Spotify just unlocked a new feature in its mobile apps for Android and iOS — the ability to control the music playing in the desktop application from a mobile phone or tablet, assuming you’re a premium user and your devices are all on the same network. As we’ll show you, you can get it set up and start listening in just a few minutes.
Spotify Connect has actually been around for more than a year, allowing various bits of hardware around your home to play nicely with the music streaming service and giving you more flexibility with your tunes. However, the ability to control a computer application from a mobile has only just been unlocked, and it gives you that extra bit of convenience when managing your music.
Make sure your desktop software and mobile apps are right up to date before you start, and then fire up Spotify on both computer and phone (or tablet) — the software will automatically detect the multiple instances of Spotify and let you pick where you want your music to be heard. The Connect option only appears in the mobile apps for the time being, not in the desktop software.
The Connect button (an icon of a speaker in a circle) appears on the now playing screen of your mobile app — tap on it to see playback options for your network, where your computer should appear. You can also head to the Show available devices option on the Settings page if you want to change from mobile to computer and back again.
All of the mobile devices you have running Spotify will show what’s currently being played, though there isn’t full compatibility between them — we were able to send music from a Nexus 5 to an iPad but not the other way around. Of course this kind of remote control functionality is already available in Rdio, where you can use the mobile apps to start and stop playback within a desktop browser tab.