Recent Spotify Update Breaks Lockscreen Controls for Potentially Millions of Users

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For the past month or so, Spotify users have remained vocal in their disappointment over a recent update on Android.

With the service now reaching 217 million monthly active users (MAUs), it’s only natural that a user base this large would remain vocal on any bugs and poorly rolled out features.

Case in point.  Several months ago, Spotify’s iOS users complained that the streaming music giant was deliberately hiding the repeat button.  Previously, people could readily find the repeat and play queue button on a song’s ‘Now Playing’ screen.  In an update, Spotify buried these two buttons in a submenu.

According to the company, the update would allow users to better share songs on social media.  However, following major criticism online, Spotify eventually rolled back the update.

Now, Spotify users have criticized the company once again for a major bug that internal testers clearly overlooked.

When Spotify doesn’t do sufficient quality assurance testing.

Users have reportedly noticed a strange glitch on the Android mobile app.

Playback controls, including the skip and pause buttons, no longer function correctly on devices’ lockscreens.

The majority of complaints have come from users on Galaxy S10s, S9s, S8s, S7s, and Note9s.

The original post, first mentioned on Reddit, asked other users a simple question.

Does anyone experience sometimes issues with skipping songs using the controls on the lockscreen while using Spotify?

For some reason, it sometimes doesn’t work for me and I have to unlock to skip a song.

Speaking on the buggy behavior, one user mentioned they could no longer change the music on the lockscreen.

I had a galaxy s8 and just bought a galaxy s10 but since my galaxy s8 after [the] last update, I can’t change Spotify music on lock screen anymore, in either of the phones!  I can see the lock screen control [and] read the music, but when I press pause or change the music it doesn’t work.

According to separate complaints, this bug also affects Android devices streaming music via Bluetooth in their cars.

The complaint comes after the streaming music giant unveiled its strategic partnership with Samsung.  As part of the deal, Spotify is bundling its mobile music app on millions of new devices.

It remains unclear how many Samsung users the bug actually affects.  However, the glitch also affects other smartphones.  A Huawei P20 Pro user wrote,


This isn’t my issue.  I’m able to pause and skip music with the lockscreen controls, but I have to unlock my phone first to be able to do it.

There are lots of situations where it isn’t convenient to use face unlock just to be able to skip a song.”

Unfortunately, Spotify has provided an unsatisfactory answer to users.

Telling users to ensure the app remains “up-to-date” (which remains the reason why users now encounter the bug), a spokesperson explained,

We’re still looking into this, and will get back to you as soon as we have updates.


Featured image by Spotify.