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Staff Picks: 8 Apple Watch apps we can't wait to use

Macworld Staff | April 27, 2015
The Apple Watch's killer app is, well, its apps--nearly 3,000 available on launch day. While we don't want to clutter our watch home screens with apps we'll never use, the Macworld staff did find some gems waiting to work with the go-to apps we're already using on our phones every single day. These are the apps we can't wait to use on our wrists.

Twitter

Twitter is the social network I use most, and its notifications are ones I value. If someone responds to my tweet or if a bunch of people I follow all share the same tweet, it's usually important enough to glance at right away. Twitter's Apple Watch app will let me reply, retweet, fave, and compose my own tweets using voice dictation, plus get notifications that I won't have to pull out my phone to see. The app will give my Twitter usage more intent, so instead of absent-mindedly scrolling through my feed while real life passes me by, I can interact with Twitter without getting sucked in. — Caitlin McGarry

New York Times

I can't help being obsessed with the New York Times. Not only is it my local newspaper, but it's one of the few publications that actually waits to push out breaking news until it's 100 percent confirmed. I'm looking forward to getting its news alerts. The Times's Watch app will offer one-sentence news reports with bullet-point summaries and photos, which will satisfy my thirst for headlines when I can't dive into stories on my phone or tablet. Handoff support is there for when I do want to send a story to a larger screen, or I can just add stories from the watch to my personal reading list. — Caitlin McGarry

Shazam

I've one of the 600 million people who have downloaded Shazam since the song-identifying app launched way back in the iPhone's early days. It's become a utility that you don't think about until you hear a tune you just can't place. That's why Shazam on Apple Watch is a natural fit, Shazam Chief Product Officer Daniel Danker told me. The app launches with the Shazam button front and center so you can capture a song snippet and discover who sings it without digging for your phone. Synchronized song lyrics scroll by as the tune plays, and takes advantage of the Watch's Force Touch feature: Just give the app an extra long press to let it run in the background and create a playlist of all the songs you hear throughout the day. Because the app relies on your iPhone to do the heavy lifting, all of this music discovery won't drain your Watch battery. — Caitlin McGarry

Elevate

I'm totally obsessed with Elevate on the iPhone — the free brain-building app gives you three small minigames to play each day in the areas of Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing, and Math. Over time the game ramps up the difficulty based on your performance, and switches up what games you get in each area so it never gets boring. An optional subscription lets you play more games daily, but I've stuck with the free version so far — and so I'm excited that the Apple Watch app will have its own shrunken-down version, dubbed Elevate Dash. Optimized for the watch, the four minigames only take 20 seconds to play, so I can keep my brain sharp anytime, anywhere. — Susie Ochs

 

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