When Apple announced the Apple Watch, its first new product category since Tim Cook took the helm, people were excited — but they were also skeptical. With that small of a screen, how useful could the Apple Watch or other smartwatches be? For now, the Apple Watch probably won't be your primary device for making calls, surfing the Internet, or playing games. At least not yet. So really, the most useful Apple Watch apps are the ones that will simplify your phone habits.
Apple wants you to spend only 10 to 15 seconds on your Apple Watch at a time, and the goal is to keep your iPhone in your pocket as often as possible. The Apple Watch isn't an end-all replacement. It's an iPhone accessory, much like your OtterBox case or your Olloclip lens, and an expensive one at that. But it's also an accessory with big ambitions.
The real potential of smartwatches, including the Apple Watch, will eventually be revealed as times goes on. After all, we didn't know what the World Wide Web would become when it became commercialized and publicly available in the 1990s. But until then, these are the apps that'll best enhance your Apple Watch experience — if you manage grab one, that is.
Remote Battery: This app keeps track of how much life is left in your iPhone. It's pretty simple, but it can help cure you of battery anxiety and keep you from feening to see what percent is left in your phone.
Realmac Clear: By syncing Clear with your iCloud, you can see all of your Reminders lists. Your Apple Watch will help you become an efficient task manager, and those paper to-do lists will be no more.
The New York Times: Plenty of major news outlets have made their mobile apps Apple Watch-friendly, but realistically you're not going to read a 5,000-word exposé on that tiny screen. The New York Times' app will give one-sentence stories designed for the Apple Watch so you know the major headlines. There's also breaking news alerts that can then be passed onto your iPhone or iPad with Handoff.
Twitter: As crazy as your Twitter feeds can be, the Apple Watch version manages to come off easy to read. You can see the top trends as well as check out your activity.
Yahoo! Weather: No one really spends that much time on a weather app, but it can definitely become a big part of your daily routine. On any platform, Yahoo! Weather offers a minimalistic touch to weather updates, a perfect match for the small screen. A quick glance at your wrist will tell whether you need a sweater or an umbrella.
Uber: There's nothing that much different in Uber's Apple Watch app. You request a ride. You see the driver's name and picture. You track the car's progress. But the convenience of not holding your phone while you wait is enormous. A little buzz on the wrist will let you know when your carriage has arrived.
Runtastic: Yes, you still need to take your iPhone with you to have GPS (it's not built into the smartwatch itself), but now you don't have to whip our your phone to check the speed, distance, duration, and pace of your run.
Citymapper: If you're in a new city, Citymapper will show step-by-step instructions on how to use public transportation so you can get to where you need to go. Your Apple Watch can also give you a little buzz when you've arrived. Citymapper is available in nearly two dozen cities across the world.