Spotify app launches for Wear OS smartwatches, but it's missing a big feature

Standalone app will let you send tunes to your speakers sans smartphone

Wear OS smartwatch owners, rejoice - Spotify has launched a standalone app for the platform that finally brings support for the music service.

The Spotify Wear OS app starts rolling out to Wear smartwatches globally over the coming week. It'll of course be available to download from the Google Play Store from your phone or watch, providing you've got Wear 2.0 or later running on your device.

Essential reading: How Spotify works on the Apple Watch

As far as the features you can expect, the standalone app will let you play, pause, skip and browse recently played music and podcasts from the watch app. There's also Spotify Connect support, letting you play music from your smartwatch on compatible speakers in your home. Additionally, you'll also be able to save favorite songs by tapping the heart icon next to the track, which adds it to your Spotify music library.

There is, however, one big feature that doesn't appear to make the cut, and we imagine it's the one people wanted the most: offline playlist support.

We've tried to download the app to a couple of Wear watches to confirm whether this is indeed the case, but the app is currently not yet appearing in the Google Play Store for us. We've also asked Spotify to clarify whether this feature is supported and it provided us with the following statement:

“We’re excited to introduce a standalone Spotify app for Wear OS by Google smartwatches. This is the first version of the app, and we will continue to improve the Spotify experience."

Reading between the lines, it sounds like we shouldn't rule out that offline playlist support coming at a later date. It's just not going to be available for the first version, which is a shame.

Spotify has also announced that from November it'll be auto-installing the new standalone app on all of Fossil's fourth generation Wear OS smartwatches, including the Michael Kors Access Runway.

The launch of a dedicated app for Wear OS watches follows the roll out of a dedicated Spotify app for Garmin's Fenix 5 Plus line. The version of the app for the Fenix, though, does though offer the ability to save Spotify playlists to the watch for offline playback.

Until the arrival of Garmin app, Samsung, as you might remember, was the only vendor to offer support. And that meant wearables like the Galaxy Watch, the Gear Sport, Gear S3 and Gear Fit2 Pro were the only devices to get official Spotify app love, including that desirable offline playlist support.

With Garmin, Samsung and now Google's Wear OS watches all getting an app, does that mean the Apple Watch will get a look in next? That may well be made complicated by the fact Apple has its own music streaming service. We have no doubt there's a fair few Watch owners out there that would love to be able to download a standalone Spotify Apple Watch app, with offline playlist support to boot.

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