Android Wear runs on a number of smartwatches now and there are thousands of apps that add even more capabilities to smartwatches everywhere. These apps do more than just bring notifications to your wrist — they can help us pass the time, share in-depth information, browse the web, and carry out a host of other action.
So with all that in mind, here are 25 of our favorite Android Wear apps, in no particular order. Some of these are apps that load dedicated versions to your smartwatch, while others are merely apps you may already have but will load special Android Wear versions to your smartwatch. Either way, they’re all must-haves for your watch.
Running out of space on your keychain due to the many little loyalty and membership cards you lug around? Stocard not only lets you digitize all those cards so they’re accessible in a single mobile app, it even works with your Android Wear watch to display them. This means you just need to let the cashier scan your watch, instead of physical cards or your smartphone, to collect your rewards or access your gym.
Here is a new incentive to use the latest version of Google Slides for your presentations: You can now use your Android Wear smartwatch to both timekeep and remotely control your slides. The only catch is that you need to first “cast” your slides to a Chromecast-enabled display, or present them in a video call, before your watch will transform into a slick presentation remote.
Let’s be real, app developers aren’t mind readers who know exactly what functions you need, so why not create your own with IF by IFTTT? Short for the programming lingo “If This Then That,” this meta-app lets you create “recipes” that link two unrelated apps in order to create an action. For example, you can tell the app to send a copy of every photo you take with your phone to your Android Wear watch.
Start planning for your hot date tonight by swiping right or left through Tinder — on your wrist. With the dating app bringing its features to Android Wear, you’ll be able to check out potential dates in your area, see notifications on new matches, as well as respond to their messages, right on your watch. Just to make it extra easy to access the app, you can even use your voice to tell Google to open Tinder on your smartwatch.
Everyone can use a gentle reminder to take their medication, whether you’re taking vitamins or caring for someone with a strict pill schedule. You’ll need to spend a bit of time entering every pill — including its color and shape — into the mobile app the first time you open it, but it’ll be well worth it when your watch buzzes and notifies you of the exact pill and dosage you need to take. No more excuses for forgetting, or taking the wrong meds!
Don’t miss the opportunity to identify a song simply because you couldn’t whip out your smartphone fast enough! Now that Shazam fully supports Android Wear, you only need to hold up your wrist to “Shazam” a song. Your smartwatch will even showcase the lyrics, so you can sing along to your new anthem without missing a beat.
PixtoCam turns your Android Wear watch into a remote viewfinder for your mobile camera, so that you can capture timed group photos and other tricky shots with greater ease. The app is the most feature-rich camera app out there — at least for smartwatches — and lets you toggle between the front and rear cameras, control the level of zoom, and trigger both still photos and videos directly from your wrist. You also get a live view of the shot before you snap the image.
Looking for a media player that does more than just “pause” or “play” your music or podcast? The Stellio Music Player is one of the few smartwatch-compatible media apps that lets you adjust the volume from your wrist. Other on-screen controls allow you to skip and return to previous track, along with view the album art and title of the track that is currently playing.
Despite the many benefits of drinking plenty of water each day — clearer skin, weight loss, etc. — most of us just aren’t downing enough H2O. That’s where the Water Drink Reminder app comes in. The app knows how much you need to drink at regular intervals throughout the day because it actually calculates your ideal intake amount based on your weight, day length, and cup size. When it’s time for more water, your watch will provide you with a gentle reminder.
Always want the weather at a glance? InstaWeather is a smartwatch app for your Android Wear devices that offers more than just an app for checking on the weather. It also includes specially-crafted watch faces that share the latest weather alongside the time of day. You can not only see the most intricate of weather information right from your watch face, but some premium watch faces will even show the latest radar images, giving you a clear look at what’s coming. The app will notify you when it’s raining nearby to give you a heads up about inclement weather.
This might be a crazy choice for an app, but Android Wear’s own agenda service is only good at seeing what’s coming up for that day. If you want to see what’s happening later in the week, or just catch a glance at a calendar to see what day is when, then you’ll want to download Calendar for Android Wear. This app offers a simple Agenda service, but more importantly, it’s an easy way to glance at a full calendar without taking out your whole phone.
Android Wear, by default, integrates with the Messenger app that comes with your Android device already, but we find that app to be a bit lacking in functionality. Coffee is a jolted up version of the default messenger app that offers pre-written responses for when you need to reply quickly without speaking to your watch. Coffee also supports quick SMSing to give you a list of popular contacts — all without touching your smartphone.
Another necessary enhancement for your Android Wear smartwatch is Feel The Wear. This app changes up the rather boring default vibration your smartwatch will have for most notifications and messages. Instead, you can customize a special vibration “tone” for all sorts of apps and notifications to tell apart your messages without even glancing at your watch.
