As a longtime Spotify user, I grab my digital pitchfork and join the masses of Android users who are pissed off about the latest Spotify update, which removes the Android home screen widget that made it incredibly useful to play and pause songs from your smartphone’s screens.
While I doubt that widget is coming back (no matter how many online petitions you sign), there is a way to enjoy some final moments with it. I wouldn’t classify this hack as a long-term solution, but it’s at least a way to enjoy the widget until you jump ship to another service.
First, uninstall the Spotify app on Android. I realise that sounds like exactly what you don’t want to do, but you’ll see what I mean in a bit.
Second, you’ll want to pull up the Google Play app, tap the hamburger icon, tap Settings, and set “Auto-update apps” to “Don’t auto-update apps.” Again, this Spotify hack is not a long-term solution, since auto-updating your apps is an incredibly convenient (and security-minded) feature, but this trick will help you say your proper goodbyes to the widget you will so dearly miss.
Third, you’ll want to take the unorthodox step of loading up Chrome and downloading an older version of the Spotify .APK (like 126.96.36.199) from another website. I really don’t recommend doing this unless you know and trust the website in question, since you never know whether someone has modified the seemingly official app you’re going to download — a fact your device will warn you about repeatedly when you download the .APK and try to sideload (install) it onto your Android via the Files app.
If you’re really pissed off about that widget, these are the sacrifices you will have to make.
Install the older version of Spotify, and you’ll be able to plop the widget back onto any screen you want. More importantly, you’ll be able to access and play your music without any issue. Don’t update the app manually, of course, or the widget will go away.
I cannot guarantee how long you’ll be able to use an older version of Spotify before you’re forced to update. That, and having an updated app is a great way to benefit from the latest upgrades to features and security, so you probably won’t want to stick with this trick for very long.
A widget is a widget, though, and at least this will give you some extra time with a favourite feature until you’re ready to say goodbye for good.