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> Apple blocked Spotify from working with Apple Watch

I'm not sure this is 100% true. From browsing the spotify support forums many moons ago, some guy had built a spotify playing app for the apple watch, but spotify squashed it. Given that some random dev could do this, it doesn't seem like apple prevented anything.






Counterargument: Apple's review process is more likely to let "some guy's" app slip through the cracks and make it in the App Store than the official app of one of its huge competitors with an install base of many, many, many millions of devices.

If I remember correctly the app wasn't on the app store (presumably because it couldn't get approved)

I have an install of Apollo for Spotify on my Apple Watch.

It streams Spotify directly without your phone and has a very flaky offline mode.

The developer tweeted that Spotify (not Apple) asked him to remove it four days after it reached the App Store.

I was lucky enough to get hold of it in that brief window and use it often.


And its frustrating because a company like Spotify surely isn't asking Apple ahead of time if they can build a watch app.

This is the correct answer. Some guy isnt Spotify. Apple wasnt going to let Spotify proper do it however they just dont care about Jim Bob tinkering.

Perhaps. No one has any evidence of this in this case though, so it sounds like you're just taking a side.

On the other hand Spotify did squash this guy's app. That's a thing that happened. So it's not like the APIs aren't there.

So now we're taking Spotify's word that Apple is keeping them off the app store, while ignoring the fact that said app is possible and they themselves have kept an app off the app store.

Sounds like PR bullshit all around.


True, I just offered a counterargument based on conjecture. So let's assume at least rational behavior on the part of Spotify. What do you think would be their rationale for not building a feature that would enhance their product and is desired by customers? What do they gain by blaming Apple for not building it? This isn't rhetorical... I think there are potential legitimate reasons they'd want to do this, I'm just curious about where your thinking is on this.

I _believe_ the issue here is some app developers were invited to visit Apple and (perhaps) get access to certain APIs that weren't going to be made available to normal app developers.

- If you're deep into iOS development you know that Apple apps - the ones shipped with the OS - sometimes do things that 3rd party apps aren't able to. For example the Music app gets to be the _default_ app to live in the control panel even if you hardly ever use it and are using Spotify most of the time.

- I believe - for the Apple Watch - some of the 3rd party apps which were already available on the day of the launch were a) invited to preview the Watch ahead of other developers and b) in some cases allowed to use undocumented APIs. Uber may be one example of this - https://www.macrumors.com/2017/10/05/uber-removing-apple-gra...

Apple has been inviting 3rd party developers to preview technologies for a while e.g. https://appleinsider.com/articles/16/06/17/apple-invites-dev... so it seems to be standard practice.

As I read this "Time to Play Fair" website, it looks to me like Spotify is complaining they weren't invited to these preview sessions and thereby didn't get to learn about / get permission to use undocumented APIs.

Of course IANAL


Spotify did not squash the random guy that made that app, they asked him to change the name and then hired him to work on the official app.

That was "Spotty". There was another in November called Apollo that Spotify squashed.

My read from the linked timeline is that Apple didn't block Spotify from the Apple Watch, but rather wouldn't provide the API necessary to Spotify for offline-mode.

I inferred this from the vague wording in the earlier points and the clarifications in the later points.

> When Apple launches their new Apple Watch, they dismiss our proposals and won’t work with us to develop an app for it.

Notice, they didn't say they were blocked. Also why would building an app for the watch necessitate a proposal to Apple that requires Apple to work with them directly? Wouldn't you instead build your app and submit it for approval? This is probably because the Apple Watch SDK didn't provide all the functionality Spotify wanted, and so Spotify was trying to get Apple to add new functionality to the SDK.

> We submit a new proposal for a streaming app directly on the Apple Watch. Apple declines

> With WatchOS 4, Apple continues to make it challenging for us to deliver a workable streaming solution for the Apple Watch

Again, doesn't say they were blocked, just that proposals were rejected and the provided functionality made it difficult/impossible to do what they wanted.

> With Watch OS 5, Apple allowed the Spotify team to start developing offline functionality

Was this the functionality Spotify was proposing for Apple to make possible all along? In other words, was this the missing part of the SDK that Spotify had kept proposing to Apple and having rejected (not the app itself, which they didn't want to build without this functionality)?

EDIT: I'm also not saying they didn't build the app and submit it and have it rejected. They just never actually say that in the timeline.


It's one thing to make an app, it's an entirely different thing to get it through the App Store review process.

Did that guy's app make it on the App Store? He could have easily built it with private APIs which would work but wouldn't pass review (maybe, App Review is very inconsistent) or many other reasons why he could and Spotify couldn't.


Spotify is available (on apple watch) now, for whatever that's worth... Took me about 2 minutes from reading the complaint to playing Spotify (already had an account) on my watch. That includes downloading from the store and then to the watch (which has in the past, with other apps, taken a while)

They state in their timeline that after many years Apple did allow Spotify.

Until last year there was not an API that allowed apps to download music to the local storage of the watch and play it back in the background.

https://developer.apple.com/videos/play/wwdc2018/504/


> They state in their timeline that after many years Apple did allow Spotify.

This is a VERY different statement than the true one which is:

Apple didn't allow ANY streaming music (or audiobook, or podcast) apps on the watch due to not providing the API's. They didn't specifically block Spotify.


The Apple Watch has almost been available 4 years... In the first year and a half all apps were extremely limited. I'm not sure if that leaves "many" years for them to not allow Spotify.

If a random guy can make the app then Spotify could certainly have made an Apple Watch app.

If anything it makes the case that if it were so simple for a single random dev that unless Apple itself were preventing it there is no reason the app wouldn't have been released.


For god sake, it's about policy not tech inability! You don't even need to read the website to know that. WatchOS has APIs like iOS, it's not a matter of being 'hard' to program. It's because if you're nobody, the spotlight is not on you every step you take. But Spotify being your competitor is being close watched.

But it was Spotify that asked the random guy to take the app down. If anything I would have thought it would be in Spotify's interests to keep it up - "look it's possible, but Apple isn't allowing us"

Of course, because this guy had no rights. It’s already technically possible without having to keep an app alive that’s infringing your property just to say ‘hey look’



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