The Apple Watch is coming, and we all know what that means. Pretty soon the airwaves are going to be awash with features on Apple Watch apps, custom wristbands, and plenty of tutorials. Before every wearable dedicated site out there — including ours — becomes saturated with this stuff we figured it would be a good time to look ahead.
To that end, we compiled a list of the top ten Apple Watch apps and features we’d love to see make a jump to the platform. This stuff may — or may not — be available with time, but we’d certainly like for it to happen at some point.
Top Ten Apple Watch Apps and Features We’d Love to See on the Platform
Keep in mind, most of these Apple Watch apps and feature ideas are meant to be just that. They aren’t necessarily indicative of what’s actually available on other platforms. The list is meant to signify some of the things we’d like the Apple Watch to do, or in other words some of the problems we’d like it to solve. We’re not particularly picky, even if these Apple Watch apps and features arrive in a stripped-down and simple form, we’ll be more than happy with the platform.
A Real Time Translator
While traveling abroad, or interacting with folks from a foreign country it would be nice to have a real-time translator handy. Of course, no one expects 100% accuracy with things like this, but it would be nice if it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as Google Translate — meaning the translations have to actually make sense.
If any tech company besides Google were going to invest time doing something like this, it would be Apple. Then again, support may eventually come from third-parties such as Duolingo and similar brands. Either way, this is one of those simple Apple Watch apps that you don’t realize you need, until you’re actually in the thick of it.
Improved Voice Controls
While it’s easy to dismiss the success of Google Now and Siri by claiming they don’t always work right, many of us would be lost without them. Still, it would be nice to see Apple bring improved voice controls to the table with Apple Watch apps.
There are plenty of mobile apps out there trying to do this in the smartphone world, when the reality is that touch and gesture based controls work just fine on 4″ and larger displays. That’s not quite the case with tiny screens that are less than 2″ in size.
One of our dream Apple Watch apps would eliminate the need for virtual keyboards. Instead, it would allow you to talk normally to the device and it will recognize all your commands and input. We’ll see if it really happens soon enough, however.
Remote Camera Activation for iPhones
Google’s Android Wear platform does this flawlessly with Android handsets. That is, you can remotely control your phone’s camera. It’s great for taking selfies, of course. It’s also great for digital photographers who opt to use their mobile device for capturing high quality images. If you have the phone set-up on a stand or tripod then this feature would be a godsend.
Believe it or not, since the two devices are already going to be paired up and communicating all this would require is the right amount of software support from Apple. Let’s hope they make it happen.
If not, we can always hope for a various third-parties to release Apple Watch apps that afford us this functionality.
Transit App or Native Apple Maps Support
This won’t be useful for everyone, in fact it’s really only for those of us who live in a bustling city but that’s okay. There’s an app called Transit that looks up departure and arrival times for buses in your area, and it’s currently available for iOS and Android handsets. We’d love to see it become available for the Apple Watch sometime after launch.
Even something as simple as a query app that displays a list of the most relevant departure and arrival times would be great. It would allow you to steal a quick glance at your wrist to make sure you’re on time, without the need to put all of your stuff down just to snatch your phone out of your pocket.
Location Based Reminders and Alerts
We’re not talking about the kind of location-based reminders and alerts that you set yourself. We’re talking about the kind that let you know there’s a fun spot nearby or a great place to eat. This would be excellent to have on your wrist, and you don’t even need native GPS support for it — the Apple Watch could pair up with an iPhone to operate.
There are some apps out there that do this already on mobile, but we’d like to see that experience ported to the smartwatch world. The biggest selling point here is that smartwatches use a smaller display and have significantly less navigational controls. Just a simple feature that pops up interesting landmarks, events and even eateries would be great. Of course, if Apple Watch apps like this do come available natively, there needs to be an option to disable it — for the folks out there who have no use for such a feature.
True Remote Controls
This is pretty much a sure thing, or at least some form of it is anyway. We’d love to see an app that offers true remote control support. Whether that be operating XBMC — on your PC — remotely, starting a recording on your DVR, skipping tracks on your stereo, or something else entirely. We’d really just like to see the Apple Watch become something of a capable remote control device, in addition to everything else.
This wouldn’t be a stretch by any means, as iPhones, Android handsets and even Android Wear smartwatches offer this very functionality. We don’t care if it comes in the form of a native app or feature, or if it’s added later by a third-party. The latter is probably most likely, as there are dozens — if not hundreds — of different platforms and devices this functionality could be configured with.
Walkie-Talkie or Voice Comms App
Sure, there are a lot of smartwatches and wearables out there that allow you to make and receive calls through a connected companion device like a smartphone. That functionality would be great for the Apple Watch sure, but it’s not quite what we’re looking for.
Haven’t you ever seen Dick Tracy? It would be absolutely awesome if we could communicate with other Apple Watch wearers through some kind of walkie-talkie or voice comms app. Think iMessage only with Nextel-like voice chatting. That said, even if it works similar to the old Nextel setup we’d prefer if it didn’t use annoying beep alert tones.
Seriously though, if you can’t talk to your friends on it then it’s not a smartwatch.
With all these rumors that the Apple Watch is going to be very health and fitness centric, it would be nice if it included some kind of activity reminder. No, we’re not talking about the kind that tracks your movements and tells you how far you’ve traveled or how many calories you burned — although that’s sure to be in there somewhere.
Instead, we’re talking about Apple Watch apps that might tell you when you’ve been sitting on your rump for far too long and that you need to get up and do something about it. For instance, if you sit at a desk in front of a computer all day long the device could remind you to take quick breaks and stretch out your legs. If the adverse is true, then the device could remind you to sit down and relax for a little bit. It might be subtle, but it would certainly be a welcome feature as far as health and wellness support is concerned.
Unfortunately, the first generation Apple Watch is not going to include a camera. That means there probably won’t be any FaceTime support for it, and if there is you won’t be able to video chat directly — maybe you’ll be able to receive a call and still see who you’re chatting with?
It would be excellent to see FaceTime support implemented for the Apple Watch eventually, however. Maybe in the next generation models?
Then again, just think about how many people you’d see video chatting with one another while waiting in line for their morning coffee as opposed to talking loudly to seemingly no one via a Bluetooth headset. On second thought… let’s scrap that idea.
To add to this, it would be great if Skype support would also be available on the Apple Watch. However, we’re not entirely sure how the text chatting would work. The developers would definitely have to be incorporate some kind of innovative way around it.
Pandora [Insert Favorite Music Streaming App Here]
Our pick for streaming music is Pandora, but really you could replace it with any similar app of your choosing. Hell, even Google Music fits the bill. It’s always nice to see more and more devices supported across the board when it comes to services like this, and the Apple Watch is certainly not an exception. Let’s hope the various music streaming services offer native apps for the Apple Watch soon after launch.
Of particular note, it would be nice if these types of Apple Watch apps made use of the native functionality baked into the watch instead of requiring a connection to your iPhone all the time. For example, let’s hope the Pandora app uses the Apple Watch’s integrated Wi-Fi connectivity instead of the Wi-Fi or mobile network support of an iPhone.
What Apple Watch Apps and Features Would You Like to See?
That’s our list of Apple Watch apps and features we’d really love to see! What are your picks? What apps would you really love to have on your wrist? Are there any features or functionality that you hope Apple adds to the device before launch?