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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.

We've got more on setting up and using Apple Pay on the Apple Watch, as well as an updated list of where you can use Apple Pay, and which bank cards are supported.

Verdict: A Apple Pay is delightful as ever, and I'm excited that iPhone 5s, 5c, and 5 users can get in on the party thanks to Apple Watch.

6. Camera Remote

This one is just plain cool — a remote shutter button for your iPhone camera. It can even launch the camera app on the paired iPhone if it's not launched already. (It even worked when my iPhone was locked.) The watch app has two buttons, a shutter button to take a shot immediately, or a button with a 3s indicator. Press that to see a 3-second countdown on the watch, followed by a burst of 10 photos taken by the iPhone. This is perfect not only for avoiding a bunch of selfies of you looking at your watch, but also for a photo of you jumping up in the air and doing karate kicks. Not that I've been trying that. Ahem.

It'd be kind of cool if you could force-touch the screen to temporarily pair the app to a different iPhone, or flip the iPhone from the front camera to the back. But that latter feature is a forgivable omission, since you'll be setting up the shot with your iPhone anyway, propping it up on a stand and pointing it where you want. The Apple Watch app does support both cameras, you just have to switch between them on the iPhone. When you switch the Camera app on your phone into viewing mode, a message pops up on your watch saying the mode is not supported, but there's a handy button you can press to switch back to photo mode.

Verdict: A The speed is impressive — there's barely any shutter lag, and if you flip the iPhone from portrait to landscape mode, it's reflected on the watch immediately too. You can even tap the Apple Watch's screen to tell the iPhone camera where to focus. I like it and will carry my trusty iPhone tripod more faithfully now that I have this.

7. Workout

Workout hits your battery extra hard, since it keeps track of your heart rate the entire time you're exercising. (The rest of the time, the Apple Watch checks your heart rate once every 10 minutes.) It's geared toward cardio: the options include outdoor walk, outdoor run, outdoor cycle, indoor walk, indoor run, indoor cycle, elliptical, rower, stair stepper, and "other." Exercises like yoga, pilates, boxing, and weight training may not be counted as "exercise" minutes toward your goal — it depends on your heart rate data. But for the cardio exercises in the menu, it works well.


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