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Some Suggestions to Get Spotify Working on Ice Cream Sandwich

UPDATE: try the new Spotify Preview for Android – a complete rewrite of the app and ICS-compatible!

Who remembers the Android release called Gingerbread? This was version 2.3 released in December 2010 so it’s now over a year old, but unfortunately it remains the most-recent version of Android supported by Spotify. Honeycomb (v3.x) is not supported and neither is the version currently rolling out to millions of handsets and tablets around the world: Ice Cream Sandwich.

Some lucky users have not had any problems running Spotify on an ICS device (“I have a galaxy nexus with ICS and no issues so far”) but the majority are eagerly updating their phones and tablets only to discover that Spotify stops working, typically after a few days of usage.

The Google Play market erroneously indicates that Spotify is “compatible with my devices,” but the official word from Spotify is that both Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich are not supported. My own situation is this – I have two Android devices:

  • A Samsung Galaxy S II running Android 2.3.4. Luckily Spotify (mostly) works on this smartphone without too many problems.
  • An ASUS Transformer Prime running Android 4.0. Spotify does not work on this. It installs but crashes every time I start it up. I don’t use my tablet for music though, so this isn’t really too much of a problem for me.

Since ICS is due on my Galaxy S II over the next few days, I’m anxious to find a solution. I could of course just remain on Gingerbread until there’s an official fix, but given the neglect the Spotify Android app has seen since its release I fear this could be a long wait. There do however seem to be a few possible temporary workarounds to get Spotify working on Ice Cream Sandwich. None of these are guaranteed, but if you’re desperate they’re at least worth a try.


Some Suggestions to Get Spotify Working on ICS

  • If you installed the Spotify Android app from the Market, uninstall it and install the version from the Spotify website instead.
  • If you installed the Spotify Android app from the Spotify website, uninstall it and install the version from the Market instead.
  • Don’t store any offline playlists i.e. use Spotify as for streaming-only. If you really can’t live without offline playlists, keep the number of playlists stored offline down to a minimum.
  • Don’t play an local files through Spotify.
  • Try an older version of the app. The current version is 0.4.12, but there are reports that version 0.4.04 is much more stable on ICS. This version pre-dates Facebook logins though, so only downgrade if you have an “old” (non-Facebook) Spotify login.
  • Change your password. Bizarrely Spotify suggest this might help.
  • Uninstall, delete cache, re-install. Repeat these steps every week or so to get around the “breaks after a few days” problem.
  • If you have lots of playlists, delete most of them then try again.
  • Alternatively, get an iPhone.

Some of these workarounds are pretty severe and limiting, most are a pain in the ass, and there’s no guarantee any of them will work on your device anyway. I guess it depends on how badly you want Ice Cream Sandwich and Spotify.

Personally, I need Spotify on my smartphone on a daily basis, so I cannot afford to take any chances. I will not upgrade to ICS unless there are genuine reports that prove Spotify will continue to run on my Galaxy S II, or until robot pigs invade from space Spotify release an Android update.