Spotify confirmed today it has begun to roll out support for standalone streaming on its Apple Watch app. The feature had been spotted in testing back in September, and arrives roughly two years after Spotify debuted its dedicated Apple Watch app.
With support for standalone streaming, users can listen to Spotify music or podcasts via a Wi-Fi connection or over cellular, without needing to be tethered to their iPhone.
The lack of support for standalone streaming has been a longtime sore subject for a core group of Spotify’s customers. It’s even more of an issue for those who want to leave their iPhone behind when they’re exercising — like when they’re out for a run, for example — as well as any other time when carrying around an iPhone could be cumbersome.
With standalone streaming, however, Spotify users can stream from their wrist directly to their Bluetooth headphones or AirPods.
In the app, the option is still flagged with a beta label for some users, however.
The update to the Spotify app was spotted in the U.S. by 9to5Mac, which noted more users had started seeing the feature show up for them even though they hadn’t been a part of the September test group.
Spotify is not the first music service to offer a standalone streaming experience on the Apple Watch. In addition to Apple’s own Apple Music service, Pandora rolled out support for standalone streaming back in February 2020.
However, it is ahead of YouTube Music on this front. Although YouTube just launched an Apple Watch version of its streaming music service in mid-October, it works more like a remote control from the YouTube Music app.
Spotify confirmed the launch in a statement to TechCrunch, but it hasn’t made a formal announcement about the update.
“We’re focused on developing experiences that enable users to listen to Spotify wherever and whenever they want – regardless of the device or platform,” a Spotify spokesperson said. “After an initial testing period, we are now rolling out streaming capabilities for Spotify on the Apple Watch,” they added.
The spokesperson also confirmed the rollout is global in nature.
To stream Spotify directly from your wrist, you’ll need an Apple Watch Series 3 or later, with watchOS 6.0+ (recommended 7.1+) and either a cellular connection or Wi-Fi, a Spotify website notes.