Spotify has finally brought an official app to Apple Watch. It’s not yet a complete experience. Nonetheless, it’s here, and this is how it works.
Think of the Spotify for Apple Watch app as a DJ on your wrist. As such, it allows you to control tracks playing on your iPhone. At least for now, the features don’t include offline listening or LTE integration, which you’ll learn more about below.
Installing Spotify for Apple Watch
You can find the free Spotify app on the App Store. Install it on your iPhone to get started. Be sure to log into your Spotify account through the app.
Once the app’s installed on the iPhone:
- Go into the Watch app on iPhone.
- On the My Watch tab, scroll down to the Spotify app.
- Tap on the Spotify app.
- Activate the Show App on Apple Watch toggle.
Note: Depending on your setup, you might already have Spotify installed on your Apple Watch. Once installed, the app shows up under the My Watch tab on the Watch app under the Install on Apple Watch section.
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To get Spotify on Apple Watch, you’ll need:
- iPhone 5 or above, running iOS 10.0 and above.
- Apple Watch on watchOS 4.0 and above.
Spotify on Apple Watch Dos and Don’ts
Here’s the latest information on what you can (and can’t do) with the Spotify app on Apple Watch:
What You Can Do
Keeping with the DJ from your wrist theme, you can do the following:
- Play, pause and skip, both music and podcasts.
- Control the volume.
- Get info about what’s playing.
- Play from Recently Played.
- Save your favorites.
Spotify Premium users can also use Spotify Connect to play music on other devices.
What You Can’t Do
Spotify 8.4.79 in iTunes is called the “first version” for Apple Watch, which almost certainly means that new features are coming. Until then, we’re stuck with these limitations:
- No Offline streaming: Currently, Spotify Premium users can’t download Spotify music onto the Apple Watch for offline use. Sorry, runners.
- No 4G streaming: Apple Watch Wi-Fi + Cellular customers can listen to Apple Music directly from their wearable device, no iPhone needed. This isn’t yet possible for Spotify Premium subscribers. Perhaps a future software update will change this.
- Weak track selection: At launch, Spotify for Apple Watch allows you to control music or podcasts from your most recently used playlists only. To access other music, you need to use the Spotify iPhone app.
Using Spotify on Apple Watch
Once Spotify has been installed on your wearable device, you’re ready to go.
- Push the Digital Crown to see the apps installed on Apple Watch.
- Tap the Spotify app.
There are currently two screens on the Spotify for Apple Watch app. On the first, you’ll see a Shuffle toggle and Recently Played playlists. Scroll using your finger or Digital Crown to see other playlists.
- Tap a playlist to listen to music from your iPhone or Bluetooth-connected device.
On the second screen, you’ll see the title of the current track plus five buttons: Back, Forward. Play/Pause. Favorites, and Connect. Scroll the Digital Crown up/down to change the volume.
- When you tap the heart icon that represents Favorites, the track gets added to your Spotify library.
- After tapping Connect, you’ll see a list of devices that support Spotify Connect. This is only possible if you’re a Spotify Premium subscriber. Tap on a choice to make changes.
Troubleshooting Spotify on Apple Watch
If you can’t control Spotify through your Apple Watch, there are a few troubleshooting techniques you can try. These include:
- Check if you can play Spotify through the iPhone app or the Spotify web player to rule out account issues.
- Confirm that your Wi-Fi connection on your wearable device is online.
- Visit the @spotifystatus Twitter account and see if there are any issues with the service noted.
- If nothing else works, delete and re-install the app on your iPhone and Apple Watch.
No doubt, Spotify for Apple Watch will improve over time. For now, however, it only offers a limited experience. Nonetheless, for Spotify users, the introduction is a step in the right direction.