Ever lose your phone? It’s easy to forget about it when heading out for work some days, and now your watch will remind you about the lost device. Find My Phone will automatically vibrate your watch if it disconnects from your phone, so you don’t end up stranded without it. If you lost your phone in a room and Find My Phone can detect it, then you can also ring the phone from your smartphone to discover wherever you last left the device.
Eat24 is an easy way to grab some food. It offers up a list of local restaurants that support pickup or delivery to your home. In case you’re feeling especially lazy while making an order or waiting for your Eat24 order to arrive, now there’s an Android Wear app to help simplify the process. You can look at recent orders, get notifications on your deliveries, and other information at a glance from the app.
Wear Mini Launcher makes it a whole lot easier to find things on your smartwatch. Rather than scroll through apps one by one as you’d do with the default drawer, Wear Mini Launcher is a hexagonal way to navigate your apps. It also gives you a way to quickly swipe over for other quick settings, such as your smartwatch’s brightness level, alarm modes, and other settings.
Sleep as Android is an extension of the same, awesome sleeping technology in the regular Sleep as Android app. Just as the original app uses your phone to track your noise and movement as you sleep, Sleep as Android for your smartwatch allows you to track sleeping patterns without leaving your smartphone on the bed. That way, you can keep your smartphone charging while your Android smartwatch serves as a sleep monitor for the smartphone’s tracking technology.
Lyft is by far one of the most wrist-friendly ways to hail a cab. Lyft is already a nifty app for ride-sharing, giving you immediate access to arranging a ride, whether you’re just trying to get downtown or looking to get home after a long night out. Now, you can do it all from your wrist by simply tapping for a ride, and tracking your driver without taking out a smartphone or a wallet.
If you use two-factor authentication for your Google account, then Authenticator Plus is a must-have, hands down. This app keeps a copy of your two-factor keys right on your smartwatch, linked through the Authenticator Plus app on your smartphone. This means you can get two-factor authentication codes without even taking out your smartphone, glancing at your watch discretely and easily. Your codes will be always in reach, and with two-factor authentication your accounts will remain safer than ever.
LevelUp is a unique way to pay friends, buy groceries, and handle all sorts of other payment needs. The payment service processes everything through QR codes, as opposed to NFC or other technologies. This means LevelUp works on just about anything with a screen, including your Android Wear smartwatch. You can easily get a QR code loaded right onto your smartwatch, so you can pay without breaking out the wallet or the smartphone. Just a wave of your wrist, and you’re done.
Keep is probably one of the best note and checklist apps out there. Designed for quick reminders and shopping lists, Keep is a Google note service that brings those same lists and information right to your wrist. When the smartwatch is asleep, most devices with an OLED screen will continue showing the list, making it easy to track your progress in the supermarket without constantly checking a smartphone or written list on paper.
If you’re ever bored and want some entertainment without digging out your phone, 2048 Android Wear has you covered. There’s no other way to explain it: It’s 2048, just on a much smaller screen. You can swipe around numbers to reach the grand score of 2048, or at least distract yourself for a few minutes on the bus or subway.
Another fun game to pass the time is Invaders, a remake of the classic Space Invaders game — except now on your smartwatch. This operates more or less just like a generic Space Invaders clone. If you’ve got a few minutes and don’t want to attract too much suspicion, this app might be a nice time waster on your wrist.
If you’ve ever had to keep track of a conversation, or just needed to give yourself a verbal note, then you’ve probably thought about digging out your smartphone to make an audio recording. Instead, Wear Audio Recorder brings that very functionality to your wrist. With the app you can quickly record and save audio messages, whether it’s a reminder to buy milk later, or an important conversation that you need to record. Either way, it’s a simple, easy tool for your smartwatch’s arsenal.
Last but not least, we have to note how difficult it is to use Google’s own Android Wear app store. A lot of apps get lost in the confusion, since some are unique, Android Wear apps, and others are regular apps with additional Android Wear functionality. The Wear Store is a third-party store available for download that helps sort through all of that chaos. Compared to the Android Wear store, this app store is far more useful for finding new Android smarwatch apps, and is a much better way to get reviews, hear feedback, and stay tuned to the latest and greatest smartwatch apps launching every week.
So there’s a look at the many awesome apps all around for Android Wear devices everywhere. These are all must-haves for your smartwatch, and will help give your smartwatch all kinds of new, important uses in day-to-day life. If you’ve got your own favorite apps, feel free to let us know in the comments! We might add your favorite apps to this list in the near future.