Apple Watch Music App

The Apple Watch has a Music app on it. But, it isn't very much like the Music app on your iPhone. You can access music in your iTunes library and playlists, listen to Beats 1 radio, and control playback on your iPhone. It's not meant to be a full Music app. But, if you understand how to use it, you can really make it work for you. Here's how.

How to play music from your iPhone on Apple Watch

If you just want to get the party started and know what you've got stored on your iPhone, you can drop a beat fast by using the Music app on Apple Watch without having to take your device out of your pocket.

Control music from iPhone on Apple Watch

  1. Press the Digital Crown to select the Home screen.
  2. Tap the Music app.
  3. Scroll up and tap On iPhone at the top of the screen to stream music from your iPhone.

    Apple Watch music app

  4. Tap a category to select music from:

    • Tap Now Playing to see what is currently playing on your iPhone.
    • Tap Playlists to start playing a song in one of your Music playlists.
    • Tap Artists to find an listen to songs from specific artists.
    • Tap Albums to search from songs by album.
    • Tap Songs for your favorite songs.

    music app Apple Watch

Tap your selection to begin playing music from your iPhone.

How to use the playback controls on Apple Watch to control music that is playing on iPhone

While music is playing on your iPhone, you can use your Apple Watch to control playback. So, if you want to skip a song, turn up the volume, shuffle, or repeat, you can do so right from your wrist.

  1. Start playing music on your iPhone.
  2. Press the Digital Crown to select the Home screen.
  3. Tap the Music app.
  4. Tap Now Playing.
  5. Control music the following ways:

    • Tap Pause to pause music and Play to play it.
    • Tap the back arrows to start a song from the beginning.
    • Double-tap the back arrows to play the previous song again.
    • Tap the forward arrows to skip to the next song.
    • Scroll the Digital Crown to change the volume.

    music app controls

  6. Tap the audio icon at the bottom left to choose where to play your music. For example, to Apple TVs or other AirPlay devices.

    change audio

  7. Tap the Up Next icon to:

    • Tap on a new song to play next.
    • Tap on Shuffle and Repeat buttons to play songs again.

    music up next

  8. Tap the ... icon to:

    • Tap Add to Library to add the song to your iCloud Music Library, when applicable.
    • Tap Heart icon to Love the song.
    • Tap Suggest Less so similar songs are played less often.

    music app extra features

How to play music directly on Apple Watch

If you have Bluetooth headphones paired to your Apple Watch, you can listen to music directly from your wrist-worn device without needing to bring your iPhone with you. There are two assumptions here. First, you've downloaded the music to your Apple Watch, or second, you're using an Apple Watch with a cellular connection.

To save music to your Apple Watch for offline use:

  1. Tap on the Apple Watch app on your iPhone Home screen.
  2. On the My Watch tab, choose Music.
  3. Toggle the For You playlists you'd like to have on Apple Watch if you have an active Apple Music subscription.

    Apple Watch music download

  4. Tap Add Music under Playlists & Albums to add titles from your collection to Apple Watch.

    add music

Your selected music will download to Apple Watch the next time you place the wearable device on its charger. The amount of content will depend on the available storage space on your Watch.

To listen to music directly from Apple Watch once it has been downloaded to your wearable device:

  1. Press the Digital Crown to select the Home screen.
  2. Tap the Music app.
  3. Scroll up and tap Library.
  4. Tap a category to select music from:

    • Tap Now Playing to see what is currently playing on your iPhone.
    • Tap Playlists to start playing a song in one of your Music playlists.
    • Tap Artists to find an listen to songs from specific artists.
    • Tap Albums to search from songs by album.
    • Tap Songs for your favorite songs.

    Apple Watch library find music

Tap your selection to begin playing music from your Apple Watch.

How to listen to Apple Music's For You playlists directly from Apple Watch

If you are an active Apple Music subscriber, you can listen to your For You playlists from your Apple Watch. You must have a Bluetooth device connected to your wearable device to do so, however.

To listen to For You playlists:

  1. Press the Digital Crown to select the Home screen.
  2. Tap the Music app.
  3. Scroll up and tap For You.
  4. Tap Personalized Playlists.
  5. Select your favorite For You playlist. Choose from Favorites, Friends, Chill, or New Music Mix.

There are other options available under For You:

  1. Press the Digital Crown to select the Home screen.
  2. Tap the Music app.
  3. Scroll up and tap For You.
  4. Tap a category to select music from:

    • Tap Recently Played to see a list of songs you've played recently.
    • Tap Recently Updated to see playlist content that has recently been refreshed.
    • Tap New Releases to see new Apple Music content you may like.

    Apple Music For You Extras

Based on your listening history, you will also see playlists based on genre and similar content.

Tap your selection to begin playing music from your Apple Watch.

What about cellular?

If you have an Apple Watch with built-in cellular, you can access your music library and Apple Music content from anywhere you have an active connection, just like you can with Wi-Fi.

Try some new bands

Looking for a new leather Apple Watch band? Check out three of our favorites:

Clockwork Synergy Dapper Collection Leather Band ($45 at Amazon)

Clockwork Synergy makes incredible quality bands for the Apple Watch at reasonable prices. The adaptors are as smooth as butter, and the premium leather is top-notch. Choose from over two dozen different textures and colors from traditional to fun. The link below is for the 42/44mm Apple Watch, but it's also available in the 38/40mm size.

Lowry Leather Band ($80 at Pad & Quill)

Pad & Quill's Lowry band is definitely something you could imagine Indiana Jones sporting on his way to his archeology class. The thick rough-edged design looks great without showing off too much. The tanned Horween leather feels incredibly supple as if it's been on your wrist for years.

Nomad Modern Leather Strap ($70 at Nomad)

A simple look, Nomad's Modern Leather Strap is similar to Apple's Classic Buckle look. It has a clean, no-stitch design that looks slim and beautiful. The Horween leather gets a nice patina wear after about three months of use. It also comes in Natural brown.

Any Questions?

Is there anything else about the Music app on Apple Watch that you'd like to know about? Let us know in the comments.

Updated July 2019: Includes steps for the latest version of watchOS.

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