Rather like Hollywood’s musical renaissance or the decennial return of turtleneck sweaters to fashion, our favorite apps also find themselves the subject of features which come, go, and come back again throughout the course of their update-ridden lifespans.
Spotify, it turns out, is no different. The music streaming service has re-added the ability to swipe down to find songs in playlists and Liked Songs on Android devices – more than two years after removing the feature.
This isn’t game-changing stuff, but the inability to swipe-down-to-search on Android phones and tablets represented a major bugbear for users, as evidenced by the almost 3000 likes on a forum request to bring back the feature.
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Thanks to an under-the-radar software update (version 220.127.116.119 of the app), Android users no longer have to trawl through menus to find a particular track or filter their music by title, artist or album.
It’s worth noting that this isn’t an official communication from Spotify, rather we spotted it thanks to the eagle eyes of Android Police, so the feature may only be appearing as part of a limited test sample of users. We doubt it, though.
The update will come as music to the ears of Spotify users on Android who have for years bemoaned the improved functionality of the app on iOS devices. For instance, as well as the previously-superior ability to search through playlists via swiping down, iOS users can also swipe left and right on tracks to like, unlike or add to queue.
There’s still no track-swiping for Android users – but baby steps, right?
As well as re-adding features from years gone by, the team over at Spotify occasionally like to add new features, too.
One of those is the addition of a Spotify wake word, allowing users to activate the app on their phone or smart speaker and control their music hands-free via the phrase ‘Hey, Spotify.’
The feature, essentially an app-only version of Apple’s ‘Hey, Siri’ function, has been rolled out to a select number of users, though it’s expected to become available to everyone as part of a wider update soon.
Not only does a wake word represent a boost in functionality for the music streamer, but it may also be a step in the right direction for its accessibility, too. Not everyone will have the technical knowhow to set up Spotify integration with an external voice assistant, so having one baked into the Spotify app certainly cuts out the middleman in that regard.
Let’s just hope Android users don’t get left behind on this one, too...
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Axel is a London-based Senior Staff Writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest movies as part of the site's daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.
Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.