Apple claims there will be “thousands” of apps available for the Apple Watch when it launches April 24. For between $349 and $10,000, you can buy the next big thing to wear on your wrist.
Assuming you do, there will be a small but powerful selection of apps waiting. A few companies have already confirmed support for the Apple Watch on launch, and more are no doubt on the way. Here are some of the big names that have confirmed, according to USA Today.
The apps tend to be pretty minimalist, so I’ll briefly list what each one is capable of. They’re watch apps, so not a lot.
Best Apple Watch Apps Available at Launch
The Facebook app for Apple Watch can display notifications, like when you’re tagged in a photo or someone sends you a friend request.
The mockup Apple displayed at their press conference showed only a dismiss button, so no word on whether you can interact with the notifications (like accepting the request).
You can compose new tweets, read tweets and retweet and favorite stuff you read from the Apple Watch.
Although the demo at the press conference showed the “Top Trends” page, you can read your own timeline as well on the watch.
You can browse your feed, favorite photos and leave simple emoji comments. The watch app receives notifications as well.
You can display the caption and location of each post as well.
The best public transit navigation app will have an Apple Watch app. Citymapper for the watch will provide step-by-step instructions navigating public transit.
Best of all, Citymapper will buzz the watch when you reach your stop to remind you to get off. Citymapper is the best.
Evernote’s watch app is a simplified version of the best note-taking app out there. You can dictate notes, view recents, set reminders, find notes made near you and see notes related to upcoming meetings.
Finally, something a watch would be great for. Shazam’s watch interface is dead simple- just tap the button and it’ll display the name of the song, artist and lyrics.
Runtastic displays your speed, distance, duration and pace right there on your wrist, no need to check your phone.
The only downside is it needs to be paired wirelessly to an iPhone to function. That’s a real bummer for runners, who are never fond of carrying extra gear.
Target’s app will tell you where you are in the store and can give directions to items you ask it through voice.
It also syncs your grocery list from the iPhone app and sends reminders, just in case you don’t buy enough.
American Airlines’s Apple Watch app promises to make flying a little easier. It notifies you when it’s time to leave for the airport, as well as when your flight information changes.
You can even check in from the Watch, no boarding pass required. During the flight, it’ll display the time until arrival. Not bad.
BMW i Remote
BMW’s slick i Remote app is now on the Apple Watch. You can check your BMW i’s charge status, whether the doors are locked, and whether it needs servicing.
There is also a slider to adjust the temperature from the Watch, because we live in the future where you can adjust your car temperature from a watch.
The most popular travel site on the net is on the Apple Watch. You can stream information on nearby restaurants and tourist spots right to the watch.
ESPN’s Apple Watch app keeps you updated with breaking news or the results of games you follow. For important games, it can also keep you up-to-date with big plays or score changes.
From a stock apps perspective, a lot of the usual iOS services will be on the Apple Watch. Messages show you texts from other people when you raise your wrist.
Speaking into the microphone from there dictates a reply or an audio message. The latter is your best bet, as iOS transcription can be spotty.
Now you can get lost on a watch! Apple Maps has a watch app, and it actually looks cool. Putting turn-by-turn with Siri on a wrist device is something that would actually help a lot.
The Apple Watch Music app does the basics of controlling what’s playing on your iPhone, but it can also do standalone playing.
You can actually play a synced playlist from the watch with wireless Bluetooth headphones, no phone required. Now that would be useful for running.
Have you ever wondered if you looked silly enough on the phone? The Apple Watch is here to help. It’ll display incoming calls, which you can answer using the watch’s built-in speaker and microphone.
That does mean talking into your wrist like a Secret Service agent/crazy person, though.
Still, it’s a nice feature to have, and you can always bump calls to the iPhone.
Mail is a surprisingly functional app on the Apple Watch. You can read, flag, mark and delete email. Replying to one means opening it on iPhone, but that’s still quite a lot for a watch app.
The Apple Watch first crop of apps aren’t bad, but I wish they could work without a companion one on the iPhone.
I get that Apple is trying to not cannibalize its wildly profitable iPhone business, but from a consumer perspective, I shouldn’t have to take my iPhone with me when I run.
Until the Apple Watch 2, then.