Apple Watch finally gets Spotify downloads — how to use it

Apple Watch Spotify
(Image credit: Spotify)

Apple Watch users are finally gaining the ability to download Spotify songs to their wrists, a feature that's been long demanded, so there's no longer a need to carry an iPhone around when wanting to listen to Spotify lists on the go. 

It's certain to be popular for runners and others who exercise and don't want to be encumbered by their phone. 

This news follows an announcement from the day before where Spotify said that WearOS smartwatch users would also gain the ability to download Spotify playlists to their devices. However, Spotify did not say when this feature was coming to WearOS, so for the moment, the Apple Watch has the better feature set when it comes to the popular streaming music service.

In order to download playlists, you must be a Spotify Premium member, which is $9.99 per month for individuals, $4.99/month for students, and $14.99 per month for a family account. 

How to download Spotify playlists to Apple Watch

1. On your iPhone, select the playlist, album, or podcast you wish to download to your watch.

2. Press the three dots (...) next to the selected album.

3. Select "Download to Apple Watch" to start the process.

Once the download is complete, you'll see a green arrow next to the name of the album or playlist you downloaded.

This new feature puts Spotify on a par with Apple Music in many respects, so it remains to be seen how Apple will respond. It also uncertain if users will be able to use Spotify in conjunction with other apps on the Apple Watch; for example, when using MapMyRun for a workout, will users be able to use Spotify then, or will Apple Music be the default option?

The company recently announced that Apple Music will offer lossless audio for subscribers, as well as spatial audio. For Apple Watch owners, the Spotify announcement means no longer being stuck using Apple Music when wanting to listen to music on the go. 

Mike Prospero
U.S. Editor-in-Chief, Tom's Guide

Michael A. Prospero is the U.S. Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide. He oversees all evergreen content and oversees the Homes, Smart Home, and Fitness/Wearables categories for the site. In his spare time, he also tests out the latest drones, electric scooters, and smart home gadgets, such as video doorbells. Before his tenure at Tom's Guide, he was the Reviews Editor for Laptop Magazine, a reporter at Fast Company, the Times of Trenton, and, many eons back, an intern at George magazine. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, where he worked on the campus newspaper The Heights, and then attended the Columbia University school of Journalism. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, electric scooter, or skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine, smoker, or pizza oven, to the delight — or chagrin — of his family.