Third-party Apple Watch apps needed work when the device shipped in April, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. Developers built apps for a piece of hardware most had never laid eyes on, let alone used, and they didn’t have access to the watch’s integral parts: its sensors and its face.
Apple realized the limitations it had placed on developers, and finally fixed the situation with watchOS 2, the second-generation software upgrade it released to Apple Watch owners this week. Now apps can run natively on the watch instead of mirroring their iPhone versions, which speeds up load times. Developers can also develop features that take advantage of the watch’s heart rate sensor, accelerometer, speaker, microphone, Digital Crown, and Taptic Engine.
The watchOS upgrade offers third-party apps a spot on your watch face in the form of complications, little bits of information you can see at a glance without interacting with the watch.
Basically everything that makes the Apple Watch cool, apps can now use. We found 10 new or recently updated apps that make the most of watchOS 2. Let us know in the comments if you find other great examples of watch apps worth using, or if you can think of a feature or complication you’d love to see in a third-party app.