More than a year after Spotify brought developer Andrew Chang on board to develop an official Apple Watch app, and just a few days after Spotify released a limited test of an Apple Watch app, the real thing is finally here. And while the functionality is pretty basic for the moment, the release is almost as exciting for the features that aren’t yet here but while be soon as for the fact that the app has finally been released at all.
Among the highlights: “Ready to start your run? Hit play from your Apple Watch without having to wrangle your phone out of its running case,” Spotify explains in its announcement. “Running into a friend as you head into the grocery store? Tap pause to grab a cart and a chat. Not feeling a slow song during your birthday party? Skipping to the track that matches your mood and activity is now as easy as checking your notifications. Or, while listening to your favorite podcast, easily rewind 15 seconds to catch that detail you missed. It’s all right there on the watch face.”
In addition to giving you useful playback controls, the new app also lets you connect to music speakers via Spotify Connect. To get the app, you need to make sure you’re on the most recent version of Spotify’s iOS app (8.4.79), and Apple Watch users will start getting the app over the coming week.
Spotify’s announcement also teases “many exciting things coming” to the app, including the ability to listen to music and podcasts offline. That, argues Engadget, could be the best thing about it: “While Apple Music still tends to be the best option for offline audio on the smartwatch (in no small part due to its tight integration), that could change if Spotify could provide your gym soundtrack without much fuss. There just isn’t much competition on the Apple Watch, and Spotify could provide some real choice for people who’d rather not switch services just to put tunes on their wrists.”
For now, reviews of the new Apple Watch app are somewhat mixed, with some reviewers and users seeing this as basically a remote control for the app and little else. A CNET headline, for example, complained that the new app lets you play and rewind music, pause tracks, and that’s about it.