Yes, I am testing it, the Apple Watch. But there’s no browser, and also no official Watch apps for Twitter, Instagram nor WhatsApp. So, how can you Tweet, stare at kitten pics and videos, or spam your friends from your wrist?
Well, as it turns out, for every problem there is a solution – I just had to find it. Let’s take a look at my top 3 social media apps for Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp.
First things first: There are several apps claiming to provide access to your WhatsApp chats from your Watch. All of them base on WhatsApp Web – this means you’ll have to scan a QR code from your Watch screen, using your phone. It also means that you can’t use WhatsApp on your Watch in parallel with WhatsApp Desktop on your computer.
I took a look at Chatify, Whats up for WhatsApp and WatchChat. – It’s simple: For me, Chatify and Whats up for WhatsApp both didn’t sync beyond the “Waiting for iPhone” screen.
WatchChat is nice … kinda. Since Watch apps can’t usually consume Internet data in the background, refreshes after some time of inactivity on the Watch will take 5–30 seconds. That’s a little annoying, but still bearable. After all, with the WhatsApp original notifications forwarded to your Watch screen by default, you can only read new incoming messages and reply to them. That means: No access to chats, contacts, or any media with more than just a blurry thumbnail picture.
On the other hand, WatchChat shows all of this. Chat logs, reading and sending new messages, starting new conversations, playing voice notes (! – although with a slightly worse quality) as well as zooming into received photos. There’s just 3 things you can’t do: You can’t send voice notes or photos. And there’s currently no support for seeing or posting Status photos.
If you’re looking at a full-fledged Instagram experience, your first and only tap on your Watch screen should lead you to Lens for Instagram. Decorated in Instagram’s unique gradient, the interface is as simple as easy to use.
Lens gives you access to your Home feed, to your friends’ Stories, to the latest Activity, your direct messages (for reading and sending!), profile views as well as a search feature. Photos and videos can be zoomed in for more details. You can even like and comment on photos and videos with ease. Finally, Lens integrates the FlickType keyboard, which offers easier typing on your Watch – at least for English.
The absolutely best (and only!) experience for Twitter on my Apple Watch is and will always be Chirp for Twitter. This app by Australian developer Will Bishop features your Home timeline, Trends, your mentions, direct messages. But it doesn’t stop there: You can even read and send direct messages and see what you liked.
Retweeting and replying to Tweets is a matter of just a few taps with Chirp. Composing a new Tweet as well as sharing existing Tweets has been integrated with the Force Touch feature – a firm press on your Watch screen will do the trick. This is what I call an absolutely user friendly and easy interface. Finally, my heart as a German speaker beats faster when I see the entire app appearing in native (and correct!) German.
If you have an Apple Watch, please give these three apps a try – and let me know on Twitter if my recommendations have helped you!