Android Wear may not be turning the heads that many of us envisioned that it would, but it’s still probably the best smartwatch platform out there. The update to Android Wear 2.0 added a bunch of really nice features, like standalone apps. It still has a lot of work ahead of it, but there are some decent apps available right now! Here are the best Android Wear apps. Additionally, these should all be Android Wear 2.0 compatible as well! In early 2018, Google renamed Android Wear to Wear OS. Everything works basically the same, for now, but with a new name.
AccuWeather is one of the few Android Wear apps with 2.0 support. The app does all of the basics, including current temperature, forecast, radar, weather alerts (U.S. only), and smaller stats like humidity, wind speed, etc. It works well on both Android Wear and your mobile device. There aren’t a lot of downsides. Most of the app’s issues are temporary. The free version has advertising. You can pay for the pro version to remove it. Otherwise, both versions are basically the same.
Audiobooks is one of the bigger audio book apps. It features a collection of over 100,000 audiobooks. There are also over 7,000 free selections. Other features include variable read speeds, Android Auto support, and Android Wear support of course. The service costs $14.95 per month. You get one free audio book with an option to purchase more at a discounted rate. We’re not a huge fan of subscription book services, but this one does work well on Android Wear 2.0.
Bring is a shopping list app. The app comes with a good design, plenty of options, and Android Wear support. You can make separate lists for separate activities. In addition, it uses a card and tile layout. It feels fresher than most other grocery app lists. There are plenty of note taking apps on Android Wear, but this one is very charming. It’s also free to download with no in-app purchases or ads.
Google Play Music was one of the first Android Wear apps. It remains among the best. The Android Wear version lets you control music, listen to stuff, and engage with other parts of the service. The design for the phone app isn’t great. It looks great, but there are tons of taps and swipes to get where you need to go. The Android Wear version feels much better by comparison. Parts of the app are free to use (including its song upload feature). You can get the rest of the features for $9.99 per month.
Google Maps is another easy pick for best Android Wear apps. Its probably the best navigation app on the platform. It’s definitely the best navigation app on a smart watch platform. It has most of the same features as the smartphone version. That includes directions, local business information, and a lot more. Admittedly, it’s a little difficult following directions on your wrist while driving. We encourage our readers to exercise the utmost caution while using this app on the road.
Podcast Republic is one of the few podcast apps on Android Wear. It features a large library of both video and audio podcasts. It also includes automated downoads, multiple playlists, syncing support, multiple language support, and SD card support. There is even theming. The Android Wear version of the app isn’t quite as robust, but that’s okay. It still works pretty well. The free version contains advertising. The paid version does not. That’s about the only difference between the two.
Pulse SMS is among the best texting apps available. Android Wear has cursory SMS support. However, Pulse SMS allows for support between your phone, your computer, and your watch. It is the only SMS app to our knowledge with support for all three platforms. It also features a decent design, snooze notifications, GIF support, archiving, blacklisting, schedule messages, dual-SIM support, and more. You can use the phone app for free. Getting support for other platforms involves either a subscription service or a one-time payment. We recommend the one-time payment.
Runkeeper is among the most popular fitness apps. It also has one of the better Android Wear apps. The app keeps track of your running and exercise. You can set goals for weight loss, running pace, and other stuff. It also supports biking and virtually any other activity aside from running. The Android Wear app is a good extension of the main service. Like most, it doesn’t have every feature. However, it has enough. The full experience does require a subscription, though, and one that we think is a little expensive. Strava and Lifesum are also excellent Android Wear 2.0 apps in this space.
Hailing a ride from your wrist is super cool. Uber allows you to do just that. You know what Uber is and what it does. It will soon replace taxi as the word of choice in our lexicon. The Android Wear app lets you hail or schedule rides and do most of the things that you can do in the main app. The app is free to download. Obviously, hailing an Uber costs money. Frankly, you already knew that and how Uber works as a whole. You know what’s up with this one.
Wear OS is the official app from Google. It’s required to pair your smartwatch to your smartphone. Additionally, the app contains stuff like settings for Google Assistant, Google Fit, and some other stuff. However, its most important feature is its apps and watch faces info. The app is a great directory for such things. Google Play does a good job, but this app definitely gets you there faster. That’s especially important considering how much the platform has changed over the last year going from Android Wear to Android Wear 2.0 to Wear OS. We recommend leaning heavily on this one through the transition.
If we missed any great Android Wear apps, tell us about them in the comments! You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists!