Apple Watch Software Update Puts Streaming Music Player On Your Wrist [Opinion]

If you, like many, are in awe of the Apple Watch Series 3 (LTE version), things just got better with the watchOS 4.1 upgrade. Forbes describes the major benefits of the update.

“With this update, you’re no longer limited to playlists you have synced over wi-fi for use on the Watch. Now, all the tracks in your iCloud Music Library are now available for streaming through your Watch.”

The article correctly adds that this is a major step forward since it was previously required that all the tracks were synced by Bluetooth. But it gets even better — you can access all your tracks through Siri. For example, let’s say you are at the gym with your Apple Watch, and you left your iPhone at home. While you are on the treadmill, you have the sudden urge to hear “Hotel California” by the Eagles. All you need to do is press the crown for a couple seconds (which activates Siri) and say, “Play Hotel California.” And then, you are in musical bliss.

Of course, it’s not always that easy. Siri on the Apple Watch Series 3 works very well, but in loud places like a gym, she can often misunderstand your request. For example, when this author asked her to play “The Rising” by Bruce Springsteen, the Watch instead played “House of the Rising Sun” by The Animals. It’s still a great song, but not quite what was desired at the time. Still, it is more than a privilege to be able to work out and not have to lug your iPhone around between sets. The iPhone also serves as a great distraction during a workout.

LTE Apple Watch Series 3

The LTE on the Apple Watch Series 3, at least with T-Mobile, works very well. Some have suspected that the actual Watch LTE speeds have been capped, but that doesn’t seem to matter. Streaming music, as well as other tasks, work just fine. Capped data speeds would be a disability if the Apple Watch were able to play videos, but it can’t — at least for now.

If you are worried that your Watch will instantly run out of juice when streaming music over LTE, MacRumors reported that Apple claims the Watch lasts up to seven hours when streaming music. While this might not seem like a lot, one has to keep in mind that the Apple Watch was never designed specifically to stream music over LTE; it has always been an added bonus. In fact, the Watch was never really designed to be used solely as an LTE device, but as a companion to the iPhone instead.

Of course, the ability to stream music isn’t the only improvement on watchOS 4.1. You can now sync the Series 3 with a compatible fitness machine in order to get the most accurate fitness data. And the update also fixes such bugs as missing vibrations for alarms as well as the annoying unwanted heart rate tracking.

If you own an Apple Watch Series 3, you definitely want to to open the Apple Watch app on the iPhone your device is connected to, click on “General,” then press “Software Update.” Your Watch will need to be connected to its charger and have at least 50 percent power. The Watch update may take almost a half hour of your time, but it will certainly be worth it.

[Featured Image by Daryl Deino]