While Spotify has likely seen a fairly dramatic drop in subscribers since the launch of Play Music All Access, the all-you-can-eat streaming audio service hasn't quite given up on its Android users just yet. The last significant update finally brought landscape support (which, honestly, should've been baked in from the beginning), and today's version bump brings another feature long missed by Android users: notification controls for Jelly Bean devices (4.1+).

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That's actually the icing on the cake for many users – as far as the app is concerned, it's essentially on par with Play Music at this point (some may even prefer it). The service itself, on the other hand, is an entirely different story. But if you haven't yet decided to make the leap from Spotify to All Access, this update should make life a little more bearable for you.

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Remedy

    If only they were available worldwide. :)

    • Łukasz Zając

      I used to say it like 5 months ago. Thankfully they managed to start the service in Poland :) And I almost lost faith in them!

      Just keep waiting, they want to expand the audience :D

      • Remedy

        Lol you're right! Just looked up and realized they are preparing to launch in my country too!! Didn't know before your comment Made my day Haha

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

    This is most certainly a welcome addition. I won't be one of the ones to say Spotify missed its chance and All Access rules all and your mom is dumb and still uses Spotify...but I do think that it might have had a chance to keep a few customers if it had implemented changes like this a lot sooner. The landscape support is blatantly half-assed, but it's still better than what we have, and basically every music app in the world except Spotify had this feature enabled.

    It's not even about being on par or worse than All Access. This is just basic stuff that Spotify should've had a long time ago.


      Hey Eric, are you still working for AP or just not on the podcast anymore?

    • Dan W

      Spotify saves to SD card right now for offline listening. I don't believe there's any feature like that on Play Music. From that alone, I'll be sticking with Spotify at least until Google includes that option in their service. Gets way too tight with a 16GB S3, especially when I have a 64GB SD Card right there!

      • sssgadget

        You can symlink Google music to SD card.

    • andy_o

      Cause they didn't give two craps about Android. iOS encourages portrait support, even to the point of apps like FB and Twitter taking landscape out with updates. And the no-actionable-notifications thing, the iOS app doesn't have that, so why should the Android one need it? It's a disturbing trend how many popular multiplatform apps conform to the lowest common denominator (see also: task apps with no actionable notifications like Astrid).

  • Emanuele Ricci

    I really don't understand how can they be so slow. We're just 2 in our dev team and we go 20x faster than them...

    • Josh

      You said it - 2 people can move faster than a company with a vast number of developers. You're a couple motorcycles, and they're like a fleet of ships or 18-wheelers. Takes more planning and the impact is larger, and more people have to agree with changes.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

        Yeah, Spotify has about 350 employees (which for an international service organization isn't exactly massive). I'd say it's more like they're a couple of motorcycles and Spotify is a big motorcycle gang that doesn't give half a fuck about the guy with an Android logo on his bike that wiped out about two miles back.

        Also, it doesn't take planning or agreement to support a universally beneficial (and basic) feature of a platform that literally all of your competitors have already supported. This isn't company bloat. It's just laziness.

      • Emanuele Ricci

        I'm not so sure about it. I think that they're not focussing enough on andrid/mobile in general.

        I think that it could be much better if all mobile departments has own choises (and follow some guideline) and use a better agile dev system.

        • Dan W

          Or maybe there wasn't a good enough challenger until now? Some companies need that competitive push.

  • Gabriel Hellsing

    I just wish they made the app a bit more tablet optimized. Especially considering that many people use it in their cars when driving.

  • Yorick Reuvekamp

    Does anyone actually use the thumbs? I would rather have a previous button there. Nevertheless a nice addition to the app.

    • Emanuele Ricci

      I use them on radio (from web) to make a fav list of songs from radio....

    • nawa

      I do in Play Music, it helps me to sort my library :)

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Yup, use it all the time to teach radio stations what I like and don't like.

