The Apple Watch is already a device with impressive capabilities. But just like the iPhone, you can do even more by taking advantage of third-party apps available on the App Store.
Many third-party apps charge a recurring subscription for you to use them, but here are our favorite Apple Watch apps that you can use for free. This list covers everything from Apple Watch web browsers to advanced heart monitors.
Due to its very small screen size, you won’t find many internet browsers on your Apple Watch. Generally speaking, browsing the web with your wrist isn’t a great experience, but there are times when it’s more convenient than using your iPhone. For those times, you can use Parrity.
This Apple Watch web browser uses your iPhone to load websites in the background before rendering them on a smaller screen and sending them to your Apple Watch.
Scroll a page with the Digital Crown, interact with items with a single tap, and enter a new web address using Siri or Scribble.
As you might expect, the experience is a bit slow and shocking, but Parrity still offers an awesome way to view almost any website on your Apple Watch.
Download: Parrity (free)
2. My water
One of the easiest ways to lose weight and improve your health is to make sure you are drinking enough water. But it’s easy to lose track of what you’ve been drinking throughout the day or forget to pour yourself that extra glass to achieve your goals. This is where My Water comes in.
This free app tracks your water consumption throughout the day, allowing you to quickly add drinks or view your consumption percentage of an Apple Watch complication. It’ll sync whatever you drink with the Apple Health app, if you choose to leave it on.
My Water can track a wide range of drinks, from coffee to coca-cola, and calculates the water percentage for each one. It then compares that to your target amount – based on your gender, weight, and activity level – to decide how much extra you need for the day.
With an optional premium subscription, you can change the preset drinks in a different order or in different sizes. But My Water offers many options to get started without a subscription.
Download: My Water (free, subscription available)
Overcast is one of the most popular podcast players on iOS, and it comes with an equally great Apple Watch app to use.
The Overcast Apple Watch app lets you stream any of your subscribed podcasts from your iPhone or download up to 20 episodes from a single playlist to listen to offline.
While there aren’t any particularly useful Overcast complications, you can control playback from the Now Playing app or the Overcast app itself, allowing you to adjust the speed and read the entire show notes for whatever you listen to.
Overcast is free because it’s ad-supported, but you can eliminate ads with an annual subscription if you prefer.
Download: Overcast (free, subscription available)
Apple introduced sleep tracking on the Apple Watch with watchOS 7, but third-party apps still do a much better job of breaking your nighttime habits.
With SleepWatch, you can get information about what times you fell asleep and woke up, how restful your sleep was, what your heart rate was doing while you slept, and how close you are to it. achieve your sleep goals.
This free Apple Watch connects to the Health app on your iPhone to sync any sleep tracking data you’ve already collected. It also collects information about your age, height, and weight to determine the best amount of sleep for you.
SleepWatch will automatically track your sleep, asking you how refreshed you feel in the morning, to help improve your sleep as much as possible.
A premium subscription gives you additional features, such as the ability to set smart alarms on your watch. You also unlock sleep bulletins and you can view correlations between sleep quality and changes in your lifestyle.
Download: SleepWatch (free, subscription available)
Weathergraph is only available for the Apple Watch (although you can use an iPhone to download it) and presents the weather in a colorful, easy-to-read graphic.
This graphic shows different icons and lines to represent cloud cover, precipitation, and temperature over time, going from a 12 hour view to a 5 day view.
One of the best things about Weathergraph is the sheer number of complications it offers, especially with a premium membership, which lets you decorate your Apple Watch face with all kinds of current weather data.
Many of these complications can be used immediately with preset Apple Watch faces. This makes Weathergraph one of the best weather apps for Apple Watch.
A premium subscription even unlocks Dark Sky forecasts, for improved accuracy of your location. Although the app is still worth using without a subscription.
Download: Weathergraph (free, subscription available)
6. Night sky
Stargazing is even better with Night Sky on your wrist. This great app identifies every star in the sky, indicating constellations, satellites and even planets.
With the Apple Watch app, you can lift your wrist to the sky to view the Night Sky annotations next to the stars themselves. When you tilt your wrist, you can target different celestial objects to find out their names, then search the iPhone app for more details.
Night Sky is available for free with additional features available as part of a premium subscription.
Download: Night Sky (free, subscription available)
7. Nike Run Club
While the Apple Workout app has everything you need for most workouts, you can take your run a step further with Nike Run Club.
This app uses a bold and prominent design to display your distance, heart rate, and pace as you run. Then displays a minimalist map of your route when you’re done.
It’s easy to see all of your recent runs in the app as well as start a new run; you can even set a distance, time or speed goal for a new run.
If you need more help getting motivated, Nike Run Club offers distance challenges, lots of community support, and even coaching plans.
From Apple Watch, you can also start an audio-guided run to keep pushing yourself every step of the way.
Download: Nike Run Club (free)
No one wants to sort their entire inbox on an Apple Watch, but Spark makes it easy to keep your messages organized and just glance at their contents.
It divides your inbox into three sections, based on the origin of your messages. So you can only check emails from a real person if that’s what you prefer.
Then you can read an entire message, before choosing to reply, repeat, archive or delete a message right from your wrist.
Spark is one of the best and most popular email clients on the market, allowing you to add multiple email accounts to one app. Best of all, it’s available for absolutely free use.
Download: Spark (free)
9. Cardiac analyzer
Apple Watch is a fantastic tool for tracking your heart rate, and Heart Analyzer makes the experience even better.
This iPhone and Apple Watch app presents you with colorful graphs representing all kinds of different data about your heart rate: BPM, resting average, maximum and minimum, blood oxygen saturation, variability, recovery, and more.
Track your metrics for the day, week, or last month (with a premium purchase) to get a clear picture of what your heart is doing at any time of the day.
You can also view many of these measurements and graphs as complications, to get a picture of your heart health at a glance.
Download: Heart analyzer (free and premium version available)
Stay on top of all kinds of topics by reading Wikipedia entries on your Apple Watch. MiniWiki makes these (often exhaustive) entries easier to read by removing links and images, leaving only text.
This way, you can go through an entry to get the gist of a topic in a matter of moments.
With MiniWiki, you can search for Wikipedia entries using Scribble or Dictation, then save the entries to your bookmarks for later reading. You can also check the random entries or check the most read entries at the moment.
If you plan to lose your internet connection (or if you’re going to be without your iPhone for a while), you can also download entries directly to your Apple Watch to read them offline. Although you have to pay for the Pro version to unlock this feature.
Download: MiniWiki (free and premium version available)
What third-party apps do you use?
All of these apps should be available to download and install on your Apple Watch for free. Some of them require a subscription or premium purchase to unlock additional features, but you can access all basic features for free.
The easiest way to install apps on your Apple Watch is to download the peer app on your iPhone, then the app should automatically appear on your watch as well.
Check out this guide if you’re having trouble installing apps on your Apple Watch. And don’t forget to tell us about all your favorite third-party apps in the comments!
Dan writes tutorials and troubleshooting guides to help people get the most out of their technology. Before becoming a writer, he earned a bachelor’s degree in sound technology, supervised repairs at an Apple Store, and even taught English in China.