The best watchOS 2-compatible apps now available for Apple Watch
This week's launch of watchOS 2 brings a whole slew of new features and capabilities for developers, some of which are already being taken advantage of by new Apple Watch apps. Here's a rundown of some of the best and most interesting watchOS 2 apps that can showcase the versatility of your Apple Watch.
One of the most popular third-party weather apps on iOS is also one of the first to support the new watch face complications made possible with watchOS 2. Upon updating to the latest version, Dark Sky users will be able to use complications showing the current conditions, times that rain will stop or start in the next hour, and other customizable, intelligent weather-based info.
The new Dark Sky complication also works with Time Travel, meaning users can rotate the Digital Crown on their Apple Watch, and weather details for the rest of the day can be quickly glanced.
Dark Sky also includes advanced push notification options, and the ability to look at weather for the upcoming week. It's available in the U.S., the U.K., and Ireland.
Dark Sky is priced at $3.99.
Thanks to the opening up of voice recognition in watchOS 2, iTranslate now offers the ability to instantly translate words, phrases and text into more than 90 languages, direct from a user's wrist. Users can also play back translations through their Apple Watch speaker, with no need to pull their phone out of their pocket.
iTranslate also includes complications, giving users a quick and easy way to start a translation directly from their watch face. It even sets a suggested language based on the user's current location, meaning a user who is visiting Berlin will have the complication automatically set to translate German.
Complications also display common phrases, such as "good morning" or good evening" on the watch face while the user is abroad. Phrases are based on location and time of day.
Finally, by using Time Travel on a watch face, users can see phrases for a later time of day. This will allow users to plan ahead, such as learning to say "good night" before they go off to dinner.
iTranslate is a free download on the App Store.
Popular run tracking app Runtastic was also updated this week for watchOS 2. The latest update gives runners the ability to track their heart rate from their wrist, tapping into new functionality enabled by Apple with the software update.
Runtastic says its updated app also includes more robust data collection for personal accounts, as well as within the Apple Health platform.
Runtastic Pro version 6.2 is available for $4.99 in the iOS App Store.
Proloquo2Go is an award winning iOS application that enables users with communication issues and fine motor challenges to communicate more easily. It's been available on the Apple Watch for months, but developer AssistiveWare was one of the first to update their app for the watchOS 2 launch with greatly enhanced functionality.
With Proloquo2Go 4.0.2, users can access a number of pre-programmed phrases and a sentence builder right from their wrist. The new Apple Watch sentence builder lets users pick from a number of sentence starters, combined with nouns and adjectives from over 10 categories.
watchOS 2 does not include text-to-speech capabilities for developers, so Proloquo2Go presents the sentence full-screen and upside-down. This makes it easier for the user to display what they are trying to communicate to another person, by simply flicking their wrist in that person's direction.
Presumably, if Apple introduces text-to-speech functionality in future watchOS builds, or Apple Watch hardware, then the capabilities of accessibility apps like Proloquo2Go could become much more beneficial to those who need them.
Proloquo2Go is a $249.99 app, and this week's new 4.0.2 update is free for existing users. It also includes features to better support language development and growth of communication skills. The Apple Watch app requires watchOS 2 installed on the watch, and iOS 9 on the connected iPhone.
Popular productivity app OmniFocus 2 has become a native Apple Watch app with its latest update. It also includes watch face complications, and a customizable glance.
OmniFocus includes options for complications at each size Apple offers. For the largest view, users can see the first task that needs attention, as well as a count of actions they'd like to show, while the smallest complication is just a badge count.
OmniFocus 2 is priced at $39.99 and also includes support for iOS 9 features, such as system-wide searches, and split-screen multitasking on the iPad Air 2 and forthcoming iPad Pro.
PCalc also takes advantage of a number of watchOS 2 improvements with its latest app update, including faster load times as a native watch app.
The app's tip calculator also includes newfound Digital Crown support, a new capability added by watchOS 2. Users can rotate the crown for setting inputs, while the app shows split, tip and total all at once.
The latest update also includes support for Handoff from the Apple Watch app to other devices. And there's an option to switch off dictation on the Apple Watch in the Advanced section of the settings.
PCalc is a $9.99 download from the iOS App Store, and the version 3.5 update is free for those who already own the software.