Just imagine if you could text songs to friends with just few taps. Spotify has secretly launched an iMessage application that can do just that. The new app has not been officially announced however according to reports, it shares same functionality with the Spotify Messenger app which went live earlier this year as one of Messenger’s new chat extensions.
Just like the Messenger bot, the new iMessage app allows for quick search across Spotify’s full catalog for a track you want to share, tap a button to paste a preview of that song into your chat session. This preview includes an album image, song title, and artist information.
Two unique features of the iMessage app in comparison to the Messenger is its larger image and the fact that there’s no “play” button. Rather, a small Spotify logo at the top left is what indicates that what you’ve sent is a song.
The recipient on the other hand then taps the image which launches a new window, overlaid on top of the chat session. From here, the recipient can play the provided 30-second clip, or tap the “Play on Spotify” button below to hear the full track.
One key difference between Spotify’s iMessage app and Apple Music’s is that the former allows you to listen to the full track right in iMessage. However, Apple’s is more limited because it only pulls up tracks that are in your ‘recently listened’ list.
If you have Spotify’s iOS app already installed, you can switch on the new Spotify iMessage app from the iMessage App Store (unless you have your Settings configured to automatically enable all new iMessage apps by default, in which case you can just start using the app).
On iOS 11, that means heading to the end of the horizontal row of iMessage apps that appear when you tap the App Store button next to the text entry box in iMessage, then tapping the “More” button. This launches a window where you can manage which apps are switched on. (Just tap the “Edit” button to display their toggle switches).
Despite the fact that the functionality on iMessage is restricted to just sharing tracks and not finding hot or trending music or building group playlists, this may actually be a smart and conscious design choice on Spotify’s part.
One of the unsatisfactory issues about some iMessage apps the fact that they require a labyrinth of steps to use. When you’re in the middle of a back-and-forth conversation, you don’t want to disappear from the chat for too long while you fiddle with apps. By simplifying the process to just three steps – search, tap, and share – it’s a lot quicker to send a Spotify clip now, rather than hunting down the URL of the track instead.
Spotify’s Messenger app has also seemingly trimmed down since launch, we should note. Originally it also highlighted popular tracks and made various recommendations, but now it just lets you search, pull from recent songs, or create playlists.
Spotify confirmed the launch of the new iMessage app to TechCrunch in a statement.
“Spotify’s iMessage app is available now, allowing users to quickly search for and share music with friends directly from iMessage,” a spokesperson said. “It’s the latest way in which we’re empowering users to share music with friends in a fast and fun way.”