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Spotify and YouTube Music offline listening coming to Google Wear watches

Spotify and YouTube Music to enable downloads to Google Wear watches
(Image credit: Spotify)

Talk of a possible Spotify HiFi launch hit the headlines this week, but it seems the music streaming giant wants to focus on a new feature for Google Wear devices: offline listening.

In a keynote speech at the recent Google I/O developer conference, Spotify's product lead for cars and wearables revealed plans to allow the company's 350 million users to download music to their Google Wear smartwatch. 

YouTube followed up with a similar announcement. The company's YouTube Music app is also due to get an update that will let some 35 million users download tracks directly to their Wear OS watch.

Apple Watch users have enjoyed offline listening via Apple Music for years but Apple Watch does not currently support offline Spotify playback.

As yet, Spotify hasn't said when new the offline listening feature will be available – only that the new Spotify app has been "rebuilt from the ground up for Wear". YouTube Music is due to land on Wear OS devices "later this year".

The announcements came as part of a major overhaul of Google's flagging Wear OS. The latest version of the software was developed in partnership with Samsung and claims improved performance (apps open 30 percent faster, apparently) and a sleek user experience based on Samsung's popular Tizen OS.

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Becky has been a full-time staff writer at What Hi-Fi? since March 2019. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, she freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 20-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance is of course tethered to a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo, This is Cabaret and The Stage. When not writing, she dances, spins in the air, drinks coffee, watches football or surfs in Cornwall with her other half – a football writer whose talent knows no bounds.