Spotify's desktop app has had one of its best features forever, but it isn't available on the mobile app: the Friend Activity sidebar lets you see what your Spotify friends and Facebook friends are listening to.
I have used it to polarize my friends and to judge them harshly, but I have also been told it is a useful tool for finding new music. Additionally, you can now listen to it on mobile, whether you are using an iPhone or one of the latest Android devices.
Chris Messina recently mentioned on Twitter that 'Spotify has a new Community Hub, where you can see what your friends are listening to live as well as what playlists they have recently updated.'
Friend Activity isn't carried out completely in the sidebar - there's no room for it - but it has many of the same features.
If you use Safari on iPhone or iPad, enter 'Spotify: community' into the address bar to view the test area. The new feature isn't available yet, but it's easy to check out: it's not hidden behind a link.
There can be no doubt that this new function from Spotify will remind users of a different Spotify, a music service that relied predominantly on sharing your enthusiasm for music rather than paying terrible old men huge sums to rant about marginalized people in podcasts.
In addition to the ability to subscribe to friends' and interesting strangers' feeds, Spotify felt more social than its rivals for so long (I am no longer a subscriber, mainly because of the aforementioned terrible old men).
However, it's not enough to entice me back. Having an Apple One bundle that includes the Apple Music family plan instead of paying a separate subscription for Spotify makes a lot more sense than paying a separate fee for Spotify.
Moreover, because I think the AirPods Max are the best headphones for me, I am interested in the Spatial Audio options that Apple Music offers, most recently for the new Harry Styles album.
AirPods are highly recommended if you own or can borrow a pair, and the spatial effects are also quite engaging.
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