The Amazon Echo smart speaker keeps getting better. Now Spotify Premium users can listen to their playlists via voice commands. The new streaming music service joins Prime Music, Pandora, iHeartRadio and TuneIn as supported by default.
Spotify Premium members can now easily switch between phone and Echo playback, thanks to Spotify Connect. That means you can transition from your headphones to the speaker as soon as you walk in the door.
Sadly this feature is not open to non-paying Spotify subscribers. But, the streaming service is offering a 30-day free trial, and it costs $9.99 per month afterword. Then you'll need to sign into your Spotify account from the Alexa app. A premium subscription lets you download and listen to music offline with no ads, unlimited skip and you can play any specific track you want to hear.
Previously the only way to play Spotify through the Amazon Echo was to pair your phone or tablet with the speaker via Bluetooth. But that method limits your voice commands to stop, skip, shuffle or volume up/down.
The $179.99 Amazon Echo is an excellent speaker, but it does so much more. The built-in personal assistant named Alexa may remind you a bit of Siri. She can tell jokes and has tons of Easter eggs (try asking her for "Tea, Earl Grey"). But she's also very helpful.
Alexa can read you the news or a book, report the weather or traffic, search Wikipedia, shop on Amazon, set alarms, and control your smart home devices, among many other things. Amazon rolls out new features regularly and claims more than 95 new abilities have been added since the speaker was released in 2014.