Spotify Vs. Apple Music: Whose UI is Best?

The rivalry between Apple Music and Spotify is a battle that music-lovers fight about everyday, but what exactly makes these two music streaming platforms so powerful, yet so different? 

One of the key differences between these two platforms is the music player interface itself. While Spotify utilizes a dark background, Apple music goes with an all-white light background for its users. As for the content on the page, the cover photo for the song playing takes up a majority of the screen for both apps. However, the control options available differ quite a bit and Spotify proves to be the more useful platform when it comes to these options. While Apple music’s volume control takes up a large amount of space, Spotify does not contain this feature. Users can use the volume buttons on the phone itself or even their headphones making Apple Music’s volume control a waste of space. Spotify’s design decision to not have this feature on the screen leaves a lot of room for buttons such as shuffle, like, and repeat that are not available on the Apple music screen. As a result, the music player UI for Spotify proves to be more user-friendly than Apple Music’s.

Courtesy of Usability Geek


The home screen on each platform also differs quite a bit. Apple Music’s home screen UI proves to be tailored specially for the user as it offers a variety of options to reach their personal library. The user can view their saved playlists, artists, albums, songs, and other downloaded music by pressing the corresponding button on the menu at the top of the screen and the rest of the page is entirely made up of the user’s recently added content. Spotify’s home screen however is quite different. Still creating a personal page for the user, Spotify displays the user’s top 6 recommendations for playlists, albums, or podcasts that the user has been listening to frequently at the top of the page followed by a number of the user’s recently played content. However, rather than taking up an entirety of the page, this feature allows the user to swipe horizontally, leaving more space for other options for the user. 

While Apple Music displays content that the user already has, Spotify makes recommendations by creating Daily Mixes and organizing playlists for different genres and moods allowing users to discover new music based on how they feel. These mixes, playlists, and even top charts are organized throughout the home page of Spotify under categories such as “Made for ___”, “Jump back in,” “Top of the charts” and several “More like ___” panels which offer recommendations based off the user’s recent listening habits. Ultimately, while both platforms’ homepages focus on the user’s needs, they still utilize different functionalities. If you are looking for easy access to your music library, Apple Music’s UI might be best for you, but if you are looking to discover new music and expand your library, Spotify’s UI and personalized playlists are a better option. 

While both music streaming giants hope to provide users with a pleasant experience, Spotify proves to be a bit more powerful than its competitor. With a stronger outlet for users to discover music, efficient music player UI, and eye-friendly dark mode, Spotify can attribute much of its popularity to its successful user experience.