Spotify now lets you download music and podcasts to your Wear OS watch
The future of Wear OS is set to take an unexpected turn later this year, with Google and Samsung set to collaborate on revamping the software. But before any of that happens, Spotify is showing its commitment to the platform with a welcome new feature.
During the Google I/O 2021 presentation on Tuesday, Spotify’s Jessika Malmcrona revealed that its Wear OS app will soon support the ability to download music and podcasts. This will allow users to leave their phone at home but still play audio.
“We believe that wearables will be more and more important in the future, and we see our investment in Wear as absolutely essentially for Spotify,” Malmcrona said.
Clearly, Google’s pledge to reinvigorate Wear OS has struck a chord with developers. Spotify is the largest music streaming service on the market, so seeing the company further improve its app bodes well for the future. Google said that, in general, the future of development for Wear OS will be easier.
“New tools, like a Tiles API and a watch face design editor built by Samsung, make it a breeze to develop new experiences on wearables,” Google said in a blog post. “New and rebuilt apps from developers like Strava, Adidas Running, Bitmoji and many more are coming to the platform.”
Hopefully, other developers will be inspired to re-evaluate Google’s wearable platform, potentially created greater competition for Apple’s watchOS, which is far and away the best smartwatch software available.
Google and Samsung have a history of collaborating, and the unification of Wear OS and Tizen is an exciting prospect. The search giant is already claiming that app start-up is 30% faster on the revamped platform, and battery life is also improved. The improved performance should apply to all smartwatches that run Google’s new Wear OS. OEMs will also be able to add a customized user experience on top of the platform, so it won’t just be Galaxy Watch devices that run this unified software.
Once Spotify updates its app for Wear OS with the ability to download music and podcasts, we’ll be sure to let you know.
Update 1: Spotify update rolling out
In a blog post, Spotify has announced that it is rolling out an update to its Wear OS app that brings the ability to download all of your favorite music and podcasts to your smartwatch. Premium users can download content to listen offline, while Free users can still stream content in Shuffle Mode through a WiFi or cellular connection or download podcasts directly to the watch. This feature is available by searching for the music and podcasts you want to download to your watch, tapping on “download to watch”, and waiting for the download to complete (indicated by a green arrow next to the name).
This update is rolling out to smartwatches running Wear OS 2.0 or higher over the coming weeks.