How to install apps on the Apple Watch

By , May 7, 2015

App Install Apple Watch

To install an app on the Apple Watch, you’ll need to install the app on your iPhone first. Since the Apple Watch is not yet capable of running standalone apps, it’s not possible to install apps on an Apple Watch directly from the watch.

As you’ll find, there are multiple ways to install apps on Apple Watch, and several things that you’ll need to consider when it comes to installing and managing installed apps. In this post, we’ll break down how to install apps, and some of the idiosyncrasies involved with Apple Watch app installation.

How to find and install apps from the App Store

It’s possible to go to the normal App Store on your iPhone and find apps that feature Apple Watch apps.

Step 1: Open the App Store on your paired iPhone

Step 2: When searching for apps, make sure that you see the Offers Apple Watch App notation on the app details. You should also see screenshots of the Apple Watch portion of the app on the details page

Offers Apple Watch App

Step 3: Tap the download button to install the app on your iPhone. If you haven’t downloaded the app in the past, the button will say GET (free) or will feature a price for purchase

Step 4: Once the app is downloaded to your iPhone, it will automatically load and install on your Apple Watch if you have Automatic Downloads enabled

How to find and install apps from the Apple Watch App Store

Any app that you wish to run on the Apple Watch must have an Apple Watch version, but if you go through the Apple Watch companion app, every app listed feature and Apple Watch version.

Apple Watch App App Store

Step 1: Open the Apple Watch companion app on your paired iPhone

Step 2: Tap the Featured or Search tab and find the app that you wish to install

Step 3: Tap the download button to install the app on your iPhone. If you haven’t downloaded the app in the past, the button will say GET (free) or will feature a price for purchase

Step 4: Once the app is downloaded to your iPhone, it will automatically load and install on your Apple Watch if you have Automatic Downloads enabled

How to enable Automatic Downloads

Automatically Download Apps Apple Watch

Anytime you install an app on your iPhone that features an Apple Watch version, you can opt to have the app installed on your Apple Watch immediately. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone

Step 2: Tap the My Watch tab

Step 3: Tap General

Step 4: Tap Automatic Downloads

Step 5: Enable the Automatically Download Apps switch

But what if you don’t have automatic downloads enabled, and you wish to install an app on your Apple Watch that’s already on your iPhone?

How to manually install apps on Apple Watch

Show App on Apple Watch

Step 1: Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone

Step 2: Tap the My Watch tab

Step 3: Scroll down near the bottom of the page, and tap the panel for the app that you wish to install on Apple Watch

Step 4: Enable the Show App on Apple Watch switch

What if you’d like to remove an installed app from your Apple Watch Home screen? We have a tutorial for deleting apps on Apple Watch as well. After checking that out, be sure to mosey on over to our Apple Watch Userguide for more details on Apple’s new wearable device.

How do you have your Apple Watch set up when it comes to managing apps? Do you have apps set to auto-install, or do you prefer to manage each on a case-by-case basis? Drop us a line in the comment section with your input.

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