Apple watchOS 4.1 delivers phone-free music streaming

For many, the big allure of Apple Watch Series 3 has been the promise of phone-free music streaming on cellular data: you can listen to any song you like while you’re out for a run, not just whatever’s stored on the watch itself. And now you can see whether or not it lives up to the hype. Apple has released watchOS 4.1, which lets you stream either Apple Music or your iCloud Music Library directly from your wristwear. You’ll need a Series 3 watch, of course, but you’re no longer tethered to your iPhone if you demand fresh tunes at all times.

The upgrade also includes a dedicated Radio app to stream Apple Music’s stations, including Beats 1 (free for everyone) and custom/curated stations (for subscribers). As on iOS 11.1, Siri is smarter about finding and discovering music as well.

And yes, there are plenty of non-music improvements. This is the update that unlocks GymKit syncing — if you’re exercising with a compatible fitness machine, you can sync your watch with it to get the most accurate data set. Have a cellular Series 3 model? You can force the watch to disconnect from WiFi if you don’t want to join a network. You’ll find fixes for some annoying bugs, too, including missing stand reminders, missing vibrations for silent alarms, unwanted heart rate tracking and even an issue where some original Apple Watches wouldn’t always charge. In short: you want this, whether or not you have the latest smartwatch on your wrist.

Source: 9to5Mac

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Apple slowly lets its ‘TV’ streaming app expand beyond the US

Apple’s ‘TV’ app has begun showing up outside the US, signaling the start of the rollout it promised during its latest iPhone event. According to MacRumors and 9to5Mac, the app has already appeared for some users in Australia and Canada ahead of tvOS 11’s official release later today, September 19th. Apple launched the TV app in 2016 to serve as a browsable hub for all the shows from your other apps, such as Hulu and HBO Now. It was designed to give you a way to easily find movies and series to watch without having to switch streaming services.

Based on some social media posts, the app still isn’t working properly and is stuck loading for a lot of people. Apple might have merely released it to prepare for its streaming device’s OS update, so it will likely start working once tvOS 11 arrives. While the ongoing rollout seems to be for Canada and Australia only, Apple also promised to bring the app to the UK, France, Germany, Norway and Sweden before the year ends.

Source: 9to5Mac

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Google iOS search now finds streaming movies, music and TV

Finding streaming content on your iPhone is getting easier. Google announced on Wednesday that the newest update to its search app on iOS devices will enable users to find TV shows, movies and songs on streaming services. That includes iTunes, Hulu, Amazon Video, Google Play, YouTube and Spotify.

The feature, which is already available on Android and the desktop, displays the icons of streaming services that currently offer the content you’re searching for. So, for example, if you look for Zootopia, the app will pop the “Knowledge Box” at the top of the search results. Below the screenshots, movie ratings and synopsis, you’ll now find links to Netflix, Hulu and wherever else it’s streaming. The same goes for music, though you’ll find links to Apple Music, Spotify and Pandora instead. The app will also show how much you’ll have to pay to rent or buy the content.

It’s not a huge addition, but a helpful one. As mobile culture moves from surfing the web to working within apps, this new feature will help users find what they’re looking for more efficiently, regardless of which service the content resides on.

Source: TechCrunch

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SoundCloud brings Chromecast streaming to iOS

With a new subscription tier and a fresh bank loan, SoundCloud is moving right ahead with business as usual. Today’s update brings a sorely missed compatibility so you can now play your SoundCloud mixes through a Google Chromecast from an iOS device.

SoundCloud was already compatible with Sonos devices, and Android folks had Chromecast integration for awhile now too, but Friday’s update means iPhone users with a SoundCloud Go+ subscription can finally stream their entire catalog to a Chromecast connected to a TV or speakers. Multiple users can also control what’s on with a shared playback feature. SoundCloud also says they’ve upgraded their mobile apps across the board and streamlined the whole experience for more consistent playback.

Source: SoundCloud

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