You may have heard of a little wearable called the Apple Watch. It’s shipping right now for those who preordered early enough, so without a minute to spare, Apple’s flipped the switch on the Apple Watch section of the App Store.
Assuming your iPhone meets the criteria (you need an iPhone 5 an up running iOS 8.2 or newer), the new portal is accessible through the Apple Watch app. It already boasts an impressive array of apps — “more than 3,000,” by the Wall Street Journal’s count — but you’ll only see a small, scrollable list after the splash screen for now. “Streamlined” doesn’t begin to describe it. The store lacks basic functions like search, sorting, and just about every feature you’re used to from the iPad and iPhone app storefronts at the moment.
Interestingly, there’s aesthetic scaffolding pointing towards better organization. An alternative view, which you can get to by tapping the App Store tab in the Watch app several times, features a much wider array of apps split into curated sections like “healthy living,” “get stuff done,” and “get the score.” It’s likely to become the default page in the coming days, as the Watch begins to arrive on doorsteps.
The primary App Store has gained a few tweaks, too. On the listings of apps with Apple Watch functionality (designated by a small, circular badge), you’ll find two rows of screenshots: One of what the app looks like on the Watch, and the other of what it looks like on phones. Once Apple Watch-compatible apps are installed, a button that directs to notification settings appears on the app’s page, allowing you to quickly toggle Watch vibrations and sounds on or off for recently installed apps.
While the Watch app store may not be in the best of shape right now, at least you’ll have a wealth of choices. The highlights so far include Flipboard, Evernote, Twitter, Instagram, and OpenTable, with no doubt many more to come very, very soon.
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