Allow me to start this post by addressing all of the haters out there. I am aware that there will be many of you who will ridicule me and label me as an “Apple Fan Boy” for purchasing an Apple Watch. For the record, I prefer being called an early adopter or loyal Apple stock-holder that really wants this product to be a hit to help his retirement savings. 🙂 Now that I have that out of the way, let’s get down to business.

haters

As evidenced by the fact that I operate this blog, I am a fitness/running enthusiast. My diet and waistline don’t always reflect that passion, but I am an enthusiast just the same. As a consequence of being a fitness/running enthusiast, I have owned a number of fitness devices over the years. I’ll spare you the drudgery of taking you through the entire list of fitness devices that I have owned over the years and will only name the devices that were created to be worn on the wrist. The products are bulleted below in the order that they were purchased.

  • The Garmin Forerunner 205
    • purchased in the Fall of 2007 and used regularly until Fall 2013

Garmin 205

  • The Fitbit Force
    • I used the Force for one year and upgraded to the Charge HR when it became available about a year later

Fitbit Force

  • The Fitbit Charge HR
    • Purchased in Winter 2015 (I am still actively using and loving this device)

Fitbit Charge HR

You might ask; If I am still actively using and loving the Fitbit Charge HR, why am I purchasing an Apple Watch? That is a fair question. The answer is simple; the apps (for use in my professional life as well as my fitness tracking). I have never downloaded any fitness apps like Strava, MapMyRun, or Edmondo on my iPhone because I do not run with my phone. With my new Apple Watch, I can go for a run using any of these apps and I won’t have to pull out my phone to check the distance I have covered, what my average pace is, what my heart rate is, or even how many calories I have burned during my workout. All the information will be front and center on my wrist.

What about music? Don’t I like to run with music? Of course I do! The Apple Watch can store up to 2gigs of music on the device. As long as you have a good set of bluetooth headphones, you are in business. No more having to strap your large iPhone to your arm or worse carry it in your hands. The Apple Watch just made your run, in my humble opinion, infinitely more enjoyable.

Which model of Apple Watch did I purchase? Since the primary reason I am buying this device is the fitness features, I bought the Apple Watch Sport edition. The fact the the black sport band with the space grey casing was only available in the sport model was also a deciding factor. You have to admit, the watch below is a sexy piece of machinery.

Apple Watch Screen Shot

When discussing fitness tracking apps and the Apple Watch, it is important to remember that Apple will be already be tracking your fitness by default on the watch. I have posted the official Apple video for how the fitness tracking on the Apple Watch will work below. It is worth three minutes of your time to see how the ins and outs of the fitness features of this device will work.

Now, onto the list of the the best Apple Watch fitness apps at launch. The good news is, all of the big name apps came to the launch party. You can click the name of each app to be taken to a more in-depth write up of how the app will function on the Apple Watch courtesy of the website http://watchaware.com/watch-apps.

Edmondo

Map My Run

Strava

Runtastic Pro   

CARROT Fit

Ok…CARROT Fit is not one of the big name fitness apps (yet), but I love their suite of apps and the personality of the CARROT brand as a whole. CARROT Fit tracks your workouts and gives encouragement mixed with just the right amount of meanness.

There are many more fitness apps that will be available when the Apple Watch launches tomorrow than the ones listed above, and there will certainly be many more fitness tracking apps made available on the Apple Watch in the near future. For now, I believe the best of the best will be the apps above that already have a strong mobile experience that are simply migrating that experience to the Apple Watch.