Audible brings its audiobook library to the Apple Watch

Didn’t get your fill of Amazon news among the 70 or so announcements at today’s Alexa event? Good news, Audible’s got something to add to the deluge. The Amazon-owned audiobook site just announced the availability of its Apple Watch app. The offering brings pretty much what you’d expect. You can listen to audiobooks and manage […]

Didn’t get your fill of Amazon news among the 70 or so announcements at today’s Alexa event? Good news, Audible’s got something to add to the deluge. The Amazon-owned audiobook site just announced the availability of its Apple Watch app.

The offering brings pretty much what you’d expect. You can listen to audiobooks and manage your library directly from the small screen. It’s a pretty logical next step for the service, given the focus Apple has put on smartwatch audio, between last year’s addition of an LTE version of the watch and the recent announcement of a native podcasting app for the platform.

This also goes a ways toward justifying the recent addition of Aaptiv fitness routines, which Audible added a few weeks back. The offering made some sense on the phone, but bringing the course directly to a fitness/health-focused product like the Apple Watch helps complete that vision. Those workout and meditation offerings are free to Audible users through September of next year.

Apple’s iBooks revamp, Apple Books, is here

Apple’s new and improved iBooks app, now called Apple Books, has popped up on iPhones across the world today with the release of iOS 12, the software update available to download as of this morning. The new app has five tabs: Reading Now, Library, Book Store, Search and, for the first time, a dedicated Audiobooks tab. […]

Apple’s new and improved iBooks app, now called Apple Books, has popped up on iPhones across the world today with the release of iOS 12, the software update available to download as of this morning.

The new app has five tabs: Reading Now, Library, Book Store, Search and, for the first time, a dedicated Audiobooks tab.

Apple first previewed it at WWDC in June. The company said its sleek new look was the “biggest books redesign ever.” Cleaner UI, coupled with larger images, gives the app a more modern feel and an overall better experience. More importantly, it sets up Apple to better compete with other audio/e-book apps, like the Amazon-owned Audible.

In the Book Store, users can explore recently released titles and best-selling books, as well as curated collections and special offers; it’s available in 51 countries and free books for download are available in 155 countries.

Apple Books is also a lot smarter than its predecessor. As you download titles and engage with the app, the app will send you personalized recommendations based on your activity.

Indeed, it was time for an update. Audiobooks are more popular today than when Apple first launched iBooks in 2010 and are very much deserving of their own tab. According to Pew Research Center, one in five Americans regularly listens to them — a 28 percent increase from 2016.

Audible gets guided meditation and workouts courtesy of Aaptiv

Audible is getting into the fitness business with a little help from Aaptiv. The Amazon-owned audiobook giant is adding content from the popular audio fitness app. There are only three guided courses to start — all firmly targeted at beginners. There’s audio coaching to run a mile, a 5K and a guided meditation course, all […]

Audible is getting into the fitness business with a little help from Aaptiv. The Amazon-owned audiobook giant is adding content from the popular audio fitness app. There are only three guided courses to start — all firmly targeted at beginners.

There’s audio coaching to run a mile, a 5K and a guided meditation course, all with 20 sessions apiece. The service says it will be adding new courses through the year, including four workouts and a session aimed at improving sleep in the coming weeks.

The exclusive courses will be offered up for free to Audible members through September of next year — at which point, one imagines, there will be an added premium on top of the standard Audible subscription fee.

For the moment, Audible appears to just be dipping its toes in the water on this one. I wouldn’t be too nervous if I was in charge of a fitness or meditation app just yet, though its decision to move forward will almost certainly depend on how much interest this initial crop generates.

If Audible opts to keep the content free for subscriptions, however, it could certainly prove a compelling reason to make the switch.