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Shazam for Apple Watch gets a watchOS 2 speed-boost

Shazam for Apple Watch gets a watchOS 2 speed-boost

January 27, 2016

Tagging music on your Apple Watch just got a lot easier thanks to a much-needed (and long overdue) update for Shazam. In fact, users who’d previously dismissed Shazam for Apple Watch should revisit the application now, because version 9.3 has turned the software into something of a must-have.

I was one of those people who downloaded Shazam for watchOS back when the app first launched, and at the time I was hugely disappointed. Limitations imposed by Apple on its Watch platform not only meant the software couldn’t run natively (and was slow, as all first-generation Watch apps were), but Shazam also couldn’t access the smart watch’s built-in microphone. This meant that all the app really could do was remotely initiate tagging from Shazam on your iPhone; the smartphone not only had to be nearby your Watch, but it also had to be within range of the song you were hoping to tag in order for the process to work properly (something which didn’t often happen).


Shazam 9.3 rights some of these wrongs, though my only criticism is that it’s taken this long for the folks behind the software to take advantage of watchOS 2 (more on this in a moment). After testing the application, it seems Shazam still requires access to a nearby iPhone’s microphone in order to tag audio. The usual red bar appears along the top of a connected smartphone when users tag from their Apple Watch, and this is something of a disappointment.

However, Shazam 9.3 does indeed bring support for watchOS 2, making the application blazingly fast (well, faster, at least) on our first-generation Apple Watches. Of course, this massively improves the tagging process: content loads a heck of a lot faster, making me more inclined to use Shazam on my Apple Watch in the first place. The changes, made possible by the fact that Shazam is now running natively on the Watch (rather than on a connected iPhone), are impressive. You can even bring lyrics up on your smart watch, and these, too, load up quicker than ever before.

I just hope Shazam gets access to the Apple Watch’s built-in microphone soon. For now, however, you’ll need to keep your iPhone nearby if you’re hoping to Shazam tracks from your wrist.