11 must-have Apple Watch apps

Now that you’ve got your new Apple Watch, here are the apps you should try…

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Get ready for the Apple Watch

Developers have been industriously developing for Apple Watch since before the product was announced, which means there are plenty of apps to check out as the first orders of the device start to arrive. We’ve put together this list of new apps to try in addition to the Apple Watch apps we looked at last month. The age of the smart wearable has begun.

Related: 14 Apple Watch apps you'll want to use
16 awesome accessories for your Apple Watch

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CircleBack

The modern world is busy and engaged, and your professional and personal contacts merge. But how can you keep up with what they're doing? CircleBack uses artificial intelligence and crowd-based intelligence technology to automate contact updating and management.

It will check for duplicate contacts, keep them in sync across all your Macs and iOS devices, and watch people’s social media feeds to let you know about any significant changes or promotions. A useful tool to activate your contact list.

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Skin

Skin lets you scan any part of your body with your iPhone camera and see a preview of the results on your Watch. The app analyzes the scan in order to evaluate skin dryness, flakiness and redness and other signs of skin health.

“In time, we can use this data to better provide skin-care recommendations by analyzing the impact of parameters such as weather and location on overall skin health,” said Dr. Parham Aarabi, Founder and CEO of ModiFace. This is one of many diagnostic solutions coming to the Watch -- another is the BACtrack app, which, in combination with the company's smartphone breathalyzer, will display the results directly on your wrist, without you having to take your phone out.

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WebMD

The WebMD Apple Watch app is packed with features you’ll need, including a "Medication Reminder" tool that taptically "taps" you on the wrist to help you with your pill-popping routine. Patients can also check personal medical information, schedules, medication-taking instructions and view customizable pill images of their personal medication.

WebMD President Dr. Steven Zatz calls this "a powerful new approach to address the issue of non-compliance in a way never before possible." WebMD isn’t the only medical app for Apple Watch: HealthTap, MediSafe, Patient IO -- there’s plenty to explore here.

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Runtastic and Runtastic Six Pack

Runtastic’s Apple Watch apps are like personal trainers on your wrist. An avatar guides you through targeted pre-defined or self-created workouts with three difficulty levels tailored for your fitness level. Glances support means you can easily check your speed, distance, duration, pace and calories burned just by looking at your watch. Apple Watch is also compatible with Runtastic Six Pack and Runtastic Butt Trainer.

Florian Gschwandtner, CEO and co-founder of Runtastic, said he hopes it will encourage “people who never previously considered tracking their daily activities and workouts to become more active, live more consciously and lead healthier lives.” Runtastic isn’t the only exercise-related app out there, but its innovative use of avatars make it a useful workout companion.

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Workflow

Workflow lets you create more than 200 automated actions, 163 of which are supported on the Apple Watch, including functions such as calling a cab using Uber or getting a map to the next place you plan to go. For example, you could create an Apple Watch Workflow to search for and guide you to the closest coffee shop or save media into Dropbox.

You can create your own custom workflows by combining the tasks the app has available while its Handoff support means those functions your smartwatch won’t support are easily be swapped across to your phone.

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Numerics

Cynapse is an interesting Apple Watch app that embraces the kind of functionality enterprise users will want for their smartwatches. The app was built with the understanding that people’s time is limited, so it offers users quick and immediate access to the key business metrics they need.

Enterprise chiefs can see how much value has risen in sales in a particular day, while sales people may want to keep an eye on task completion or sales made. Simply indicate what data you want access to on your Watch through the iPhone app and it is presented conveniently through Glances and Notifications on your wrist. Continuity support means that if you need to dig a little deeper into the numbers, you can swipe across to your iPhone. This is business analytics to go.

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Invoice To Go

Anyone who has ever had to keep track of and charge for their time will see the conveniece of this Apple Watch app, which uses geo-fencing to monitor when you turn up at a site and when you leave in real time. If you visit numerous clients, and frequently forget to take note of how long each visit lasts -- making it difficult to charge for time -- this app will be invaluable.

Information is sent to the cloud and can be used to produce an invoice for your client as you leave with just a few taps. This is an outstanding example of useful functionality from a company that already offers good tools with which to create invoices from Macs, iPads and iPhones. This isn’t the only productivity app to think about, though: Also try Salesforce, OneDrive or Dropbox, for example.

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Moovit

The app you won’t want to leave home without, Moovit is a crowdsourced public transit app with more than 15 million users in 500 cities and an Apple Watch app that’s available now. The app makes it super-easy to navigate public transport, providing service alerts, timetables, the ability to find nearby stations, upcoming stops and more.

It’s not the only public transit solution for Apple Watch; CityMapper and Transit are also available, but Moovit’s use of crowdsourced data is an interesting addition to the paradigm. In the future? It seems inevitable that apps like these will eventually also pay our public transit fares using Apple Pay. It will be interesting to see which of these apps reaches such integration first.

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Alarm.com

Alarm.com developers promise this nifty app for Apple Watch will seamlessly integrate with all the connected devices around your home or office for a complete smarthome experience. (Of course, you should ensure that the connected devices you do use are secure before you deploy them.) This brilliant app lets you control these devices and will provide you with fast and immediate alerts when activity is taking place.

Glances, Notifications and geo-location support means the app will notify you if you leave home without doing something, such as locking the door. “We believe that the smarthome should solve real consumer challenges in a simple but powerful way,” the developers say. This could be the future of smarthome security apps. (Also check 1Password’s Apple Watch app).

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Glide

You can watch live video messages from friends on your Apple Watch, thanks to Glide’s app. There are some limitations, the biggest of which being that you can’t send a video message using your watch -- since the device doesn’t include a camera, you need to respond with text (or use your iPhone).

It’s a novel and futuristic experience to chat with friends on your wrist like this. Other features include an archived message list, instant notifications as new messages arrive and more. In the future, I anticipate the other big players in video messaging will become involved in using the Apple Watch for communications. And it seems inevitable these devices will have a part to play in unified communication set-ups in the enterprise.

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Boiled Egg Timer

Proving just how valuable a simple app can be, Boiled Egg Timer helps you create the perfect egg every time, with settings for egg size, texture and time. Just set it up and wait to be told when your food is ready.

Other cookery apps you should try include Green Kitchen and the Whole Pantry, but we like this one because, while being kind of geeky, it’s also going to be incredibly useful, you know, for anyone who can’t get hold of an egg timer.

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Honorable mentions

There’s no doubt whatsoever that Apple Watch app development has become the new iOS rock ‘n’ roll -- and we’ve deliberately highlighted some of the apps you may not have heard about before.

But this is by no means a comprehensive list. I also urge you to look at other apps, such as LifeSum, Shazam, Peak, Trip Advisor and OpenTable, or any of the flurry of new apps we’ve heard about lately, like the engaging Within10 app, which helps you find restaurants, bars and cafes within a 10 minute walk. This is only the start of the Apple Watch app wave.

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