Spotify expands phone-free streaming to Apple Watch

Spotify is rolling out phone-free streaming for the Apple Watch.
Image: Spotify

Consumers are adopting wearable tech like the Apple Watch in record numbers. It was only a matter of time until services like Spotify rolled out fully functional apps for these devices. Now, that is becoming reality.

The Spotify app for the Apple Watch is getting the option to stream music without being connected to a phone. It’s a feature that consumers have been requesting for several years.

It also helps the Apple Watch realize more of its potential to be a wearable that can temporarily replace your smartphone.

The new feature is reportedly in beta mode, so it isn’t available to all users just yet. However, it will reportedly be rolling out to everyone in the near future.

Free at Last

The ability to control your Spotify stream from your Apple Watch is nice. That’s especially true when your phone might be out of reach—such as during a run or at the gym. It’s possible to listen to Spotify through your watch while doing those activities right now so long as you also have your phone. However, it would be much more convenient if you didn’t need to drag your phone along at all.

With the upcoming update for the Spotify Apple Watch app, that will soon be possible.

Several Watch users have reported to 9to5Mac that they have recently gained the ability to stream music without their phone. Engadget, meanwhile, reports that the feature is working for some users.

So far, it seems that users are able to listen to playlists, podcasts, artists, and albums from their library. However, an in-app search function remains notably absent. This means users will have to resort to the Apple Watch’s digital assistant—Siri. That could lead to less-than-desirable results but is still better than nothing.

In a statement, Spotify said, “We’re focused on developing experiences that enable users to listen to Spotify wherever and whenever they want—regardless of the device or platform. After an initial testing period, we are now rolling out streaming capabilities for Spotify on the Apple Watch.”

Although that doesn’t confirm exactly how the feature will work (or when it will be available), it does seem to mean that it is getting closer.

It’s worth noting that phone-free listening away from home will only be available to consumers with an LTE-enabled Apple Watch. Those connected to a Wi-Fi network should be able to stream music with a non-cellular watch. At least for now, the option for offline listening remains unavailable in the Spotify Watch app.

Ultimately, the Spotify app update will make music streaming much more convenient for those with an Apple Watch. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for the update to roll out to all users.


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