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No iPhone required: Tidal releases Apple Watch app, enables offline streaming

An athlete lays on her back checking her Apple Watch, which shows the Tidal app
(Image credit: Tidal)

Yet another music streaming app has come to your Apple Watch: Tidal released its new watchOS app today, which you can download right now. It provides a high-quality alternative for audiophiles looking to step away from Spotify or Apple Music.

Unlike some Apple Watch apps that require an iPhone and active internet, Tidal lets you download playlists for offline streaming and listen through your watch without an iPhone. 

For people who prefer working out without an iPhone in their pocket, this is part of a larger, welcome trend. Spotify added offline playback to its Watch app last week, joining Apple Music, Pandora and Deezer.

Tidal is one of the rare streaming services to offer Hi-Res, lossless audio. Unfortunately, The Verge reports that audio is 'limited to 96Kbps on the wearable', meaning paying extra for Hi-Res won't matter when streaming through the watch.

That may be a reason to keep your iPhone with you: it allows you to stream or download higher-quality audio from Tidal, while still using your Apple Watch to control your playlist as you work out.

Tidal also told the site that you must have an Apple Watch Series 3 or later running watchOS 7.1 or later in order to use the Tidal app.

How to use Tidal on your Apple Watch

To use the Tidal music app, you must have a Tidal subscription, which costs $9.99 / £9.99 / AU$11.99 per month – or $19.99 / £19.99 / AU$23.99 for Hi-Res Audio.

To start streaming, download the Tidal app on your Apple Watch, go to link.tidal.com, log into your account, and input the code from your watch screen. You'll have immediate access to your playlists and can begin streaming or downloading your favorite albums and songs at your convenience.

(Via Engadget)

Michael Hicks

Michael Hicks began his freelance writing career with TechRadar in 2016, covering emerging tech like VR and self-driving cars. Nowadays, he works as a staff editor for Android Central, but still writes occasional TR reviews, how-tos and explainers on phones, tablets, smart home devices, and other tech.