Apple has been pushing the benefits of the Apple Watch series 3 since it’s announcements, one thing they have pushed is the streaming of Apple Music on the cellular watch.
The noncellular version can also play music if it is connected to your iPhone, however, neither watches currently support podcasts on the watch. Podcasts are extremely popular and are one thing that many users would love to have access to without the need to have their phone with them all the time.
For awhile the Overcast app offered a workaround to get podcasts onto the watch but the developer dropped this when watchOS 4 was released. the developer decided to remove this feature, the developer wrote “I’ve spent many months of development on Overcast’s Apple Watch app, especially implementing standalone “Send to Watch” playback. Unfortunately, I now need to remove the “Send to Watch” feature.”
“I’m sorry to the people who used it. While there weren’t many of you (about 0.1% of active users), I’ve heard from some who it meant quite a bit too.”
“That workaround doesn’t work anymore in watchOS 4. Rewriting “Send to Watch” playback to use the only supported alternative would likely take at least another month of development and testing that I currently can’t spare, and due to its limitations, the resulting usability and experience wouldn’t be good enough for me to confidently ship. Therefore, I’ve decided to remove “Send to Watch” in the latest update today, a bit ahead of watchOS 4’s expected release, before anyone else gets accustomed to it.”
After searching online for hours and hours and testing several apps I have finally come across an App which claims to be able to send podcasts to the Watch. I contacted the developer and asked if this still worked on watchOS 4 and if the apps on both the phone and watch had to be open during the transfer, the developer responded that the application still works, and that “It is recommended, even though it works “sometimes” when app is closed but “somehow” active. But keep in mind: BE PATIENT. The OS is fully handling speed and way of transfer. I do not get any info about the process. Only when the transfer is done.”
The application is a paid application called WatchPlayer it costs £0.99p, I purchased the app and followed the instructions, opening the app on the watch first then the application on the phone, I searched for some of my favourite podcasts and subscribed and then I downloaded some episodes and transferred them one by one to the watch app.
Now I have to say I have been using the Overcast app for some time and so in comparison, the WatchPlayer app is grey and doesn’t have any option to change it, however, this is such a minor detail that it is easy to overcome as I intend on using this app mainly on my watch. The first transfer I have to say is slow so I would not recommend trying if you are in a rush, the app shows how many transfers are in progress and it does not have a percentage indicator to show how far the transfer is in, I left my phone alone during the process and kept waking it every once in awhile to check it.
After the first transfer completed the second and third podcast transfer was much faster as they were smaller files but again I would not recommend using if you are in a rush.
Once I transferred the podcasts over I decided to take the watch app for a spin without my phone. I found to get the episode to play I had to force press the play button where I am given 4 options, delete a podcast, play at 1x the speed, play at 1.2x the speed and play at 1.4x the speed. The episode plays via Bluetooth to my earpods due to Apple limiting the use of the speaker on the Apple Watch. There does not appear to be a way of controlling the volume on the watch app itself but this is easily overcome by bringing up the now playing card to adjust the volume which worked flawlessly.
A feature I did like is the watch app also allows you to control the app on the phone as well so you are not limited to just using it on the watch itself.
The developer states that “I am a 100% hobby developer who wanted to run with my Apple Watch without the iPhone. I was so surprised that there is no app that could do that. So, I spend some time between work and family to put together a very basic and still a bit buggy app. And I thought, well, why not give this to others. It was very interesting to see that many people wanted the same and gave me very nice feedback. So I “developed” it further but within my “bounds of skills”.”
Overall this is one of the best apps I have tried so far and the only one that actually works at letting users have podcasts on their watch. Overall I give this app a 9.8 out of 10. The Developer has kindly given me 10 codes to give away WatchPlayer to our followers and to enter all you have to do is follow us on twitter or like our facebook page, and then fill in the competition form below. Winners will be picked at random, we would like to thank the developer for responding to us and for making this giveaway possible but more importantly for making the app in the first place.