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.

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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 Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

Top Rated Comments

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31 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)
Avatar
31 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)
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31 months ago
Still no podcasts
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
31 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)
Avatar
31 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)
Avatar
31 months ago
YES! Absolutely looking forward to seeing music library on watch!!!
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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