by Jim Lynch

When will Audible release an Apple Watch app?

Aug 23, 2016
Consumer ElectronicsMobile AppsSmartwatches

Audible’s audiobook app is one of my favorite iOS apps. But why hasn't the company released an audiobooks app for the Apple Watch?

I’ve become a huge fan of audiobooks in recent years, they’ve become my preferred way to read to the point where my Kindle e-reader has been collecting dust as it sits idly on my dresser. I get my audiobooks from Audible, which offers a huge selection of books.

Audible’s app for the iPhone and iPad makes it very easy and convenient to download audiobooks and listen to them. The Audible app is one of my most used apps on all of my iOS devices, I have it on the dock of each of my iOS devices.

But Audible still hasn’t released an app for the Apple Watch.

The lack of an Audible app for the Apple Watch has long struck me as a very odd thing. Audible has been fantastic in its support for iOS devices, so why not the Apple Watch?

Audible audiobooks and the Apple Watch

Part of the problem may have been that Audible’s audiobook files are in a different format than MP3, according to an answer in this Apple support thread. But that problem should have been dealt with in watchOS 2, and there is still no Audible app for the Apple Watch in sight.

I suppose it’s possible that listening to audiobooks via the Apple Watch’s speaker might not be an optimal experience, or that doing so might run down the watch’s battery too quickly. To date I haven’t seen numbers on how listening to audiobooks would affect the Apple Watch’s battery life, however.

Some folks have come up with a work around that uses iTunes as a way to get audiobooks to play on the Apple Watch:

I’ve managed to get this working. All I needed to do was to change the media type of the audiobooks to music in iTunes.

Step by step –

Create new playlist folder in iTunes > select audiobook files >select all, right click, get info >agree to edit multiple items > options tab – change media kind to music > sync iPhone with iTunes.

Your audiobook will now appear in your playlists in the watch app on your iPhone and can be selected to sync to your watch.

More at the MacRumors Forum

While it’s great that people have figured out how to use iTunes to play audiobooks on the Apple Watch, it’s a very inelegant solution compared to a native Audible app for the Apple Watch.

It’s past time for an Audible app for the Apple Watch

I’m sure that the folks at Audible have at least considered the possibility of an Apple Watch app. But how far along they might be in creating one is not known to me. I spent some time poking around online, but I have not been able to find anything substantive about an Audible app for the Apple Watch.

Hopefully Audible will surprise us with an app soon, perhaps after watchOS 3 is released next month. One thing is for sure though, Audible needs to stop dragging its feet and release an app for the Apple Watch.

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