[iOS] Apple Watch: Spotify Streaming and Offline Listening

Apple Watch: Offline Listening


watchOS 5 should allow Spotify to develop an app that allows offline listening and streaming via cellular data.


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Updated on 2018-11-10

Marked as a new idea and edited the title slightly :)

I was really disappointed to discover this limitation today. I too will likely be switching my Spotify family account to Apple Music.

No news in 6 months so I'm canceling my Spotify Premium subscription and switching to Apple Music...


Well, I left now Spotify and enjoy when running on my apple watch the downloaded music.. Also Siri integration is available in the car when using car play. There is obviously some drawbacks when switching ot AM but running without carrying your phone makes a big difference...


Any update regarding this new idea? Pandora already has that feature. It’s probably time to switch to Apple Music 

Apple is really pushing to become a monopoly. They won’t let Spotify make a fully featured Apple Watch app that features what Apple Music does because Spotify is unwilling to pay their exorbitantly high royalties of 30% of their Premium revenue. Even after it drops off to 15% after the first year, Spotify couldn’t afford to stay in business. My guess is Apple has them in some sort of confidentiality agreement that prevents them from updating their users about what’s going on. 
For all the people who are switching to Apple Music, you have every right to be angry. Especially when you spend hundreds of dollars on a fitness tracker to be able to go on music runs without your phone, but at the end of the day it is Apple that’s the one who’s putting their foot down and preventing Spotify from making the Apple Watch app functional. Read the EU antitrust complaint if you don’t believe me. At the end of the day, I was an Apple Music user for more than a year and it never understood what music I liked whereas Spotify understood me in 3 weeks. I think most can agree their algorithms are better. But you don’t get the Apple Watch integration which is why Apple is under investigation by the EU. 
Meanwhile, I am considering when my contract expires switching to a OnePlus. Other companies are starting to make more compelling phones without the tight restrictions Apple imposes. Maybe get a Galaxy Watch or something with Spotify offline playback. That will be in several years though. Regardless, I used to be a big Apple fanboy (Apple sheep, whatever you want to call me). I used to have a MacBook Air, but now I’m really starting to despise their newer computers. With their only attention to make it thin and light (and unrepairable), I switched to a Lenovo ThinkPad. Not really regretting my decision; my wallet isn’t either. 
Used to love Apple products. Have an Apple Watch and iPhone XR, but their products are definitely using their spark. I wish Huawei phones weren’t banned. They have so much better cameras than iPhones do. I still think that for people that like the seamless ecosystem, then definitely go for Apple products, but there is definitely a much larger world out there than just Macs, iPhones, and iPads. Other companies have really caught up with Apple’s innovation and taken it to new levels. Meanwhile, Apple still sells the MacBook Air with the same design from 2011. I guess you could call that “courage.”
For the time being, we are stuck with the likes of Samsung and Apple who put in little effort as possible because they are both duopolies. Meanwhile, both are charging $1,000 prices that the average American cannot afford. This article sums it up quite well:
Happy listening!
Casual Listener
For the record, Apple's response to Spotify's allegations that they are being blocked from Apple Watch: "Let’s clear this one up right away. We’ve approved and distributed nearly 200 app updates on Spotify’s behalf, resulting in over 300 million downloaded copies of the Spotify app. The only time we have requested adjustments is when Spotify has tried to sidestep the same rules that every other app follows. We’ve worked with Spotify frequently to help them bring their service to more devices and platforms: When we reached out to Spotify about Siri and AirPlay 2 support on several occasions, they’ve told us they’re working on it, and we stand ready to help them where we can. Spotify is deeply integrated into platforms like CarPlay, and they have access to the same app development tools and resources that any other developer has. We found Spotify’s claims about Apple Watch especially surprising. When Spotify submitted their Apple Watch app in September 2018, we reviewed and approved it with the same process and speed with which we would any other app. In fact, the Spotify Watch app is currently the No. 1 app in the Watch Music category. Spotify is free to build apps for — and compete on — our products and platforms, and we hope they do." https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2019/03/addressing-spotifys-claims/ Nothing I have read in Spotify's complaints discusses a technical reason to not support Apple Watch, likely because there isn't one. Pandora (which I've switched to, full disclosure), works just fine on Apple Watch, as do any number of third party apps, some of which (e.g., podcasting apps) perform live streaming. Here is a nice technical discussion on how streaming can be done on Apple Watch: https://medium.com/@khaost/revisiting-watchos-development-in-2018-2c4a66e45b1b Yes, it's harder than using Apple's built-in streaming APIs (which don't exist on WatchOS yet), but it's very possible, and a company the size of Spotify should be able to figure it out. Even if they don't stream, at the very least they could fully download songs for playback from the watch's internal storage, which is how Pandora works. WatchOS is not limiting Spotify any differently than limits placed on any other app. In fact, using the term "limit" is disingenuous in itself. "Limiting" implies that they are actively preventing the use of an already-available feature that is commonly available to everyone. Apple is not "limiting" anything, they just haven't yet ported the modern APIs to the watch yet. If Apple really wanted an unfair advantage over Spotify, why not just block the app on iPhones and iPad as well? Spotify is hoping to conflate vague and false technical claims with its business model complaints in an attempt to bolster their arguments, but it's clear to anyone looking at the technical documentation that these arguments fall flat.
Apple says that in its App Store the competition is welcome. And name Spotify... https://www.apple.com/ios/app-store/principles-practices/

Come on Spotify, you're 90% the way there with your app, just make it work locally.

It seems ridiculous that I'm considering syncing playlists through third party solutions when Spotify should allow for playback like this themselves.




same as everyone else. Love Spotify and have been trying to resist APple Music at every turn. Finally got an Apple Watch and this is the last straw. Got AM 3 months free, and if the Spotify app isn’t doing streaming OR offline by then, I’ve got to switch.


With the WatchOS announcements at WWDC yesterday, can we expect that you, Spotify, will quickly make use of the new Streaming API to provide us with mobile streaming directly from the watch?