have Apple Watch auto-show corresponding app when playing audio on iPhone

have Apple Watch auto-show corresponding app when playing audio on iPhone
September 21 20:35 2017

The watchOS 4 software includes a nifty little time-saving feature that automatically shows a corresponding watch app, if available, when you initiate audio playback on your iPhone. Here’s how to use it.

NOTE: They’re calling it “Auto-launch Audio Apps” and it’s supported on watchOS 4 or later. Obviously, your iPhone audio app must include a watchOS extension and be installed on your watch for this to work.

If the corresponding watchOS app is not installed on your watch, then this feature will simply show your standard Now Playing screen lacking any app-specific audio controls.

If your iOS audio app has a watchOS component, don’t forget to install it!

To install the watch component that shipped with your preferred iOS audio app, simply find it underneath the Available Apps heading inside the Watch app on your iPhone and hit the Install button.

This feature can be managed either in the Settings app on your watch or through the companion Watch app on your paired iPhone, here’s how.

Enabling “Auto-launch Audio Apps” on watchOS

1) Press the Digital Crown to get to the Home screen, then tap the Settings icon.

2) Navigate to the General → Wake Screen subsection.

3) Slide the toggle Auto-launch Audio Apps to the ON position.

Now when you initiate audio playback on your iPhone, the watch will put up the appropriate watchOS app when you raise your wrist or wake the screen with a tap.

How to enable “Auto-launch Audio Apps” on iOS

1) Open the companion Watch app on your paired iPhone.

2) Tap the My Watch tab at the bottom.

3) Navigate to the General → Wake Screen subsection.

4) Slide the toggle Auto-launch Audio Apps to the ON position.

This has the same effect as toggling “Auto-launch Audio Apps” in Settings app on your watch.

Here’s what makes this feature awesome

If you don’t listen to a lot of music, then this feature is obviously a nuisance and I completely understand why you’ll want to disable it completely. But if you do enjoy listening to your music or favorite podcasts on the go, then being automatically greeted with the right app at the right time will save you from needing to pull your phone out of your pocket just to control audio playback.

TUTORIAL: The best voice recording apps for Apple Watch

The corresponding watch app comes up even if you play audio back through the Now Playing widget on your iPhone’s Lock screen or in Control Center. But wait, won’t the Workout app take over when in a session? Yes, but you can simply swipe left to get to its integrated Now Playing screen with app-specific audio controls.

Your audio app like Music (center) or Overcast (right) is a swipe away in the Workout app (left).

This doesn’t work when navigating or using any other session-based software like the Timer app, the Apple TV Remote app, third-party fitness apps and more.

Now, I love my AirPods and use them every day.

Before watchOS 4, I had to press the Side button and find the Now Playing widget in the Dock just to turn down the volume or select a different playlist. With “Auto-launch Audio Apps”, I just raise my wrist and app-specific playback controls are already there on my wrist.

Apple’s stock Music app, at left, and the Overcast podcast player, at right.

To reiterate, this capability relies on availability of a watchOS component for your favorite iOS audio app. It obviously works with Apple’s stock Music app, but I can confirm that it works with other apps including the popular Overcast podcast player.

Need help? Ask iDB!

If you like this how-to, pass it along to your support folks and leave a comment below.

Got stuck? Not sure how to do certain things on your Apple device? Let us know via help@iDownloadBlog.com and a future tutorial might provide a solution.

Submit your how-to suggestions via tips@iDownloadBlog.com.

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