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This neat iOS 17 trick finally makes hands-free Spotify on HomePod easy

Until now the Apple HomePod speakers have been a tough sell for Spotify users (as well as users of other streaming services) because there’s been no way to natively integrate voice commands with the speaker.

Because Spotify hasn’t adopted the requisite API that enables third-party music services to play nice with the Siri-powered speaker, even otherwise loyal Apple users might dodge the hardware range.

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Now, thanks to a near workaround in iOS 17, it’s possible for Spotify users to tell the HomePod itself “Hey Siri, play Taylor Swift on Spotify.”

Cleverly, HomePod will firstly relay the request to the companion iPhone, then start an AirPlay session to begin streaming the content on the HomePod speaker.

Previously, manually starting an AirPlay session between Spotify and HomePod has been the easier way to enable playback. Now there’s a proper hands-free solution requiring nothing more than the users voice.

Those who’ve tested the new functionality spotted by 9to5Mac, include a reporter at The Verge who says Siri on HomePod responded to the initial request with “To use Spotify, I’ll need to AirPlay from your iPhone” and carried out the request. Sometimes Siri responded with “on it.” Nice.

Spotify had held out on adopting a Siri API that had allowed third parties to directly play music with voice commands on a HomePod. Many of the other big players have also failed to adopt the API, which was announced at WWDC 2023, while Pandora and Deezer are among those to jump abroad.

In Spotify’s case, it may be avoiding jumping on board because there’s some ongoing legal wrangling between the pair in the European Union over what Spotify claims is Apple using its dominant market position.

It is one of many companies to complain over Apple taking a cut of some users’ Spotify Premium subscription fees, while also preventing the company from diverting users to other sign up methods.

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