Music from Your Watch…at Last

apple watchSmartwatches were supposed to be the latest “must-have” gadget, but people quickly found out that they had some serious limitations.  Sure, they looked like something Dick Tracy would use to call his crime-fighting associates, but it didn’t quite work that way.  After all, when Dick Tracy used his wrist radio, he didn’t have to have a smartphone in his pocket in order for it to work.

The newest Apple Watch 3 was supposed to fix some of the limitations of the earlier versions of the watch by incorporating LTE services into the watch. You’d be able to make and receive phone calls without having to have a smartphone handy.  That was great for people who were working out, for example, as one of the many features of the Apple Watch is the ability to track your fitness stats.  If you’re jogging and a call came in that you just had to take, you could do that.

Of course, people who work out often like to listen to music, and you’d think that if a smartwatch could make phone calls that it could also stream music so you could have something to listen to while working out without having to haul your phone around, too.

Apple promised that with the Apple Watch 3 and then the watch was released to the market…without the streaming feature.  Hmm.

A month later, and certainly later than promised, Apple has delivered a software update for the Apple Watch 3 that now allows you to engage in music streaming on the watch without having your phone handy.

Of course, there are some bugs and qualifications – it will stream music from iTunes, for example, but it’s not going to stream music from Spotify or Pandora.  And why would it?  Apple has always been pretty Apple-centric with its products, and the Apple Watch is no exception.

There are some other drawbacks to streaming music on the Apple watch, as well.  You’ll likely need to use Siri for your music requests due to the relative lack of a suitable user interface on the watch.  If you’re OK with verbally requesting your music, you’ll be OK.  There are also reportedly some interoperability problems with the streaming music feature and the built-in Radio feature that may require a bit of a learning curve to work around.  You’ll also have to pay to use the streaming service using the Music feature, but you new that, right?

Small steps.  They’ll fix these problems in time.  In the meantime, the ability to stream music is there.  They’ve also added a few other fixes to existing problems, including the ability to manually disconnect from a wi-fi network, as some users were having problems with the watch switching over from Bluetooth to LTE to wi-fi, and so on.

They have also fixed an issue that prevented some Apple Watch 1 users from charging their watch, which would definitely be an inconvenience.  If there’s one thing that’s a universal problem with smartwatches of all kinds, its the fact that they are power hungry.  If you can’t recharge, you’ll have some problems.


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