Spotify introduces an iPhone Lock Screen widget for easy access to its app
Spotify is embracing the iOS Lock Screen. The company announced today it’s introducing a new iPhone Lock Screen widget to all users running iOS 16 or later that allows you to tap on Spotify’s icon to launch the app directly before unlocking your phone.
Support for Lock Screen widgets rolled out with iOS 16’s release last fall as a way to put glanceable information directly on the phone’s screen as either round or rectangular widgets below the date and time or as a line of text just above it. A number of developers both large and small were quick to jump on board with Lock Screen widgets, including major tech companies like Google (including YouTube), Facebook, Snap and others. But Spotify had not.
While largely meant as another way to connect people with information from their apps, some Lock Screen widgets can also be used as shortcuts that launch apps directly. That provides quicker and easier access to the apps you use the most. For example, one of Google’s widgets lets you kick off a search right from the iPhone’s Lock Screen.
In Spotify’s case, the app will simply open the Spotify app — saving you the time of unlocking your phone and then finding the app icon or widget and tapping it. This can be useful when you want to jump into your music or podcasts while on the go or in the car and don’t have time to swipe through apps and screens.
Before, users who wanted Spotify on their Lock Screen had been taking advantage of third-party widget customization apps, like Widgetsmith, to create their own widgets.
Aesthetically, Spotify’s rounded icon also makes for a good fit alongside other popular circular icons that adorn users’ Lock Screens, like the default weather and activity widgets from Apple, if you care about that sort of thing.
To add Spotify’s new widget, you press and hold your finger down on your Lock Screen to make the “Customize” button appear at the bottom. Tap this to be taken to the area where you can choose to add widgets and look for Spotify in the alphabetical list. You can then tap on Spotify or drag the widget to add it to the Lock Screen and exit the customization screens.
In addition to the new Lock Screen widget, the company supports other widgets, including two sizes of Home Screen widgets for easy access to your most recently played music and podcasts. It also supports Apple’s Live Activities, which puts music controls at the bottom of the Lock Screen when you’re actively using the app.
Spotify notes that you’ll need to update its iOS app to the latest release to gain access to its new Lock Screen widget feature. Users must be on iOS 16 or later to use these types of widgets, as well.
I’m a journalist who specializes in investigative reporting and writing. I have written for the New York Times and other publications.