We round up the best Android Wear 2.0 apps that you can download and use on your watch in 2017, from fitness trackers and stress-busting apps to games and the best watch faces. Here’s everything you need to know, including how to download and install Android Wear apps on your watch.
Android Wear watches now have thousands of apps available to download and use, just like your Android phone or tablet. And now that we have Android Wear 2.0, you can even download these apps direct to your smartwatch without even touching your phone.
But while variety is undoubtedly the spice of life, it’s also a serious pain if you don’t want to spend days trawling the Google Play store for just the right app for your watch.
Here’s our guide to downloading only the best apps and games onto your Android Wear 2.0 watch. And for more info on Android Wear and Android Wear 2.0, including the best features and smartwatches and how to get started, take a look at our Android Wear tips and tricks guide.
Best Android Wear 2.0 apps: How to download apps onto your Android Wear 2.0 or older Android Wear watch
With Android Wear 2.0, downloading new apps onto your smartwatch is super simple. Just head to your watch’s apps menu and find the Google Play app and give it a tap. This will allow you to browse the Google Play store and directly download anything you need.
If you’re still rocking the older version of Android Wear, you’ll need to download Android Wear apps through your mobile phone (be it an Android or iPhone), which are then beamed to your wrist via Bluetooth.
To download Android Wear apps, first head to the Android Wear app on your mobile. You should have downloaded this to your phone when you first set up your smartwatch. Inside this app, you should see a shortcut to the Android Wear apps catalogue from the main page. This might say ‘Essential watch apps’, for instance; just tap ‘more’ to see the full catalogue.
The Android Wear apps store is broken down into different categories, just like Google’s standard Google Play apps store. You can also browse the Android Wear apps charts, by tapping the button at the top of the screen.
If an app catches your attention, tap it to find out more info. Note that some are free to download and install and others will cost you money. When downloaded, you can then use the app on your watch.
Read next: How to get better battery life with Android Wear 2.0
Best Android Wear 2.0 apps: Our pick of the greatest Android Wear apps right now
To make things easy, we’ve highlighted our favourite Android Wear apps according to category below. These are the best apps that you can download and install on your Android Wear smartwatch right now.
Best Android Wear 2.0 messaging apps
One of the best reasons to have a smartwatch is to see your messages as they hit your phone, without having to pull your mobile out of your pocket. And now with voice reply, you can get back to your pals in double quick time. Here’s our pick of the best Android Wear 2.0 messaging apps.
WhatsApp just keeps getting better, and with widespread support, the chances are good that your buddies will be on it. You can send pics, videos and pretty much anything you can think of, to individuals or groups. And with the WhatsApp calling feature, you can even voice chat with your contacts over WiFi.
If you’re a fan of Facebook’s messaging service, the good news is that the smartwatch app for Android Wear 2.0 is decent for a quick glimpse of any new messages that pop into your inbox. You can even make and receive calls via your watch if you really want to.
Other great Android Wear 2.0 messaging apps: Viber, Glide
Best Android Wear 2.0 fitness apps
If you want to get fit, you might as well do it in style. Android Wear 2.0 offers a strong selection of fitness tracking apps and workout motivators to get you up and active. Here’s our pick of the best.
Endomondo can track a wide variety of exercises and give you real-time stats, complete with audio notifications when you hit certain milestones. There’s support for heart rate monitors and every workout is recorded in full, so you can see how good (or lazy) you’ve been recently.
7 Minute Workout
If you want to tone up, but have limited time, 7 Minute Workout is a great (and free) way to do so. This handy app offers you a series of intensive exercise sessions, complete with complete instructions and notifications to keep you right.
Other great Android Wear 2.0 fitness apps: Strava Running and Cycling GPS, Couch Potato to 5K Run Trainer
Best Android Wear 2.0 games
Gaming on a dinky smartwatch screen isn’t exactly the ideal way to pass time, but if you’re waiting for your bus and have a couple of minutes to kill, they’ll do the job. Here’s our pick of the best Android Wear 2.0 games.
Lifeline is a cool concept for a mobile game, which now boasts several spin-offs such as Flatline and Crisis as well as full support for Android Wear watches.
Your watch appears to intercept a communication from someone called Taylor, who’s tragically stranded on a distant moon and desperately searching for advice. Should he explore his downed craft for supplies, or get the hell out of there and find shelter?
So begins a real-time adventure that’s both gripping and nerve-racking. You’re responsible for Taylor’s continued survival, making crucial choices for him at every turn. And the fact that you have to actually wait for him to complete each action can make for some nail-biting tension when your watch finally vibrates with his next update.
This reaction-based Android Wear 2,0 game has you dodging in and out of a circle to avoid killer balls. And if that sounds completely random, it certainly is. However, Rontivity is also the best fast-paced game on Android Wear 2.0 right now, offering a heart-pounding and surprisingly tough distraction from real life.
Best Android Wear productivity app: Todoist
if you need some help to organise your life, check out Todoist. With this handy app you can set calendar notifications and scribble other notes on your phone, and your Android Wear device will flash up reminders and other essential info when needed. Full colour coding and support for recurring reminders are among some of the more helpful Todoist features.
Best Android Wear cooking app: My CookBook
Following a recipe on your phone can be a real pain, but My CookBook allows you to check out each step on your Android Wear watch. There’s a massive selection of recipes to choose from and you can quickly and easily scale the ingredients depending on how many people you’re cooking for.
Best Android Wear watch face: The Watching Dead
This animated Android Wear watch face will please fans of the gory Walking Dead TV show and others besides, with its cool design and information-packed display. You can see at a glance how your phone and watch battery life is faring, plus full date and time info and an update on how many steps you’ve completed so far that day. Better get in training for the inevitable zombie apocalypse, after all.
Best Android Wear stress-buster: Calm
If your days are a little bit packed and you need something to help you relax, try giving Calm a go. This meditation app for Android Wear watches will help you learn simple methods for de-stressing, including peaceful nature scenes and chilled music. Breathe deep and off you go.
We’re constantly updating this list of best Android Wear watch apps with new great apps. Let us know your own favourites in the comments below.
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