You’ve received your Apple Watch in the mail, unboxed it, tried it on, and now the months of anticipation and waiting have finally come to an end. It’s surreal, really, and you can’t help but glance at your wrist every few minutes, even after wearing it for a couple days, to play with your new toy.
Or you haven’t received your Apple Watch yet and must sit alone and forsaken, watching all your friends talk to their wrists, wishing you could’ve gotten that pre-order in just a little bit earlier, or chosen a more plentiful model.
Or perhaps you simply couldn’t justify the price of the Apple Watch for its functionality, at least in the first generation. But you are interesting in its potential, particularly in how third-party developers will be putting its unique skillsets to use.
If you fall into one of those categories, it is for you that I’m excited to introduce App Watch, a new weekly article series by iDownloadBlog. In these posts, I’ll be covering a small handful of Apple Watch apps that stand out to me in terms of design, ease of use, convenience, and real-world usage. The point is not to cover every WatchKit app, but to highlight those that bring something significant, beautiful, or practical to wrists around the world. Apple Watch has an incredible amount of potential, and I want to help you tap into that. So, let us begin.
Everyone’s favorite password manager has been ready and waiting for Apple Watch, and the tiny version of this great tool scores high in practicality. Users can choose which of their passwords are available for quick access on the Apple Watch version of 1Password, and these pieces of secret information can be accessed with a couple of taps.
You’ll need to have a passcode set in 1Password on your phone to use the Apple Watch app, but there’s no need to tap out a passcode on your wrist to view your passwords, although that option is there if you want an extra layer of protection. Apple Watch itself already requires a password to be entered each time it is worn, but unlocking it once will hold you for the day as long as you don’t take it off your wrist.
Agilebits gives the examples of using 1Password’s Apple Watch app to access a gym padlock combination or a garage door code, and these are both real-word scenarios in which having such a feature would be convenient. 1Password for Apple Watch is a free update for pro users, a perk which is available as a $9.99 in-app purchase in 1Password for iOS.
Tempo Smart Calendar
Although I’m a Fantastical user, I couldn’t help but be impressed by the innovative day view found in Tempo’s Apple Watch app, which uses a circle to denote time much like a mechanical watch face, but with each event taking up a segment of time out of the circle. The app displays the current time on-screen, along with details of the next calendar event, and a 12-hour day view in the form of a circular timeline with each event visually occupying the space between hours that it will take in your day.
The design of this view is an excellent marriage of a traditional watch and a digital calendar, and I found it to be incredibly appealing from the moment I saw it. I’m rather surprised I haven’t seen a similar design in calendar apps before, but I’m glad it’s here now. I hope many developers take this approach in designing their apps; displaying various types of information in a watch-like fashion is part of the approach Apple is trying to achieve, and I’m happy to see developers expounding on that idea.
If you want to try out Tempo Smart Calendar on your Apple Watch, you can download it for free from the App Store.
This app has been a favorite of the iDB staff since its launch, and its abilities have only increased over the months, thanks to the amazing team behind Workflow. The feature we’re most concerned with at the moment, however, is Apple Watch support, which the iOS automation app recently gained. Users can now initiate workflows with a couple taps on their wrist, and Workflow’s convenience factor has never been so high.
The majority of actions supported by Workflow will run from Apple Watch, and existing workflows will need to be designated as made for Apple Watch, but this is simple with Workflow’s duplication feature. If there are any actions you’d like to initiate without pulling out your phone, you should definitely spend some time learning how to use this app, or repurposing existing ‘flows for Apple Watch. Workflow for iOS is available for $2.99 in the App Store.
If there’s one thing Yahoo knows how to do right, it’s making a weather app. The iPhone version has been known for its beauty since launch day, and now the WatchKit app has picked up the baton. It’s a far better look than Watch OS’s stock Weather application and Glance, but each displays slightly different information, so I’m keeping both Glances around for now.
Yahoo’s weather app is certainly one of the most beautiful apps I’ve beheld on my wrist, and its developers have an excellent grasp of how apps should look on both iPhone and Apple Watch. It also displays quite a lot of weather data for whatever cities you have entered, but it doesn’t refresh in the background like the stock weather app, so it may take a few seconds longer to load a weather report. The design of this app, however, makes it worth the wait. You can download Yahoo Weather for free in the App Store.
Head to the comments to let me know what your favorite functional, beautiful, or practical Apple Watch apps are, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and yours might end up on next week’s article.
Special thanks to Nick Pomes for designing App Watch’s beautiful cover image.