If, like me, you’ve been keen to play Spotify on your Apple HomePod, the introduction of iOS 17 offers a streamlined method. Here’s a straightforward guide.
Historically, the HomePod supported Apple Music and AirPlay. Spotify’s integration was limited, especially after the 2020 introduction of the HomePod Siri music API. This was mainly due to Spotify’s legal wrangles with Apple.
The Spotify-Apple Dilemma
For years, Apple and Spotify have clashed, particularly over the integration of Spotify on Apple’s devices. Spotify has pointed fingers at Apple for prioritising its own services, especially Apple Music, making it harder for third-party apps to find their footing. This has been particularly evident with the HomePod, which didn’t allow users to stream Spotify directly.
Additionally, Apple’s App Store commission policies have been a bone of contention for Spotify. This dissatisfaction led to an official complaint by Spotify in the EU, alleging Apple of monopolistic behaviours.
How to use Spotify on HomePod (Tip: iOS 17)
- Check Software:
- Update both your iPhone and HomePod to iOS 17.
- Ensure Spotify is at its latest version, 8.8.72 as of now.
Note: I had to restart my HomePod to get this to work, even though I had iOS 17 installed on my iPhone. I also ran into the Set-up Failed (-1001) Error during the reset.
- Command Siri for Spotify Playback:
- Simply tell your HomePod, “Hey Siri, play The Beatles on Spotify.”
- Siri might say, “To use Spotify, I’ll need to AirPlay from your iPhone,” but should then proceed without further prompting.
- On the initial attempt, HomePod might ask for confirmation on your iPhone. Authenticate it with Face ID.
- Following commands should work seamlessly, provided your iPhone and HomePod share the same Wi-Fi.
- If issues arise, resetting and restarting your HomePod might be necessary. This proved effective for me.
- Optimising Voice Commands:
- Spotify commands are generally understood. However, some commands can be mixed up, like the confusion between the Overcast app and a song named “Overcast” on Apple Music.
- For best results, use clear and direct voice commands.
Why iOS 17 Makes a Difference
iOS 17 has enhanced the HomePod’s Spotify support. This change, spotlighted by 9to5Mac, means Siri now uses your phone to initiate Spotify playback on your HomePod.
Before iOS 17, Spotify on HomePod was limited to manual AirPlay. Despite the HomePod Siri music API unveiled in 2020, Spotify remained an outlier due to its disputes with Apple.
The WWDC 2023 event marked the launch of an API allowing third-party apps, like Spotify, to sync with the SiriKit API. This facilitates voice-controlled playback via Siri, but remember, the HomePod and phone need to be on the same Wi-Fi network.
The good news is that this feature isn’t exclusive to Spotify. Any audio app compatible with the new API can use this, possibly paving the way for platforms like Audible.