Everything New in watchOS 4.3: iPhone Music Controls, Portrait Orientation Nightstand Mode and More

Apple yesterday seeded the first beta of watchOS 4.3 to developers, and there are some great new features that many Apple Watch owners have been requesting for quite some time.

We've outlined all of the changes you'll find in the watchOS 4.3 update in the video and the post below.


First and foremost, watchOS 4.3 once again allows Apple Watch owners to access their Apple Music Library for iPhone, a feature that was removed in watchOS 4.

With watchOS 4.3, there's a new "On iPhone" section in the Music app that lets you access your playlists, albums, songs, and artists. Prior to this update, you could access your music library, but only when playing music on the watch itself.

When playing music on the iPhone, you were only able to use the Now Playing feature to skip tracks -- there was no library access for choosing songs to play on the iPhone from the Apple Watch. Apple Watch owners have been complaining about the removal of iPhone music controls on Apple Watch since watchOS 4 debuted, so this should be a welcome change for many people.

Along with music controls, watchOS 4.3 adds your daily Activity information to the Siri watch face, so you can see your current progress at a glance without needing to open up the Activity app, and it introduces a new charging animation when the watch is placed on a charging puck.

The final new feature in watchOS 4.3 is Nightstand Mode while the Apple Watch is in portrait orientation. Since Nightstand Mode was first introduced, using it has required putting the Apple Watch in landscape orientation on its side. That's no longer necessary -- you can now use Nightstand mode in any orientation.

Apple doesn't make watchOS betas available to its public beta testers because there's no way to restore an Apple Watch to an older operating system, so the watchOS 4.3 update will be limited to developers until its public launch.

We'll likely see watchOS 4.3 in the spring alongside iOS 11.3, macOS 10.13.4, and tvOS 11.3.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 9
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

djeeyore25 Avatar
81 months ago
So happy to see iPhone music controls back on the Apple Watch. They never should have been removed to begin with.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tomtendo Avatar
81 months ago
I want Night Stand Mode to always be on when plugged in... otherwise whats the point of it?
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
northernbaldy Avatar
81 months ago
Still no podcasts
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RF9 Avatar
81 months ago
I was hoping Watch OS 4.3 supported iMessage in iCloud the way 11.3 does on the phone. The phone syncs to iCloud but the watch does not yet sync. Or is the plan to never sync with the watch?
When I say sync, I'm primarily talking about deleting messages on one carries over to the other. I currently still have to delete them in both places.
If not, it would be nice to get a "delete all messages" option. Deleting them off the watch one by one is tedious.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Saipher Avatar
81 months ago
I was hoping Watch OS 4.3 supported iMessage in iCloud the way 11.3 does on the phone. The phone syncs to iCloud but the watch does not yet sync. Or is the plan to never sync with the watch?
When I say sync, I'm primarily talking about deleting messages on one carries over to the other. I currently still have to delete them in both places.
If not, it would be nice to get a "delete all messages" option. Deleting them off the watch one by one is tedious.
^This Apple, please.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bluespider Avatar
81 months ago
YES! Absolutely looking forward to seeing music library on watch!!!
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

iOS 18 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Friday April 12, 2024 11:11 am PDT by
iOS 18 is expected to be the "biggest" update in the iPhone's history. Below, we recap rumored features and changes for the iPhone. iOS 18 is rumored to include new generative AI features for Siri and many apps, and Apple plans to add RCS support to the Messages app for an improved texting experience between iPhones and Android devices. The update is also expected to introduce a more...
top stories 13apr2024

Top Stories: M4 Mac Roadmap Leaked, New iPads in Second Week of May, and More

Saturday April 13, 2024 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's hardware roadmap was in the news this week, with things hopefully firming up for a launch of updated iPad Pro and iPad Air models next month while we look ahead to the other iPad models and a full lineup of M4-based Macs arriving starting later this year. We also heard some fresh rumors about iOS 18, due to be unveiled at WWDC in a couple of months, while we took a look at how things ...
iGBA Feature

Game Boy Emulator for iPhone Now Available in App Store Following Rule Change [Removed]

Sunday April 14, 2024 8:06 am PDT by
A week after Apple updated its App Review Guidelines to permit retro game console emulators, a Game Boy emulator for the iPhone called iGBA has appeared in the App Store worldwide. The emulator is already one of the top free apps on the App Store charts. It was not entirely clear if Apple would allow emulators to work with all and any games, but iGBA is able to load any Game Boy ROMs that...
new best buy blue

Best Buy Opens Up Sitewide Sale With Record Low Prices on M3 MacBook Air, iPad, and Much More

Saturday April 13, 2024 7:41 am PDT by
Best Buy this weekend has a big sale on Apple MacBooks and iPads, including new all-time low prices on the M3 MacBook Air, alongside the best prices we've ever seen on MacBook Pro, iPad, and more. Some of these deals require a My Best Buy Plus or My Best Buy Total membership, which start at $49.99/year. In addition to exclusive access to select discounts, you'll get free 2-day shipping, an...
iPhone 16 Camera Lozenge 2 Colors

iPhone 16 Plus Rumored to Come in These 7 Colors

Wednesday April 10, 2024 3:52 am PDT by
Apple's iPhone 16 Plus may come in seven colors that either build upon the existing five colors in the standard iPhone 15 lineup or recast them in a new finish, based on a new rumor out of China. According to the Weibo-based leaker Fixed focus digital, Apple's upcoming larger 6.7-inch iPhone 16 Plus model will come in the following colors, compared to the colors currently available for the...
apple silicon feature joeblue

Macs to Get AI-Focused M4 Chips Starting in Late 2024

Thursday April 11, 2024 10:10 am PDT by
Apple will begin updating its Mac lineup with M4 chips in late 2024, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The M4 chip will be focused on improving performance for artificial intelligence capabilities. Last year, Apple introduced the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max chips all at once in October, so it's possible we could see the M4 lineup come during the same time frame. Gurman says that the entire...