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The Audible App Arrives on Apple’s Apple Watch

When you tire of talking to the many gadgets Amazon launched today, you can have your watch talk to you.

Audible released a new version of its app today, at long last making the app available on Apple's smartwatch. Millions of Audible customers can now listen to Audible books, control playback, and manage their library directly from their Apple Watch.

It’s the perfect integration for Audible and Apple Watch users on-the-go to try out Audible’s free, trainer-led audio fitness programs from Aaptiv, free Audible Originals through the Originals Member Benefit, or their favorite audiobook while working out.

Anyone up for a little Dick Tracy cosplay?

Audible

Nate Hoffelder :Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

View Comments (15)

  • I second the comment about this annoying everyone around you. Like all so-called smart watches, the Apple Watch is pretty much useless, except as an expensive FitBit.

  • Not sure I understand why wearing an Apple watch annoys others around you any more than anything else you wear. I was skeptical of the watch for a long time but In the year since I have had it, I've found it extremely useful to me. I have never understood the hatred that so many have of Apple products, but then I don't understand hatred in general. Thanks to Nate for the heads up about the new Audible app which works with the new watch iOS. Don't know if I will use it or not, but it's nice to know it's there.

  • Mary, what would be annoying is people listening to audiobooks without headsets. People in poor health could really benefit from some of the features of the Apple Watch (it calls for help if you fall and don't get up), though it does seem like a glaring oversight that it doesn't track sleep.

    • Apple Watch does track sleep automatically (you have to be wearing it of course), and there are third party apps to provide additional analysis. One of the new features of WatchOS 5 (older Watches except Series 0 are compatible) get this except for is that has automatic Workout detection.

      • @Tom S

        That's true but, as you mention, you need a third-party app to actually analyze the data; seems strange that Apple Watch doesn't come with that already installed. (I haven't used an Apple Watch myself, since I am an Android user, so I'm going by the various reviews.)

        Apple products are very sexy, but tend to be years behind Windows and Android products when it comes to functionality. The only real feature that stands out is the ECG functionality, which might be useful for the elderly with heart problems (in other words, a feature that I hopefully won't need for many decades yet; however, in the unlikely event that my dad would ever agree to use this, it would make a good present for him).

    • You would have to listen to audiobooks through a bluetooth headset, so wouldn't be bothering anyone. The speaker is really not loud enough for that.

    • It probably doesn't track sleep because Apple expects people to take it off to charge overnight. AFAIK, the battery just about lasts that long even while not always showing the time like, you know, a watch does.

      • @Mike

        I am eyeing the Fitbit Charge 3 coming out in November. It's not a smart watch, but has great battery life and tracks sleep. I always have a smartphone with me -- which I use to listen to Scribd audiobooks -- so a dedicated fitness tracker is really all I need.

      • Nah. The Series 3 has fairly good battery life. I usually get about two days and change with a charge. And to charge it, I just set it on the charger while I get ready in the morning. Takes about half an hour to get to nearly full. I don't think there's native sleep tracking yet, but I have a couple of apps that do it. And it's great to wake up to a few taps on the wrist rather than an annoying alarm or a favorite song. Reports are the Series 4 has even better battery life with Watch OS5 (which I installed earlier this week and which has improved performance overall fairly substantially).

        And I don't get the annoyance side of this discussion, but I don't use mine for anything that makes sound. That's what my phone and earphones are for. I'm pretty sure the watch connects to bluetooth headphones, though. Which is how I think most people would listen to Audible on it.

        I'm guessing the feature is mainly useful for listening to during exercise with the cellular version.

  • @ Mary

    Not having one (and not intending to get one) I have no idea how loud they are or aren't, but I've come to detest those jokers with smartphones that think everyone else should have to listen to whatever show/youtube/movie thingy they're watching.

  • Tried it out.

    The biggest issue I had was with downloading content from the phone. It took the better part of an hour to download 51 minute audiobook, during which it timed out at least ten times. That was with having on its charger as suggested (‘it will be faster’). Maybe there is some issue with WiFi where I tried this out and it was using BT instead? Anyway I’ll have to experiment.

    The app itself is pretty good for ‘version 1’, better than the iPhone app in terms of efficiency of navigation. Note you have to force-touch to get to Chapters navigator, set Speed, set Skip Option, or Delete.

    The (sleep) Timer lacks an End Of Chapter option, and I’d like a way to Skip to next or previous chapter on the main player screen (you can drag the play/pause control left and right bit it skips back or forward just as the controls for that do by tapping on them - weird). One should be able to delete content from the ‘library’ list as well as during playback.

    Another issue is that with the Audible app and downloaded content on the Watch, one can no longer use the Watch to control playback of content on the iPhone. Have to delete the downloaded content and then the Audible app goes ‘dorment’, allowing the default Media player on Watch to take over.

    Hopefully it will improve. As it is the poor download performance is a show-stopper.