watchOS 7 now enables DRM audio streaming apps with FairPlay support


watchOS 7 brings important enhancements to the Apple Watch, including sleep tracking, new workouts, and more. What Apple hasn’t mentioned is that the next major update to the Apple Watch operating system also adds support for FairPlay, a technology that enables streaming of DRM-protected content.

FairPlay is widely adopted on iOS, macOS, and tvOS as it allow apps to offer encrypted music and video, preventing the content from being easily recorded and replicated.

Apple has now confirmed in a WWDC session that FairPlay is now available on watchOS 7, allowing developers to create audio streaming apps with DRM content for Apple Watch.

What’s new in streaming audio for Apple Watch

Deliver a smooth streaming audio experience straight to the wrist. We’ll talk about some of the new things for building great streaming apps unique to Apple Watch. Learn how to integrate more audio formats, deliver streams more efficiently through new codecs, and add encrypted content to expand your app’s media library.

The best example of apps that can benefit from this new feature is music apps, which can now offer full streaming of songs on Apple Watch without worries about DRM protection. In other words, we might have more standalone streaming apps available on watchOS in the future.

Apple is also adding support for the xHE-AAC codec in watchOS 7, which enables smaller audio files while maintaining the same quality as the standard AAC codec, something that can enhance audio streaming on a slow internet connection.

For more details about what’s new in streaming audio for Apple Watch, check out the 7-minute WWDC session here.

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