Audible, the Amazon-owned audiobook streaming service, has rolled out improvements to its Apple Watch app that improve its functionality and make it possible to use the app independently on the smartwatch. The new app allows Audible to work independently on Apple’s watchOS platform, so users will be able to stream or download titles from Audible directly to the Apple Watch even if the tethered iPhone is not nearby or connected at the time. This makes Audible usable during occasions where the user may have stepped out without the iPhone, and will come in particularly handy for LTE-enabled Apple Watch devices.
The company confirmed the new updates in a press release, stating that the new features include iPhone-free streaming, with the Apple Watch now able to independently connect to Audible if it has a functioning data connection.
Titles can also be downloaded to the Apple Watch to enable offline listening, which will be useful for non-LTE Apple Watch devices. Narration speed control and seamless synchronisation across devices are also now available independently on the Apple Watch.
Of course, Apple Watch users still need to connect wireless headphones or earphones to be able to listen to audiobooks and other content on the smartwatch. However, the lack of dependence on the tethered iPhone makes it possible to now use Audible even if you leave the iPhone behind, a feature that has been available for other apps for some time now, including Apple Music.
Audible is available in India, with the subscription service priced at Rs. 199 per month after a 30-day free trial for first-time users. Some content on the platform is available for free with no membership required, but most audiobooks need to be purchased even after the subscription, or redeemed using credits that are available to subscribers.