From fitness trackers to communication devices, wearable gadgets and gizmos are all the rage. While not the first interactive watch to come on the market, the Apple Watch, debuting in April 2015, may be one of the most powerful and accessible. In addition to keeping time, the Apple Watch will run a variety of apps, notify you of incoming messages, or allow you to send a tap, sketch, or even your heartbeat to another Apple Watch user. The Apple Watch also has built-in activity tracking that can help you monitor and reach personal fitness goals.
As with the iPhone, apps are where the real power and personalization lie. In this slideshow, we’ve featured 21 apps that will be available when the Apple Watch ships.
Helpful Apple Watch Apps
Click through for 21 apps that can help you personalize your Apple Watch, including apps for travel, business, social media, fitness and news media outlets.
Have trouble keeping up with your room key while traveling on business? Starwood Hotels & Resorts has added a new app that allows you to unlock your door from your Apple Watch, no room key required. You can also get directions to your hotel, check in, see reservation details, and view your Starpoints balance.
Travel: American Airlines
For business travelers, the American Airlines app will send you notifications, letting you know when it’s time to head to the airport and flight information (including gate change announcements). You can also check in from your Apple Watch. During your flight, you can view a map with updates on arrival times, baggage claim and connection information.
Citymapper is your guide for public transit, showing you the fastest routes to wherever you want to go. Based on your current location, it provides step-by-step instructions for catching the nearest bus or train, and lists the next three arrivals so you can choose the one that meets your needs. It’ll also deliver a gentle tap to your watch, letting you know when you’ve reached your stop.
The TripAdvisor app for the Apple Watch provides instant information on hundreds of nearby restaurants, sights, and tourist destinations.
Travel: PayByPhone Parking
Use the PayByPhone Parking app to pay the meter, then check on the time remaining. You’ll get a notification 10 minutes before the meter expires, allowing you to add more time without having to go back to your car.
Expedia on Apple Watch lets you check itineraries for your upcoming trips and get detailed flight and hotel information. For flights, you can see gates, terminals, and times. For hotels, you can get check-in and check-out times, ratings, locations, addresses, and phone numbers.
Have fun learning new languages wherever you are in the world. With the Babbel app, Apple Watch shows you new words relevant to your location. So you can learn terms related to food when you’re near a restaurant. Or words like “flight,” “departure,” and “luggage” when you’re near the airport.
Evernote for Apple Watch is a great companion for Evernote for iPhone. You can dictate a quick note, review recent notes, set reminders, and see content related to upcoming meetings.
Business: Salesforce Wave
On Apple Watch, Salesforce Wave gives you a quick snapshot of your business analytics, such as the top 10 sales opportunities for your company or a particular division.
Business: Procreate Pocket
The Procreate Pocket app turns your Apple Watch into a remote tool and color palette for painting on your iPhone. Select your brush, eraser, or effects. You can undo, redo, and change colors, and your entire iPhone screen becomes the canvas, so you can focus on your work.
Invoice2go helps you track your time on the job more accurately. When you arrive on a job site, the app uses geofencing to prompt you to start tracking time on your iPhone. You can also modify your times, send an invoice, and receive a notification when you’ve been paid.
Designed to keep you moving in the right direction, CommitTo3 lets you create teams of coworkers, friends, and family who collectively commit to that day’s three most important tasks. You can get gentle reminders throughout the day, check off your “commits” as you complete them, and see how the rest of your team is doing.
Fitness: Nike+ Running
The Nike+ Running app for Apple Watch allows you to take your iPhone on a run but keep it in your pocket. This app puts your distance, duration and pace right on your watch and allows you to see when friends send you a cheer. Add Bluetooth headphones and you can listen to music wirelessly during your workout.
With your iPhone in your pocket, Apple Watch shows you real-time stats like elevation gain, average speed, distance and heart rate during your ride or run. Segment-by-segment updates give you details of your workout to keep you motivated. You’ll also receive a trophy when you set a personal record.
Apple Watch gives you new ways to get the most from Runtastic. Just take your iPhone with you on a run. Runtastic displays the information you need (speed, distance, duration, pace, even how many calories you’ve burned) conveniently on your wrist, where it’s easy to check without slowing down.
Social Media: Instagram
With Instagram for Apple Watch, you can browse your feed, like your favorite photos, and even leave emoji comments. You can also stay up to date with interactive notifications sent directly to your wrist.
Social Media: Twitter
At only 140 characters, the Twitter app is a nice fit for the Apple Watch. You can watch your feeds, be notified with a gentle tap when new tweets are posted, retweet, and/or favorite them from your wrist. You can also compose tweets using dictation.
News Media: CNN
The CNN app for Apple Watch provides up-to-the-minute breaking and developing news across 12 personalized categories. You can decide which content you want to see. Tap to open a story, then choose to save it or continue reading on your iPhone. You can also use the app to launch CNN TV live on your iPhone.
News Media: NPR One
NPR One makes public radio personal, with news and stories curated just for you. Your playlist, which lives on your iPhone, includes the shows you already listen to, as well as other content NPR thinks you’ll love. You can use your Apple Watch to search for specific shows using dictation, see story names and episodes, and control basic playback functions.
News Media: NYTimes
The NYTimes app allows you to swipe through breaking news and short stories crafted specially for Apple Watch. Use Handoff to read more on your iPhone or iPad, or tap “Save for Later” to build a personal reading list.
News Media: ESPN
Stay up to date with breaking sports news or follow a specific game. The ESPN app can send you a notification after each score change or noteworthy play. See real-time scores and details like who’s at bat, who just made a three-pointer, or which team is in the red zone.