It’s challenging to find good third-party Apple Watch apps. Not only because Apple offers limited APIs, but it’s hard to develop apps made for just glances and not long interactions. That said, I talked to a few colleagues here at 9to5Mac, and these are our favorite apps and recommendations for users to have on their Apple Watches.

NapBot: Sleep and nap tracker

We featured NapBot a few times here at 9to5Mac. While Apple still struggles with a nice built-in sleep tracker, NapBot kills it thanks to its Apple Watch app. The way it works is simple: Just wear your Apple Watch while you sleep, and NapBot’s app on the Watch will automatically detect that you’re asleep and track your sleep phases, heart rate, and noise levels.

The companion iOS app can be used to visualize your sleep data, which is also made available in the Health app via HealthKit integration. The app is free, but some features – such as sleep history and trends – require a subscription that can be paid monthly at $0.99 or yearly at $9.99. You can download it here.

Recommended by Guilherme Rambo and Ben Lovejoy.

Overcast

Even though Apple has been giving some love to its own Podcasts app, some people are already too used to Overcast. With features such as smart speed and voice boost, they make the app a go-to app on all your Apple devices.

The Apple Watch version has all your favorite episodes on the go. Overcast is available as a freemium service, where you can pay $9.99 a year to remove ads, change a custom icon, and more. You can download it here.

Recommended by Chance Miller and Bradley Chambers.

CARROT Weather: Alerts & Radar

Apple Watch

It’s only natural that Carrot is featured as one of the most important apps to have on the Apple Watch, meatbags. With a killer AI, great puns, and total support for all Apple devices, this app offers the best experience to check the weather.

Carrot for the Apple Watch also includes lots of complications, so premium users can pretty much create a weather station right on their wrists. The app is free to download but features three different tiers, so users can decide what data they need the most when checking the weather. You can download the app here.

Recommended by Michael Potuck.

Gentler Streak

A personal favorite, Gentler Streak for Apple Watch brings compassion to your fitness goal. Instead of just running to close your rings, this app makes sure you are feeling your best self when starting a workout. In addition, users can also let the app know when they’re sick or just need a break from their exercises.

Gentler Streak works with different Heart Zones so you can understand how the exercise is really impacting your body. The companion iOS app can also create a monthly and yearly recap of all your activities and give you full insights into your workouts. The app is free to start, but it requires a subscription to unlock all features. You can download it here.

Recommended by José Adorno.

Just Press Record

Just Press Record Apple Watch

Just Press Record lets you record audio right through your wrist using the Apple Watch. Apart from recording, you can also transcript and use iCloud to sync the files to all your devices.

The app supports over 30 languages. With the Apple Watch app, you have unlimited recording time, the ability to listen to recordings through the built-in speakers or AirPods, the ability to adjust volume with the Digital Crown, accessibility support with VoiceOver, and more. The app costs $4.99 and you can download it here.

Recommended by Ben Lovejoy.

Broadcasts

For those who like to listen to online radio, Broadcasts is the app to download. It features Sleep Timer, Widgets, and AirPlay. Broadcasts use public Irish radio with built-in presets or a limited library of your own stations for free.

Users can also unlock all stations they want to have and sync the library across all devices with a subscription. You can download the app here.

Recommended by Zac Hall.

Authenticator

Last but not least, Authenticator is another personal favorite. It works across all your devices, but the Apple Watch version is very handy in case you don’t have your iPhone nearby.

The two-factor-authenticator app can feature all your 2FA codes on your wrist, so it’s easier to write the six digits code wherever you are. It’s end-to-end encrypted, backs up and syncs all your data, and also lets you unlock the Mac app with the Apple Watch. Authenticator is free, but it requires a subscription to unlock all the features. You can download it here.

Recommended by José Adorno.

Wrap up

As you can see, these are a few of the best Apple Watch apps 9to5Mac‘s staff can recommend you to download. That said, it’s important to notice how many of these require a subscription to fully work.

With that in mind, make sure to select those that will make sense to your daily routine. Also, don’t forget to share your favorite Apple Watch apps in the comment section below.

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About the Author

José Adorno

Brazilian tech Journalist. Author at 9to5Mac. Previously at tv globo, the main TV broadcaster in Latin America.

Got tips, feedback, or questions? jose@9to5mac.com