Apple HomePod finally gets hands-free Spotify thanks to this iOS 17 workaround

 Apple homepod.
Apple homepod.

An interesting workaround has been discovered on the Apple HomePod that gives users a way to stream music directly from Spotify. You don’t need your iPhone on hand or to connect to a Mac.

The process is fairly straightforward although it requires you to upgrade your devices to their latest version and give a certain command to Siri. Don’t worry, it’s not difficult. According to TheVerge, you will need an iPhone running iOS 17, a HomePod with software version 17, and Spotify version 8.8.72, which is the latest patch at the time of this writing. You then ask Siri on your HomePod to play music from Spotify.

The voice assistant will then ask for permission by saying “To use Spotify, I’ll need to AirPlay from your iPhone”. 9To5Mac states in their report a banner will appear on your phone’s screen asking for “Face ID authentication”. Once done, the HomePod will begin streaming music without issue. However, other actions may occur.

Case-by-case basis

TheVerge’s report claims you don’t need to do anything else after Siri asks for confirmation. The assistant will automatically move forward. However, in some cases, Siri will just play music; no questions asked. As you can see, there isn’t a universal process. The experience seemingly differs on a case-by-case basis.

You may experience some trouble during this whole affair. 9To5Mac claims that during their testing, the voice assistant had a difficult time understanding what they wanted. Sometimes it opened Spotify while other times it launched another music app.

Now you may be wondering why Spotify doesn’t work properly on the speaker. Third-party apps like Deezer and Pandora can be controlled via Siri, after all. Well, it's complicated.

Icy relationship

Back in 2019, Spotify filed a complaint with the European Commission claiming Apple engages in “suppression of, music streaming services that compete with Apple Music”. The Commission found there was enough merit in the claim that it began investigating the tech giant for anti-competitive behaviors. It's gotten pretty bad for Apple as the EU states it breached European antitrust laws and might get slapped with a $39 billion dollar fine. This case is still ongoing.

It’s worth mentioning Apple has released a new API for music streaming apps allowing them to be controlled by Siri through a HomePod. However, Spotify, for whatever reason, has refused to implement the software into its app on iOS.

Could this workaround be a sign that things are warming up between the two? Maybe. But considering the fact that a few months ago, Spotify kicked out legacy subscribers paying through the App Store, it looks like their relationship will remain icy for the foreseeable future.

While we have you, be sure to check out TechRadar’s list of the best smart speakers for 2023.

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