Apple Watch Wearers Can Now Control Spotify With Siri
Watch and Listen
Apple Watch owners can get Spotify to play whatever they want by asking Siri on the watch to play something “on Spotify.” The Spotify app came to Apple Watch in 2018, but Siri didn’t control its playback until now. Control through Siri will likely encourage people to use Spotify from their watch more than they would otherwise.
The additional Siri connection is only the latest way Spotify has become easier to access by Siri. In October, Apple extended Siri’s ability to control Spotify by allowing people to ask its voice assistant to play specific songs, albums, or playlists and make Spotify the default music player. Previously, Siri could only open and pause or play Spotify, not search for specific tracks and albums. The restriction was severe enough that Spotify complained to the European Commission about Apple’s Siri limits. Spotify claimed that limiting the kinds of apps supported by Siri is one way Apple uses control of the iOS to stifle competition. Spotify and other app developers are probably only going to ask for more Siri control. Without an OS explicitly for Siri, there’s a limit to what app developers who want voice control can do.
Siri’s control of Spotify may not be the only way to control Spotify by voice soon. Spotify may be working on a voice assistant of its own, with “Hey Spotify” as the wake word. The new Voice sub-menu in the Spotify app asks users to grant permission for Spotify to use their microphone. Spotify will only listen for the wake word when the app is open on the screen. That suggests the voice assistant will be for when people can’t hold their device, such as when they are driving. It may also be related to the device for playing music and podcasts and cars that Spotify announced a year ago.
While search and playback controls are probably part of the voice assistant, Spotify hasn’t spoken publicly about it yet. Whether or not it would also be accessible through wearable tech like the Apple Watch is, therefore, also unclear.