Mac users who prefer Spotify for streaming music just got more reasons to stick with the industry-leader, as its macOS app just got a couple of features that we're pleasantly surprised to see. Not only does this update (version 18.104.22.168.g3b5036d6, released Dec. 23) allow you to control your tunes from the Touch Bar, but it also brings compatibility with Apple's hard-to-get AirPods wireless earbuds.
Not only will this mean Touch Bar MacBook Pro owners get the play, rewind, fast forward controls, but they'll also get virtual shuffle and repeat toggles. To find those and all other controls while you're in another app, tap the Now Playing icon (it looks like a bar graph). Once you can see the progress scrubber, tap the Spotify icon to see the rest of the controls.
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The enhanced feature-set for AirPods is more limited, but still helpful. You can now pause the playback of a song in Spotify by taking one of the earbuds out of your ear, a feature once limited to Apple Music and iTunes.
On Dec. 20, a Reddit thread started because a user thought the AirPods were broken when they wouldn't auto-pause with Spotify. When the user, MisterUltimate, figured out what was going on, they edited the post to note "Dammit, using Spotify with Apple products is becoming very frustrating." Hopefully, this is just the beginning of an increased amount of support for third-party competitors to Apple's own services.