A new feature in iOS 17 finally sets Spotify free — allowing you to use the voice assistant to start your Spotify session directly on your HomePod, hands-free.
The capability (spotted by 9to5Mac) allows you to start an AirPlay session from your phone using a Siri command. So now you can say, “Hey Siri, play The National on Spotify” to your HomePod, and Siri will route the command through your phone and start streaming Spotify on the smart speaker.
It’s a workaround, but it works. When The Verge’s Dan Seifert tried it, Siri on the HomePod responded, “To use Spotify, I’ll need to AirPlay from your iPhone,” but it just proceeded to do so, no action needed. This prompt sometimes popped up; other times, Siri just responded with “on it.”
Your iPhone and HomePod need to be running iOS 17 and software version 17, respectively, and the Spotify app should probably be on the latest version — 8.8.72, as of this writing.
Prior to this, you could only play Spotify on a HomePod by manually AirPlaying from the app on an iOS or Mac device. This is because Spotify has not opted in to the HomePod Siri music API. That’s also why you can’t stream Amazon Music, YouTube Music, and other services directly from Apple’s smart speaker. Alongside Apple Music, Deezer, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn are the only third-party services that support direct Siri control on HomePods.
Apple announced the new API at WWDC 2023 earlier this year, allowing third-party apps to sync with SiriKit API to control them via Siri, whether you ask Siri on your phone or HomePod. As mentioned, it does route the Siri command through your phone, so that has to be on the same Wi-Fi network.
This workaround also applies to any audio app using the new API — any music service, podcast app, radio, or audiobook service. Here’s hoping Audible is next.