As you can see from this snapshot, Spotify on Android now has a home screen widget. It has the same dimensions as the standard Music player widget but looks much better: the widget seems less chunky and it shows a thumbnail of the currently playing album art. Clicking the art takes you directly into the Spotify app and the widget has Next, Previous, Play and Pause buttons.
Spotify on Android now also supports Spotify links (URIs): click a Spotify link from within the web browser to open the music directly in Spotify, just like on the desktop. This works perfectly for albums and tracks, and sites like joebuck’s Spotinews (already optimized for mobile browsing) now become even more of a useful service.
The real game-changer though is that Spotify links from the Android browser also works for custom playlists: at a stroke, mobile users now have access to the many playlist sharing sites out there. Clicking a custom playlist adds it to the bottom of your list of playlists in Spotify – simply scroll to the bottom of your list and play. This is an excellent new feature that only serves to strengthen the attractiveness of Spotify’s mobile offering.
The player itself has been tweaked, with actions happening quicker and smoother than before. Most notable though is that you can now swipe playing album art to jump to the next (or previous) track just like on Spotify for iPhone. It’s super-fast but one consequence seems to be that the transport buttons (prev/play/next) are always on, obscuring some of the album art. You used to be able to tap to hide these buttons but a tap or a press doesn’t seem to do anything now.
- Track: HTTP link | Spotify URI
- Works as expected: transfers to Play tab in Spotify and starts playing the track.
- Album: HTTP link | Spotify URI
- Works as expected: transfers to the album popup page in Spotify from where you can play the album or save it as a playlist.
- Artist: HTTP link | Spotify URI
- Does not work. Transfers to Spotify but does nothing. Ideally, this would go to the Search tab and search for the artist.
- Custom Playlist: HTTP link | Spotify URI
- Works (almost) as expected: transfers to Spotify and adds the playlist to your list. Ideally this would give some indication that the playlist has been added, such as with a popup or by switching to the Playlist tab and aut0-scrolling to the bottom.
- Label Search: HTTP link | Spotify URI
- Does not work. Transfers to Spotify but does nothing. Ideally, this would go to the Search tab and search for the label (or whatever the search string was).