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Shazam Launches Redesigned, Faster Apple Watch App

iOS 11 apps have been receiving the most attention in recent weeks, and for good reason – drag and drop, ARKit, and more make it an exciting time for the platform. But watchOS is also seeing significant improvement of late. With watchOS 4 and the Apple Watch Series 3, the Watch feels like it’s beginning to truly mature in several key ways. There’s still a long way to go, but developers are now able to build the most capable, refined Watch apps ever seen. Shazam is a great example of that.

Shazam’s new Watch app is extremely simple, and as I like to say, that’s the way all good Watch apps should be. Launching it presents the familiar blue Shazam button, which upon a tap will begin listening to whatever music is currently playing. After you hit the button, you can turn your wrist away and the app will notify you through a haptic tap when the song’s been identified. In testing on a Series 3 Watch, songs were identified very quickly, taking only 2-3 seconds on every try.

After songs have been identified, they’re stored below the Shazam button in the main app interface. By scrolling with the Digital Crown, you’ll see the last five songs presented in a style similar to watchOS’s revamped Music app: large album covers resembling cards that slide in over each other as you keep scrolling. Tapping an album cover plays a short preview of the song using the Watch’s built-in speaker.

One final thing worth noting is that unlike many other third-party watchOS apps, Shazam is built to take full advantage of the iPhone independence made possible by the new Series 3 LTE Watch. According to an official support document:

Do I need my phone to use Apple Watch Shazam features?

If you have the Watch Series 3 LTE, you can shazam phone-free! If you have an older Apple Watch device you’ll need to have your iPhone connected in order to name that song.

It will likely be a while before we see a significant number of third-party apps updated to support independence from the iPhone, but Shazam is a good start.

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