Tech

Spotify got rid of its convenient Android home screen widget

The ability to plop widgets anywhere on your home screen is one of the more convenient things about Android. But one huge company, Spotify, is doing away with its widget. As noted by 9to5Google, Spotify’s most recent Android app update quietly phased out the mini-player that previously let users pause / play music or skip tracks from their device’s home screen. If you had the widget on your home screen, you’ll now see either empty space or it’ll be non-functional.

Since you can access the same functionality and controls by dragging down the notification shade, Spotify seems to have decided that the widget was redundant. “We always take retiring features in Spotify very seriously,” the company wrote in a short support post on the situation. “We’re pouring our energy into new ways of creating the best experience for our users.”

But some of those users have been quick to voice their disappointment and frustration — and they make a valid case. For instance, if you pause a song, Spotify’s notification shade controls can be swiped away and dismissed. A home screen widget is always there, right where you expect it. “I used the widget every single day,” wrote one angry subscriber. “Why would you remove something that makes using your product easier? What a trash decision.”

The pushback has been significant enough for Spotify to acknowledge. “We’re hearing you regarding the removal of the Android widget,” wrote one moderator, who urged people to vote for the widget’s return in Spotify’s ideas forum. Well, that strategy doesn’t seem like it’s going to accomplish much. Despite already tallying over 1,500 votes, Spotify has marked the widget’s status as “not right now” and flatly says “this isn’t something we have any immediate plans to reintroduce.” It’s a goner.

Amazon Music, Apple Music (yes, even Apple Music), Google Play Music, Pandora, SoundCloud, Tidal, and other media apps continue to offer home screen widget options. Somewhat strangely, Google’s own YouTube Music does not. But everyone who uses widgets daily is likely hoping that Spotify isn’t going to inspire a trend among competitors.

This isn’t the first time that Spotify has removed an Android-only feature. The company previously offered a quick settings toggle to activate offline mode, which lets users filter their music to show only downloaded songs when away from a data connection. That toggle was also recently pulled.

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