Spotify has been available on the Xbox One since August of last year, and we’ve used it frequently since it arrived. Recently the app received its biggest update since launch and we’ve found a lot to like about it.
The change in the overall user interface styling might be the first, and most obvious, change in the update to Spotify for Xbox One. If you’re not one to notice small tweaks to visual styling, most of them probably won’t stand out to you. The interface does feel cleaner, lighter, and less cluttered though. As pretty as the refreshed visuals are, our favorite change is far more noticeable once you’ve actually left the app!
One of the best uses for Spotify on the Xbox One is to listen to music while you’re playing games. We frequently turn off the radio feature in Forza Horizon 4 to listen to our favorite playlists, and that’s where the new updates to Spotify really shine. When you access the app from the Xbox fly-out guide, and select Spotify, you’re now presented with a lot more options than you were previously. Of course you can still can pause and skip songs and adjust the volume mix between in-game audio and Spotify’s music, but they’ve also added quick access to other playlists.
In the Xbox fly-out guide for Spotify, below the playback controls, you’re presented with a list of twenty playlists. You can start listening to any of those playlists without having to leave the game you’re playing. The first five are the most recent playlists you’ve been listening to. After that are the five most recent playlists that you’ve created. Then under the heading Playlists Made Weekly Just for You, are your Discover Weekly and Release Radar lists. The last two sections are geared toward what Spotify thinks you might want to listen to based on where you’re listening (a video game console) and the time of day. In our screenshots you’ll see one section is labeled Soundtrack your gaming! and the other is Night soundtrack.
If you are the type to open Spotify on your Xbox just to enjoy your favorite music then there is another feature you’re going to love. It’s Spotify’s Behind the Music. While playing songs it will display the lyrics and interesting information about the song and artist. It’s not available for every song, but it can be enjoyed with many popular tracks.
All the features that you’ve been using are still there. Most importantly, you can still control Spotify on Xbox One using Spotify Connect from any other device on your network. The only feature that we’d still like to see is inclusion of the Your Daily Mix playlists.
We love the new updates to Spotify and hope that other app developers will implement similar functionality. Do you use background audio playback on your Xbox? How do you like the new update? Are there other features you’d like to see implemented? Let us know in the comments below.