Spotify embraces the iOS lock screen. The company announced today that it’s introducing a new iPhone Lock Screen widget for all users running iOS 16 or later that lets you tap the Spotify icon to instantly launch the app before unlocking your phone.
Support for Lock Screen widgets rolled out last fall with the release of iOS 16 as a way to place organized information directly on the phone’s screen as circular or rectangular widgets below the date and time or as a line of text just above it. A number of developers, both large and small, quickly jumped on board with Lock Screen widgets, including major tech companies such as Google (including YouTube), Facebook, Snap, and others. But Spotify didn’t have that.
While largely intended as another way for people to connect with information from their apps, some Lock Screen widgets can also be used as shortcuts to launch apps directly. That provides faster and easier access to the apps you use most. For example, one of Google’s widgets lets you launch a search right from the iPhone’s lock screen.
In the case of Spotify, the app just opens the Spotify app – saving you the time of unlocking your phone and then finding and tapping the app icon or widget. This can be useful if you want to jump to your music or podcasts on the road or in the car and don’t have time to swipe through apps and screens.
Previously, users who wanted Spotify on their lock screen used third-party widget customization apps like Widgetsmith to create their own widgets.
Aesthetically, Spotify’s rounded icon also fits in nicely alongside other popular round icons gracing users’ lock screens, such as Apple’s default weather and activity widgets, if you care about that sort of thing.
To add Spotify’s new widget, hold your finger on your lock screen to bring up the “Customize” button at the bottom. Tap this to go to the area where you can choose to add widgets and search for Spotify in the alphabetical list. You can then tap or drag the widget to add it to the lock screen and exit the customization screens.
In addition to the new Lock Screen widget, the company supports other widgets, including Home Screen widgets in two sizes for easy access to your most recently played music and podcasts. It also supports Apple’s Live Activities, which places music controls at the bottom of the lock screen when you’re actively using the app.
Spotify notes that you’ll need to update the iOS app to the latest release to access the new Lock Screen widget feature. Users must also have iOS 16 or later to use these types of widgets.