Top 8 Social Planning Apps Apple Watch

If there’s one thing the Apple Watch is great for, it’s locational awareness and checking things at a glance. This makes it a very useful tool to have when it comes to planning things with friends and keeping in touch with people, even if it lacks the traditional text input of your average smartphone. The category of social planning apps is rather broad, meaning that you could paint just about any app with the same brush with just a small amount of justification. As such, we decided to spend a couple of weeks with the Apple Watch, using it to plan nights out and meals with friends in the city, so as to come up with our top picks for social planning apps that are actually useful. Again, these range in shape from those apps such as Yelp and Find Near Me that help you to find things to do in your city, to communication apps such as WeChat and Meetup, and of course navigation apps such as the recently released Google Maps update. Check out our picks below, then why not suggest your own in the comments section?

8. Find Near Me (Free)

As mentioned above, the Find Near Me app (for those that haven’t yet experienced it) is a little like TripAdvisor or Yelp in that it is designed to help you discover different places around you, whether you are exploring your own town or are perhaps on vacation in a different country. You can tap a button to sort these findable places by type, such as bank, bar, ATM, public toilets, etc. The whole locational thing is great because you can immediately see where something is compared to your current location, and the app even allows you to search for things using Siri – something that we haven’t seen nearly enough of on the Apple Watch so far. – Download from iTunes

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7. WeChat (Free)

In terms of communication, one of the best options that we’ve found is WeChat. For anyone who has used this Asia-based app in the past for iPhone, you’ll know how easy it is to set up and use. The App allows you to make calls and exchange things like SMS messages without an added charge, no matter the country you are in – this is of course great if you’re traveling. The Apple Watch version is quite limited in comparison, but you can use voice to text in order to reply to messages when on the go, and of course stay up to date with your friends’ activities which can be very important for a social planning app. – Download from iTunes

6. Facebook (Free)

Facebook still has something of a strangehold over the messaging apps these days, given their purchasing of WhatsApp and of course the Facebook Messenger app itself. This is perhaps why most still stick with Facebook as their social media site of choice, despite privacy issues. The Facebook app for Apple Watch isn’t quite as functional as many would have liked, but it is an excellent way to keep up to date with your notifications and see them immediately at a glance.  – Download from iTunes

5. Yelp (Free)

Yelp is another nice app to pick if you’re looking for establishments around you, with a specific focus on doing things that seems to make it more of a social planning app than something like TripAdvisor. As you can see from the promo shot above, the menu for Yelp on the Apple Watch has been simplified somewhat, condensed into four different options: Restaurants, Bars, Coffee & Tea and Hot & New. This seems to be leaving out a lot of important stuff, but if you only use the app to go out and about with friends occasionally, then the current menu system is more than adequate. – Download from iTunes

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4. Meetup (Free)

Meetup is perhaps one of the only explicitly designed social planning apps available for the Apple Watch at present, with the idea of meeting up with friends as its sole objective. It represents an excellent way to find interesting events and groups that share your level of interest. Then, the app allows you to instigate meet ups with people, pick a location and invite others, share things such as maps and a whole lot more. You can then use the Apple Watch app to keep on top of who is coming and who’s not coming, where you have to go, and that kind of thing. I find that it’s a nice way to see who’s out and about on a Friday night, for example, so is great for impromptu social gatherings as well as those planned weeks in advance. – Download from iTunes

3. Google Maps (Free)

While we might concede that the Citymapper app for Apple Watch is perhaps the best turn by turn navigation option that you have right now for this particular device, one cannot deny the power of Google Maps – especially if you already use other Google apps in order to keep your life organized, whether it be through Gmail or Google Calendar, etc. While this isn’t exactly a social planning app in the strict sense of the word, it is very useful when finding your way to and from social gatherings, and of course when it comes to planning where you have to go in advance. There are buttons to find quick directions to and from certain points, which is again great for last-minute hook ups. The best thing about this app is the fact that you can bring up a text based version of directions, then constantly check that by looking down at your wrist – which is of course a lot safer when driving. – Download from iTunes

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2. Foursquare (Free)

Foursquare is another nice social planning app, and is worth checking out if you’ve not yet used it. The app allows you, both on the iPhone and the Apple Watch, to search through places nearby and browse through ratings and tips in order to find something that suits you. It’s particularly great when looking for somewhere to eat, with some useful info such as the best dishes to order at a particular restaurant, and immediate suggestions for places to go given your current location. As always, locational awareness is key here, though the Foursquare app should also be commended for fitting as much info onto one screen as possible – including blurbs from reviews, maps, average prices and even photos of the establishment and the food you can buy. – Download from iTunes

1. Allcal (Free)

Allcal is another great social planning app, but focuses more on events rather than simply finding a place to eat. As the name gives away, this one works around calendars in order to keep your life organized, allowing you to share calendars with friends and as such keep up on what your buddies are doing and when. It’s a great way to manage specific events, whether they be small things such as a book club meeting or large music festivals, the app has a bunch of detailed options that set it apart from the pack. The interface and options on the iPhone version of the app are of course superior, but it’s great to be able to access all your info on your wrist. – Download from iTunes

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