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Since I updated my Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max to iOS 17.4, I can no longer control the audio playback from my Apple Watch Series 2 with the Now Playing app

Apple Watch Series 2 Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max
Model A1758 Model A2894
watchOS 6.3 iOS 17.4
iOS 17.4.1

iOS 17.5
14 Dec 2020 07 Mar 2024

The Now Playing app should let you control audio playback on Apple Watch, iPhone, and other devices.

Since March 7th, 2024, the Now Playing app on my Apple Watch Series 2 displays an endless spinning wheel demonstrating that it cannot connect to my iPhone 14.

Failed Troubleshooting Attempts 🙅

  1. Switching off the Apple Watch Series 2 and the Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max did not solve the problem.
  2. Forcing the Now Playing app to quit did not solve the problem.
  3. Toggling the Auto-Launch Audio Apps option OFF and then back ON, in the Watch app on the iPhone, under Settings > General > Wake Screen did not solve the problem.
  4. Deleting and re-installing the Now Playing app did not solve the problem.
  5. Unpairing the Apple Watch Series 2 and restoring it to its factory settings did not solve the problem.

Some Online Bug Reports 🐛

  1. Now playing on Apple Watch not working after update
  2. Apple Watch’s Now Playing Issue
  3. Now Playing State Not Updating on Apple Watch
  4. Apple watch crown does not regulate volume in Now Playing after update
  5. Now playing Apple Watch 3 series not working after watchos 5 update. What to do?
  6. Now playing on Apple Watch not working after update
  7. "Now Playing" App Not Working on Apple Watch
  8. “Now playing” not working
  9. My Apple Watch running watchOS 6.3 no longer displays my iPhone in the 'Now Playing'
  10. Now Playing app stopped working on Apple Watch ⌚ after upgrading iPhone to iOS 17.4 ⁉️
  11. iOS 17.4: Now Playing not working on Apple Watch

The release of iOS 17.4.1 on March 21, 2024 did not solve the problem 🙅🏻

The release of iOS 17.5 on May 13, 2024 did not solve the problem 🙅🏻

Now Playing on Apple Watch not working since Apple iOS 17.4

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  • I’m assuming you want a fix, since there’s no actual question to this well researched blog post. The one item you missed is official support.
    – bmike
    Commented Apr 3 at 21:05

1 Answer 1

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This bug is not confirmed on multiple newer generations of Apple Watch.

My tests of series 7, 8, 9 and Ultra 2 all work as expected with your listed versions of iOS and newer watchOS.

I would encourage you and other people to work directly with Apple support as this regression (assuming it's not due to a hardware issue on specific devices) is highly likely to need some extra data points for Apple to either admit this feature is deprecated (or limited or broken or non-functional) on some devices or offer better troubleshooting steps.

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