I make use of the Now Playing view on Apple Watch to switch between songs playing on my iPhone's Soundcloud app.

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However, I haven't yet found a satisfying (fast) way to access this view.

In WatchOS 3, the only way I know of is to click the "Dock" button on the side, and then swipe through the active apps to the location of Now Playing, and then click it. I think it's cumbersome.

I was hoping that there would be a complication to access this view, but for some reason Apple hasn't included one.

There is a Music complication, and once in that app, there is a "Now Playing" button. But strangely it doesn't seem to be linked to what's playing on my iPhone at the moment, even when I've set the Source to my iPhone. Perhaps this "Now Playing" function is reserved for Apple Music only.

So, my question is, what are the possible ways to access the Now Playing view? Is there something I'm missing?

2 Answers 2


As of watchOS 4, you have a few options for accessing the Now Playing screen:

  • Set the Dock Ordering setting for the Dock (Watch App on iPhone > Dock) to Favorites and choose the Now Playing "app" as one of your Favorites
  • Add the Now Playing complication to a watch face (unfortunately, it's only available for Complication sections that are big enough to show the title of what's playing)

I actually included this in a roundup of things I think should work with Siri on the Apple Watch but don't.

  • 1
    I'd also like to add that in the "Siri Watch Face", available in watchOS 4, provides a Now Playing "Data Source" card.
    – P A N
    Oct 10, 2017 at 12:47

Update the wake screen setting to show the last used app.

Go to General > Wake Screen > On Screen Wake show Last app on the iPhone App.

You can choose from options include session, 8 minute, 1 hour, always.

Now the watch always wakes up to the now playing screen.

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