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Every built-in Apple Watch app, ranked

Susie Ochs | May 11, 2015
The apps that come with your Apple Watch run the gamut from super useful to superficial, but no matter what you think of any of them, they're not going away. On your iPhone, you can just make a folder of the un-deletable Apple apps (looking at you, Compass and Tips), so at least they're out of sight and out of mind. But the Apple Watch doesn't support folders, and you can't hide or delete any of its 20 built-in apps.

The apps that come with your Apple Watch run the gamut from super useful to superficial, but no matter what you think of any of them, they're not going away. On your iPhone, you can just make a folder of the un-deletable Apple apps (looking at you, Compass and Tips), so at least they're out of sight and out of mind. But the Apple Watch doesn't support folders, and you can't hide or delete any of its 20 built-in apps.

You can, however, reorder your home screen — either using the Apple Watch app for iPhone, which gives you way more real estate to work with, or by tapping-and-holding an icon on the Apple Watch's screen until they all jiggle, and then dragging them around with your finger. You'll want to put the ones you use the most near the center, and banish apps you're not into out to the edges. But as you add third-party apps, those go to the edges of your app cluster too, so you may find yourself continually pushing unloved apps further out — it's kind of a pain, to be honest.

To help you get everything sorted, we present these short reviews of every single app that shipped with the Apple Watch — and rank them best to worst. Which are your favorites, and which do you wish you could get rid of? What improvements do you think Apple should make? Sound off in the comments!

1. Music

The Music app, of course, ties in with the Music app on your iPhone. If your iPhone is in range, you can browse your iPhone's music library by artist, album, songs, and playlists, either scrolling with your finger or by spinning the Digital Crown. (Just like a clickwheel!)

You can keep up to 2GB of music on your Apple Watch's 8GB of built-in storage. The default storage limit is 1GB of music, so to make room for more, visit the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, then tap Music in the list of apps. Tap Playlist limit to toggle between the low (100MB/15 songs) and high (2GB/250 songs) ends. Then tap the Synced Playlist setting, and pick a playlist from your iPhone to sync to your watch's local storage the next time your iPhone is plugged in.

The Apple Watch doesn't have a headphone jack, and it does have a speaker, but that speaker isn't up to playing music. Playing a song from the Music app will play it on your iPhone. You can switch to an AirPlay speaker or Bluetooth headphones by force-touching the screen in the Music app, which brings up controls for Shuffle, Repeat, Source (either the music stored on your iPhone, or only the songs saved to the Apple Watch), and AirPlay.

 

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