Friday, September 29, 2023

Spotify’s redesigned Apple Watch app feels less like an afterthought

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Spotify is giving its Apple Watch users some love by adding UI and playback upgrades that better align with the familiar experience of larger screens. In an update it starts rolling out todaywatchOS users will see an improved view of Your Library with more in-depth music controls and the ability to download playlists without going back to your iPhone.

Before today’s update, Spotify’s Apple Watch features were rudimentary. For starters, the app displayed Your Library view as a list of text-only titles. The new update offers a more attractive user interface, including thumbnails of illustrations. In the old version of the watchOS app, as soon as you tapped on an album or playlist, playback would start immediately without you having to choose any options beforehand. The new update adds a screen with two prominent buttons for downloading and shuffling your music.

Spotify initially added offline playback in a May update, but that version still required you to use your iPhone to choose offline music, and you could only download individual songs to your wearable. Downloading entire playlists and albums without taking out a phone is a welcome addition for owners. The new update also lets you swipe to like a song in the list view, a gesture already familiar to users of the Spotify iOS app.


Today’s update also improves Apple Watch podcast playback so you can view your listening progress and pick up where you left off. The previous version would always restart podcasts from scratch.

In addition to the Apple Watch app upgrades, Spotify also highlighted new tap-to-listen controls for Meta’s Ray-Ban Stories and music curation for the overhead boarding music on Delta airlines. The company also announced support for the “Ambient Experience” that displays playlist or podcast artwork on Fire TV Omni QLED series TVs when you’re not watching anything. TV owners of $800 and above can scroll through their music using the TV remote or Spotify Connect devices.

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