Spotify gets iPhone lock screen widget – but still lacks useful functionality

It's more of a shortcut than a widget...

The Spotify home screen widget shown on an iPhone 14 Pro, with a green wallpaper, set against a blue background
(Image credit: Spotify)

Today, Spotify has announced the introduction of a lock screen widget for the iOS16 software on the iPhone. The announcement comes later than a lot of apps, which jumped on board earlier in the lifecycle of the operating system.

It marks quite a significant moment. As reported by CNN back in November, Spotify and Apple have been locked in a heated back-and-forth over the 30% tax Apple places on in-app purchases. Spotify claimed that Apple's practices were unfair; Apple said that Spotify broke the App Store rules... nothing really changed.

So, should we take this announcement as a sign that the two companies have buried the hatchet? It doesn't appear so. While some lock screen widgets are capable of displaying useful information, the Spotify one simply acts as a shortcut button, taking you to the app. 

That might be handy if you leave Spotify buried deep in the fifth menu on your home screen, but for anyone who – like me – has it on the first page, the half a second it saves you is hardly likely to be a deal breaker. It just feels a little redundant – as if Spotify, through gritted teeth, have built the most basic version of a widget they could, just to have something there.

To install the widget, you'll need to be running iOS16. I'm currently running 16.3.1 and it isn't appearing just yet, so you may also need to update to the latest variant.

Once that's sorted, unlock your phone using Face ID and hold down on the lock screen. A 'Customise' button should appear at the bottom of the screen. Tap that, choose 'Lock Screen' and then hit 'Add Widgets' beneath the clock. Once it's available, it should be found in the list of app widgets there.

Sam Cross
Staff Writer

Online news writer at, Sam has five years of experience in online and print journalism, with work featured in publications like Metro and Last Word on Sports. After years writing about music and football, Sam now turns his hand to bringing you news about new phones, smart home products, smart watches, laptops and TVs. Sam is a longtime fan and user of Apple products, including iPhones, MacBooks and Apple Watches.He’s also T3’s resident football expert, bringing you everything you need to know about the big games, including how to watch them. In his spare time, Sam is a keen guitarist, watch lover and (very) amateur golfer.