Spotify today confirmed that support for standalone streaming has been introduced on its Apple Watch app. The feature was discovered back in September during testing and comes around two years after Spotify first debuted in its dedicated Apple Watch app.
With standalone streaming support, users can listen to Spotify music or podcasts over a Wi-Fi connection or mobile phone without having to be tied to their iPhone.
The lack of support for standalone streaming has long been a painful issue for a core group of Spotify customers. This is an even bigger problem for those who want to leave their iPhone behind during exercise – such as when they are on the go – and any other time when they carry an iPhone around, it can be a hassle.
However, with standalone streaming, Spotify users can stream directly from their wrist to their Bluetooth headphones or AirPods.
However, in the app, the option is still labeled with a beta label for some users.
The update of the Spotify app was discovered in the US by 9to5Mac. It found that more users viewed the feature for them even though they weren't part of the September test group.
Spotify isn't the first music service to offer a standalone streaming experience on Apple Watch. In addition to Apple's own Apple Music service, Pandora introduced support for standalone streaming back in February 2020.
However, in this regard, it is ahead of YouTube Music. Although YouTube didn't launch an Apple Watch version of its streaming music service until mid-October, it works more like a remote control via the YouTube Music app.
Spotify confirmed the launch in a statement to TechCrunch, but made no formal announcement about the update.
"We're focused on developing experiences that allow users to listen to Spotify wherever and whenever they want – regardless of device or platform," said a Spotify spokesman. "After an initial test phase, we are now introducing streaming capabilities for Spotify on the Apple Watch," they added.
The spokesman also confirmed that the rollout will be global.
To stream Spotify directly from your wrist, you'll need an Apple Watch Series 3 or higher with watchOS 6.0+ (7.1+ recommended) and either a cellular connection or Wi-Fi as noted on a Spotify website.