  • Giingee

    At last!!! Been waiting for this for ages. With their 50% student discount on Spotify Premium no other service comes close, this was the only feature that was missing for me.

    Now I just want a remote built in to the mobile app, and some sort of DJ interface for parties.

    • Jakub Wychowaniec

      50% student discount, huh? Is it like this in US only, or?

      • Giingee

        With an NUS card in the UK

        • Jakub Wychowaniec

          Oh, that's cool. In Poland there's no such thing.

  • bydavidrosen

    Finally. Now just re-let us store our saved playlists on the SD card instead of internal memory and I'll be a happy boy.

    • Dan W

      it does that on my S3. I believe it was one of the last few updates that did it. it apparently automatically determines where the best storage is for each individual device. I'd rather have it be a manual choice, but...

      Anyhow, you may need to uninstall and reinstall the Spotify app, but afterwards it should recognize your SD card and save everything there.

      • bydavidrosen

        really? i'm on an S3 too... that would be amazing if it works... i know I had read some convoluted method of installing an old version of the app that supported storing on the SD and then never updating, but I didn't want to do that. i'm gonna try uninstalling and reinstalling today and see what happens. i have a 64gb sd card with nothing on it haha.

        • Dan W

          yep! i used to save an old version of the spotify apk to do the same. this makes it much more convenient. the only thing i would warn about is that if you have a Sandisk Ultra SD Card, older models can fail with S3s. I'm not entirely sure the technical details behind it, but they don't play well. After a few times downloading and undownloading albums, it would give me SD card errors saying that it was unmounted and then remounted. If you encounter this problem, call Sandisk. They replaced mine for free (although admittedly it took them about two weeks after I sent it in that I received the replacement)

          • bydavidrosen

            interesting. i'll keep that in mind. thanks!

          • bydavidrosen

            you rule man. just tried it. checked my internal vs sd storage before, it downloaded music to internal... then i totally uninstalled and reinstalled spotify... checked it before and after downloading a bunch of stuff again... downloaded to sd. KILLER.

      • Sean

        You should only need to log out and log in again IIRC

  • Josh

    Still not seeing an update - is it being rolled out gradually?

    Side note - I know the argument is a bit tired out, but damn, Touchwiz has some issues. Why don't they just stick to a color scheme that matches better?

    • Emanuele Ricci

      I got it

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

      Yes, it's a staged rollout.

  • Hothfox

    Pretty much all I miss on Google's service is the entire Pink Floyd library, which just came to Spotify. Other than that, I'm more pleased with All Access.

  • Nick Schiwy

    I am really surprised that they still didn't include a back button.... I guess they think that the thumbs up and down buttons are more important to users....

  • Matthew Walton

    "While Spotify has likely seen a fairly dramatic drop in subscribers since the launch of Play Music All Access" maybe, except in everywhere else in the world where Play Music All Access doesn't exist yet and Spotify have their core userbase anyway.

  • duse

    AP, if you are listening, PLEASE do a huge music streaming service comparo, with specific focus on the Android apps and data usage!!! These two points are missing from most "reviews" you get of the services when you quickly Google for it. I want to know which has the best apps and which sips the least data. For example, All Access is crap because of its ridiculous data usage even after the last update. Pandora's app doesn't have notification controls I believe. Which app is the best at making and developing curated stations that actually deliver new and interesting music? etc. etc.

    As the best Android news site out there, it would be great if you guys could do a write-up like this.

  • sy

    Would be nice to use the app on my note without an SD card

  • papernick

    Can someone upload the apk please?

  • JD

    Not sure why you're such a GMPAA fan. I tried to like it and cancelled. Sounded like 96kbps at best even on the best quality setting. And it was using a TON more data than Spotify (whilst sounding worse). Sure GMPAA has a few deals that Spotify doesn't. Vice versa as well. At least Spotify will play music most of the time. Not something GMPAA was very good at for me. I think it had to do with the fact you needed ~6 MB/s D/L speeds to listen to 64kbs quality. Failure.