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Audible brings local audiobook playback to Apple Watch alongside watchOS 5


Audible’s mobile app was updated this week to support watchOS 5, and in the process gained the ability to listen to complete audiobooks without a nearby iPhone.

Books must first be synced through the Audible iPhone app, but playback then shifts fully to the Apple Watch. On top of standard media controls, playback options include speed, a sleep timer, and a chapter list.

Users can also browse all of the titles saved on a Watch, and delete ones that are finished or taking up space.

Support for caching audiobooks and podcasts was one of the most anticipated upgrades in watchOS 5, released on Monday. The Watch has supported music sync for some time, but until this week even Apple’s own Podcasts app wouldn’t sync episodes from an iPhone. This was a particular problem for fitness enthusiasts, who often listen to podcasts during running and lifting sessions.

The Audible app is a free download, and requires an iPhone with iOS 10 or later. Its accompanying service, however, costs $14.95 per month after a 30-day trial.

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