New Tidal Apple Watch app finally offers offline listening — here's how

Generic smartwatch stock
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Listening to music during an evening jog just got a lot more convenient thanks to a new Apple Watch app by Tidal. The app allows for streaming music through an Apple Watch Series 3 or higher offline, meaning an iPhone doesn't need to be present. Unfortunately, users will have to forego high fidelity audio quality when streaming offline. 

Starting today, Tidal subscribers can download the new Apple Watch app and take their tunes with them on the go. The move sees Tidal follow suit with the likes of Spotify, which recently announced new offline playback features for the Apple Watch. It's another reason why the Apple Watch Series 6 will remain the top spot on our best smartwatches roundup for the foreseeable future.

The new support comes courtesy of Tidal version 2.26.0 for iOS, which has brought the Apple Watch app to Tidal's user base.

Despite being slightly late to the game in comparison with other platforms like Spotify and Deezer, Tidal fans shall face no further delays in listening to their music offline and streaming on their Apple Watch. You'll want to make sure you have an Apple Watch Series 3 or later and be using at least WatchOS 7.1 to ensure compatibility.

Provided all is well, simply download the Tidal app on the smartwatch, head to the Tidal login portal, and use the code shown on your Apple Watch screen.

Tidal streaming

(Image credit: Tidal)

Lost without lossless

One drawback is that Tidal's ability to offer lossless audio format will be rescinded on the Apple Watch. Tidal, a platform long known for its high-quality streams, will be capped at 96Kbps, according to The Verge

Tidal isn't alone in this, either. Spotify is in the same position, with it too confirming that its music streams will be limited to 96Kbps when listening through its wearable applications. Currently, there's still no solid word on whether Apple, which just announced that it'll offer lossless audio as a free upgrade, as well as spatial audio, will follow the same approach. It's possible that streaming high-fidelity audio might be a limitation on the Apple Watch. And also, lossless music files take up significantly more room than a 96Kbps MP3. Given that the Apple Watch Series 6 only has 32GB of on-board flash storage, a large offline music library would quickly fill it up. 

More: Spotify Free vs. Premium: Is it worth paying?

Luke Wilson

Luke is a Trainee News Writer at T3 and contributor to Tom's Guide, having graduated from the DMU/Channel 4 Journalism School with an MA in Investigative Journalism. Before switching careers, he worked for Mindshare WW. When not indoors messing around with gadgets, he's a disc golf enthusiast, keen jogger, and fond of all things outdoors.