The best Apple Watch productivity apps
You won’t be firing up Office on your wrist any time soon, but your Apple Watch can still help you work.
When you want to send a message using your Apple Watch, Apple forces you to dictate your words in a self-conscious manner, or use Scribble to enter characters one by one. FlickType reasons that history already taught us a keyboard is the best way to enter text.
You’d think the Apple Watch screen too diddy for a keyboard to work. You’d be wrong. Swiping across FlickType and using the Digital Crown to switch words or emoji makes us wish Apple would immediately steal the entire concept and weld it to watchOS.
Cheatsheet Notes (£free + £4.99 IAP)
If you don’t need the security of 1Password but still fancy quick access to bite-sized notes (such as Wi-Fi passwords and door combinations), Cheatsheet Notes is an excellent download. Each tiny information nugget comprises a piece of text and custom icon, and cheats can be synced from the iPhone app (assuming you buy the one-off ‘unlock everything’ IAP).
You can also edit, create and organise (into folders) new cheats directly on Apple Watch (by way of dictation), along with using one of these notes as a complication. Just don’t make it your credit card PIN, eh?
Productive (£free or £6.49 per month)
On the iPhone, Productive is designed to help you build good habits. You create individual habits and say how often you want to do them. The app then builds daily schedules, split into morning, afternoon and evening.
The Apple Watch app is a basic companion – but a smart one. On launch, it’ll switch to the relevant list, enabling you to quickly check through your schedule. Finished a task? Tap Done and wear a smug grin. Don’t fancy doing one today? Tap Skip and perfect your guilty face for a bit. The only snag is the monthly outlay, but perhaps that’s worth it to get those habits down.
Like Productive, Streaks wants to infuse habits into your daily routine. However, this is a pay-once app – not a subscription – and has a kind of ruthless efficiency that Productive lacks.
Here, you’re encouraged to limit yourself to just six habits (although up to 12 are supported). The interface is restricted to icons depicting your habits, which you prod when a task is completed – unless it’s a timer, in which case a tap sets it going. Reminders can also be sent your way as relevant.
It might seem reductive at first, but the app’s blunt nature works, keeping you focused on your tasks.
Watchsmith (£free + IAP)
There are two sides to Watchsmith. The first is the app, which is like a Swiss army knife. Open it and you’ll find mini-apps for weather forecasts, workouts, timezone conversion and calendars; there are even a few games to faff about with.
But the app’s biggest differentiator is its complications. These are configured on your iPhone and can be defined to cycle through multiple functions. So you could use just one slot to show your weather forecast in the morning, activity during a daily workout session, a calendar when at work, and astronomy at night.
IAP’s required to unlock some functions, but the base app is free. It’s well worth a look to demonstrate the scope of complications and how your Apple Watch can benefit from its display being more dynamic beyond the Siri face.
If you’ve fond memories of calculator watches, you’re probably a) quite old and b) not going to be convinced about using a calculator app on Apple Watch. Because frankly, doing so is a mite fiddly.
Still, PCalc is the best of them. The buttons are chunky, and operators can be got at with a long tap or prodded on a second screen. The app also includes a handy third screen for conversions. It defaults to tips, but you can spin the Digital Crown to get at units for all kinds of things, including functions.
Note that freebie PCalc Lite offers similar functionality to massive cheapskates.