the Flightradar24 phone app to function, making it a great way to spot aircraft without your phone. Using your location, the app sweeps the skies and lists nearby aircraft. Tap on any entry provided to view its current location and flight path. The app is free, easy to use, and surprisingly fun on a smartwatch display.
- Essential for Google stalwarts who frequently note.
- Your entire list of notes available on your watch.
Google Keep is one of those Google apps you should have on your Wear OS watch. Depending on your device, it may already be installed. But if it isn’t, we recommend grabbing it. You’ll gain access to all your notes, be it a shopping list, contact details, or a book you’re planning to purchase. Keep is also free and integrates well into the new Wear OS interface.
- A must-have app for smart home users.
- Control your thermostat, smart lights, and more from your wrist.
Google Home is a recent addition to Google’s wearable app bouquet. As a result, the app remains a little thin on features. Nevertheless, what it does have is worth adding to your Wear OS bouquet. Like the phone app, users can control devices in their smart home, be they thermostats, smart lights, or smart speakers. We expect this app to pack on features in the future, so expect it to get more comprehensive in the coming months.
- A free, reliable mapping app.
- App includes directions, local business information, and more on your wrist.
- Great for navigating areas on foot (even without your phone).
Google Maps is another easy pick for the best Wear OS apps. You’ll find most of the same features as the smartphone version, including directions, local business information, and much more. Admittedly, following directions on your wrist while driving is a little difficult. 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 in general and on Wear OS.
- Receive and respond to messages from your wrist.
- Quickly send messages to saved contacts while on the run.
Google Messages is our final recommended Google app. Again, it might be baked into your device when you get it, but it’s also an excellent replacement for the messaging app on some devices. It’s effectively a mirror of the Messages app on your phone that lets you read and reply to messages. You can also start a new message if required or send a voice message if your hands are tied. This makes it endlessly useful for those who are constantly running errands.
- NavMusic lets you listen to music stored on your watch.
- An excellent alternative for those with big music libraries.
- Includes controls for sorting and searching.
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 offline from the Internet. It has controls for play, pause, skip, and seek, support for Bluetooth controls, playlist support, sorting, and search functionality. The app might not provide super in-depth controls like some Android music players, but it’s enough to jam out with your wrist.
Price: Free / ~$2.88 per month / ~€5.76 per month
- Find and download hiking routes from your watch.
- Features turn-by-turn notifications when out on the trail.
- Includes a nearby route finder.
Outdooractive is an app for those who trade their office for dusty trails on the weekend. The app lets hikers (and trail runners) search for and download maps of various routes around them. Once on the trail, the app includes useful turn-by-turn navigation, duration, distance counters, and an elevation meter. You can also view your exact location in case you get into trouble.
- Controls elements of your phone from your watch.
- Quickly view your phone’s battery life, switch Wi-Fi on or off, and even lock your device.
Simple Wear is an essential app if you prefer to keep your smartphone in your pocket while wearing your watch. It allows users to adjust settings, view important details, and check their phone’s battery life. The app’s surprisingly comprehensive and does come with a few additional apps and permissions demanded to support its functionality. If you like this app, consider grabbing Simple Weather too.
Price: Free / Premium Spotify account required for some features
- Excellent music selection.
- Download and offline playback support for Premium users.
You will want the watch app if you can’t live without Spotify on your phone. It rolls everything great about Spotify’s Android service into Wear OS. Premium users can download their favorite playlists, songs, albums, podcasts, and more to their watch’s storage and play them without their phones. The app also provides shortcuts to playlists to stream, while Spotify Connect support turns the watch into a remote control for other hardware in the house.
- Comprehensive podcast app on your wrist.
- Search for, download, and play podcasts without your phone.
If you prefer a dedicated app for your podcasts, consider Wear Casts. It lets you search for, download, and play podcasts from your watch. Hook up your Bluetooth headphones to your device and go for a run or play an episode out loud to entertain friends. You can also enable auto downloads, so you’re never left without a new episode.
- Access your WhatsApp contacts and chats on your watch.
- Send voice notes or texts to your friends and family.
WhatsApp is now available on Wear OS and brings all your chats, groups, and contacts to the small screen. It’s not as feature-packed as you might have hoped but includes the bare essentials. Users can respond to messages in text or voice formats, while you can also access chat history. Oddly enough, the app also uses its own quick replies that aren’t editable now. It’s rather frustrating. Nevertheless, we expect this app to improve over time.
- Detailed hourly and daily forecasts.
- Option to view weather radar details.
Finally, if Accuweather is too basic for you, enter Windy. This is our weather app of choice for Wear OS, which includes a surprising amount of detail. Tap the Forecast button to access the weather 12 hours ahead in three-hour bites. Additional daily forecasts, which include conditions, air temperature, and wind data, also feature. A Radar button also visually examines the current weather on the small screen. It’s a stellar app which we find is decidedly reliable. It also doesn’t require the Windy phone app, either.
Yes. Wear OS is based on Android but is optimized for smartwatch use.
The Google Pixel Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 are the premier Wear OS watches. Watches from the Fossil Group and Mobvoi also use Wear OS. Few devices from other companies, like Suunto and OPPO, also rely on the OS.
Wear OS 3 is a Samsung and Google co-developed version of the OS that launched on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4. Wear OS 2 is limited to older hardware and is no longer supported by Google.