Spotify remembers its widget exists, tests new version in latest beta

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Spotify sometimes seems to forget that its Android app actually has a widget to control music playback. A couple years back, the company even took it away for a little while, and its design is pretty dated. But now that Apple has invented widgets, they’re becoming a hot commodity again, and Spotify is testing a new version of its widget in the app’s latest beta update.

Left: Both the old (top) and new (bottom) Spotify widgets. Right: Both widgets in the picker on Android 12.

The new widget is a little buggy still, but you can see the sort of UI changes it brings. You’ve got the same limited set of controls (play, previous track, and next track), and it shows the same information regarding artist and track title, as well as album artwork. For some, the new widget can pick up on color cues from the album artwork, as depicted in the widget picker, though that didn’t work on any of my devices. It also doesn’t play nice with Android 12’s Material You dynamic color themes for me.

By default, the new widget is the same size as the older one (4×1), but you can resize it, and the old widget is still available in the picker on the current beta release.

Historically, Spotify hasn’t cared very much about its Android widget. In 2019, the company actually took the widget away entirely, disabling it before bringing it back after customer complaints. However, since iOS 14 rolled out support for widgets, the world is rediscovering what Android users have known for years, and thus widgets are popular enough again for Spotify to care.

If you’d like to give the new widget a try, you’ll need to be in Spotify’s beta testing program to install v8.6.40.914, which has the feature.

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