Knowing the best Wear OS apps to download is the key to getting the most out of your smartwatch.
Since the Wear OS 3 update landed in 2021, the Google Play Store has been flooded with improved, redesigned apps for the wrist, with options available to stream music, track your fitness, and everything in between.
In this guide, we'll be highlighting 18 of the best apps for Wear OS watches - ones that we've downloaded and used extensively as part of our in-depth reviews.
Whether you're just getting started with your new smartwatch or you're trying to find the right option to power your new hobby, below you'll find a list of the essential apps every Wear OS owner should have on their wrist.
Quick glance: The best Wear OS apps
- Google Maps
- Google Keep
- Wear Casts
- App in the Air
- Facer Watch Faces
- Google Assistant
- Google Home
The world's most popular streaming music service offers the ability to store playlists for offline use - providing you have a Spotify Premium account, that is.
On top of that offline playlist support, you also get playback controls for wherever your music is playing - and you can discover everything else in our guide on how to use Spotify on Wear OS.
However, there's no Wear OS app for Apple Music just yet.
- Free (subscription required) - download Spotify
An app that's exclusive to Wear OS, full-fledged WhatsApp support is finally available on the wrist.
Once you download and link your WhatsApp account, you'll be able to access all your chats and take part in the conversation as if you were on your phone.
What's more, you can also install a couple of Tiles to your carousel in order to quickly send voice messages or view your most recent chats with just a swipe and tap.
For everything you need to know about using the app, check out our extended WhatsApp on Wear OS guide.
- Free - download Whatsapp
Google Maps does a fine job already on Wear OS, but, if you're in a part of the world that enjoys Citymapper coverage, this app is arguably even better for getting around via public transport.
You can get live updates on buses, trains, and trams, as well as precise directions right on your wrist. You need never be stuck at the wrong stop again.
- Free - download Citymapper
Until Google builds a watch that automatically detects songs for you, you're still going to want to identify that catchy song in your local bar or Target.
For that, there's no better option than Shazam on your wrist.
You simply tap, wait, enjoy your new addiction, and even sing along with the lyrics.
- Free - download Shazam
One of the areas where the Apple Watch excels is in the relaxation exercises you can run from it, and, with Calm, you can get a similar sort of functionality on your Wear OS watch.
You will need to be a subscriber to run meditations from your wrist, so we rate this more as just a great extension than an essential download for all. Otherwise, all it's really good for is viewing stats.
- Free - download Calm
As we've already mentioned, Google has made sure its own apps have a high level of spit and polish on Wear OS, and Google Maps is no exception.
You can get directions to places right on your wrist, as well as launch a new set of directions – complete with step-by-step instructions – without touching your phone.
If you've got a Wear OS 3.0-friendly smartwatch, there is a rebuilt Google Maps app, as well.
This gives you access to a dark mode, offers the ability to start navigation from the watch, and also look for a new destination to navigate to via voice or text.
You can learn even more in our full guide on how to use Google Maps on Wear OS.
- Free - download Google Maps
Being able to tap off items on your to-do list from your wrist is very satisfying, and Todoist makes it possible.
The Wear OS app is polished, but sticks to the basics of letting you browse your lists and add new tasks when needed – it's really the accompanying Android app that makes Todoist stand out.
- Free - download Todoist
You're not exactly going to be able to power through your inbox on a tiny smartwatch display, but Outlook users are very well catered for on Wear OS.
The Microsoft service's app is one of the best at keeping you up to date with incoming messages and upcoming calendar events – and it might even tempt you to switch over from Gmail.
- Free - download Outlook
It's perhaps no surprise that Google has some fine apps for Wear OS, and near the top of that particular pile is Google Keep.
The note-taking app finds the perfect balance between usefulness and simplicity – all your notes sync over swiftly from your phone, and you can create new notes and lists from your wrist.
- Free - download Google Keep
If you own a Wear OS device with both built-in GPS and LTE, you can now track your runs and biking sessions sans your smartphone through the dedicated app.
The Tile is a neat way of jumping straight in or viewing recent workouts, with the app itself letting you track activities such as hikes, runs, and even E-bike rides with support for audio cues and auto-pausing.
If Google's Workout app doesn't cut it for you (it probably won't), we highly recommend trying out Strava instead. The community element is a great bonus, and the insights are relatively unmatched.
You will have to pay for the full experience, but the Wear OS app itself isn't really affected by your subscription level.
- Free - download Strava
A standalone podcast app for Wear OS, Wear Casts lets you download podcasts and stream them from your watch.
The app will create playlists, too, and let you know when the latest episodes of your favorite apps are available. You can finally go out and enjoy your podcasts without taking your phone along.
- Free - download Wear Casts
App in the Air - Trip Planner
If you're flying, you're not going to find a better assistant than App in the Air.
It gives you all your flight information right there on your wrist, including real-time boarding and flight status. You'll also get airport tips and maps.
Oh, and it works offline and comes with its own watch face. And yes, there's automatic check-in, too.
Facer Watch Faces
There is no end of watch faces to browse through on the Wear store, but that's not to say they're all good.
Perhaps you want to make one of your own, in which case Facer is at hand with its excellent Wear face customizer app.
And, while you can build your own, Facer has partnered with watchmakers like MVMT to provide exclusive watch faces, too.
- Free - download Facer Watch Faces
If you want to keep track of your food intake, it's hard to get anything better than Lifesum.
You don't just get to track independently on your wrist, but you also get complication widgets for the watch face. Keeping tabs on those calories is now simpler and easier than ever before.
Since being revamped for Wear OS 3, users now also have dedicated screens to track their key food tracking stats. It's a big improvement.
- Free - download Lifesum
Hole19 is one of the most comprehensive golf assistants around - and the Wear OS extension provides distance details for more than 40,000 courses around the world.
The app itself is extremely in-depth nowadays, and even comes in a standalone form to use your watch's GPS to work your distances.
You can also sync over golf courses when the signal on your connected phone is sketchy.
- Free - download Hole 19
Once upon a time, Cardiogram was limited to the Apple Watch. However, now, one of the most advanced heart rate apps out there has made its way to Wear OS.
Using its DeepHeart AI, Cardiogram is able to track your heart rate and give you trends based on that information.
For Wear OS, you can view heart rate variability measurements during workouts and take control of how frequently your heart rate is measured, if you're worried about more frequent monitoring hitting your smartwatch battery hard.
One major benefit of the Wear OS boom over the last few years has been the stellar integration Google has created with its other services - and that's especially true with something like Home.
After being in beta for quite a while, this one is now ready for all Wear OS models. It's pretty much a must-download for anybody set up with Google Home, allowing you to quickly control things like device volume, adjust brightness, set temperatures, or alter the status of security systems.
If you have a Google Nest camera or doorbell launched after 2021, you can also receive notifications via the app that feature image previews.
It all depends on what you have set up in your smart home, and there's no quicker way to control it all than through the Google Home app on Wear OS.
While still not available on every Wear OS device - with devices like the TicWatch Pro 5 still waiting for this one to land - Assistant is one of the most useful apps to have downloaded on your wrist.
Often, you'll be prompted to enable Assistant and its 'Hey Google' wake-up during the initial setup, but you can also download it from the Play Store if it isn't automatically included in your app list.
And, naturally, the possibilities are pretty endless here.
We love the way Assistant on Wear OS syncs with the rest of Google's apps - meaning you can ask the smart helper to turn off your lights if they're set up in Home, or calculate a route via Maps - and responses have always been delivered quickly and reliably on our Pixel Watch test model.
How we test