14 Apple Watch apps you'll want to use

What's a shiny new Apple Watch without some cool apps for it? Here are 14 that you'll want once you have one.

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Apple Watch apps you’ll want to use

Anyone who understands technology will know that while Apple may have created the Apple Watch, it will be developers who truly make it “smart.” Developers will be the people who create solutions that mean a few seconds' exposure to the connected intelligence on our wrists may make a positive difference to our lives.

There’s a huge amount of activity going on already, so things look interesting. Here are just a few apps you’ll want to use if you buy yourself an Apple Watch (starts at $349 direct; check Amazon price).

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Apple sets the scene

Apple offers numerous Apple Watch apps, including Passbook, which lets you board your plane with a wrist flick; Workout, to keep you in shape; and Apple Pay, so you can pay by waggling your arm about.

You’ll find these all make use of haptic feedback, so you can expect a tap on your wrist when a notification comes through. Apple’s apps are great examples to arouse developer interest – they need to, as developers will help the product succeed or fail.

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Your world on your wrist

Evernote “gets” Apple Watch, saying: “An app on a watch doesn’t replace an app on the phone, it complements it. That’s how Apple Watch is designed, and it’s exactly what Evernote for Apple Watch is all about.”

The app lets you dictate notes, perform searches and see recent content on your watch when you need it. Set reminders and check items off your list without ever taking out your phone. It’s a peer-player play -- start reading a note on the watch and then finish reading it on your iPhone with a single swipe.

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Climb the language barrier

Almost certainly the first of many solutions for language learning, Babbel has created a unique version of its app for the Apple Watch. The app aims to provide contextual language tools -- so if you are in a restaurant, Babbel will provide you with the words for fork and knife in any of 14 supported languages, helping you learn the language as you live your life.

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Get around without stress

One day, every public transit system will be made easy to navigate with apps like CityMapper. Here’s how it works: you know where you are going, your phone knows where you are.

It doesn’t matter if you are familiar with your surroundings, your Watch will fetch you public transit instructions without you needing to pull out your phone. Departures, step-by step instructions -- the app even taps you on the wrist to let you know you’ve reached your stop.

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Real estate fantasy

Love the place you’ve ended up? Redfin is an interesting little Apple Watch app that lets you review real estate listings near where you are.

Use it to find properties, check pictures, get prices and property details, take notes and book a visit. You can even ask the app to notify you when property’s price changes or a sale falls through.

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The social networks

Love spending time on Instagram? You’ll be able to tag, comment and like in any spare second you may enjoy. Makes sense on your wrist, right?

You bet – that’s why pretty much every social network except Google Plus is coming to Apple Watch. Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, WeChat, Disqus are all vying for space on your wrist. “We’re really excited to see where the technology goes,” said Instagram CEO, Kevin Systrom.

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Wearables in the enterprise

Apple Watch for the enterprise? Definitely. This Salesforce app (one of three solutions from the company) brings you business analytics at a glance. It should make it much easier for enterprise users to stay connected with their business, even if they only have a few seconds to spare.

“It's not about delivering more and more notifications," Salesforce's vice president of solutions and product marketing, Michael Peachey, said. "Industry and people will realize, the personal and instant way you get updated on something IS important. You just get nudged, see just a snippet at the time and take action."

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Digital transformations

Retale’s Apple Watch app will help you stay on top of your digital customer experience with coupons, travel info, deal information and a few other features available at a glance. So will it change the way you shop? I think it’s possible.

“We decided not to bring the full user experience from our smartphone apps,” Retale CEO, Christian Gaiser told Computerworld, “only the relevant functionalities for the Watch…will work best within the context of the Watch experience.”

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What’s happening now?

News for the digital natives, The Guardian is one of the first big media outlets to jump aboard Apple Watch with its Moments app. The app brings bit-sized chunks of breaking news, sports results and other items personalized to your tastes.

Everything is stripped down -- you’ll get the gist in a glance. “At any time the reader can handoff to their phone for the full iPhone app experience of what they were looking at, ensuring a seamless reading experience optimized for the users context and behavior,” said The Guardian's Helene Sears.

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How much have I got?

Apple Pay makes paying for things as easy as wafting your wrist wildly through the ether. Money has become (some say it always has been) virtual, and we can all expect a raft of personal finance Apple Watch apps designed to help track finances, even while we cough up virtual cash with Apple Pay.

Citi, Fidelity and Mint have all already announced plans to offer up apps for the Apple smartwatch. They will not be alone.

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Where can I stay?

The Starwood Hotel app got a little love during Apple’s special event. It lets you find a Starwood hotel, make a reservation, get directions, check-in and unlock your hotel room door – you don’t even need to spend time at the check-in desk.

You’ll find this system in use at 30,000 Starwood hotel rooms by the end of the year. “In a mobile world, people increasingly expect their technology to help them do whatever they need to do on the spot,” Starwood said. “Apple Watch allows us to engage with our guests in-the-moment like never before with a glance at their wrist.” Other hotel chains are close behind.

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Take me home

Uber’s app means you’ll be able to locate, book and track a cab wherever you happen to be using your Apple Watch – and as is always the case with Uber, you won’t even need to pay cash since the company automatically charges to your account.

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Apple in your car

Available in the U.S., Automatic is a must have item for any motorist. It consists of a $99 device you plug into your car's diagnostic port (known as the OBD-II) which then monitors and records how your car is operating and sends that information to Automatic's apps on your phone, and on your Apple Watch.

Right now, the Watch app lets you find your car and track your fuel costs, among other thing. “In the future, we may extend the functionality to include check engine light, battery, and low fuel warnings,” Automatic co-founder, Ljuba Miljkovic said.

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Keep in touch

If you aren’t yet using Slack, you really should be. A communication tool, it’s one of the best collaborative tools for remotely based teams I’ve come across, and it’s packed with handy features designed to make your team work more effective.

Available on multiple platforms it’s no great surprise an Apple Watch version of Slack will be available – you can even see its icon in the smartwatch ad, prompting CEO, Stewart Butterfield to say: “Slack (just barely) makes the Watch launch ad. Lower left.”

Looking for more apps? I’ll be watching for you, so please keep your eyes on the AppleHolic blog.

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Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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