The Handoff feature in macOS and iOS lets you move seamlessly between devices, but it doesn’t work with Apple Music at all. With PlayOff, a cool new app by iOS developer Martin Powlette, you can start streaming a song through Apple Music on your iPhone and immediately pick up right when you left off on your Mac without missing a beat, and vice versa.
PlayOff uses Apple’s official MusicKit APIs that permit third-party apps such as PlayOff to use your Apple Music account and access your playlists, songs, recommendations and other content in a secure, officially sanctioned way.
Privacy-focused users needn’t worry because PlayOff doesn’t collect user data. Like the Handoff system, this app takes advantage of Bluetooth for device proximity information.
And just like with Handoff, PlayOff cannot hand off your playback to a device outside of Bluetooth range. The software identifies the currently played song (and its playback position) on your other devices so that you could pick up exactly where you left off.
For those wondering, no you don’t actually have to pair your Mac every time you want to use PlayOff. Once the app is running on both your Mac and iPhone, you just tap the device you want to play from and it automatically finds the song and position for you.
I know what you’re thinking… Yes, you can just find where you left off and then drag the scrubber on another device to the time you left off, but that’s so last century.
PlayOff currently works with single songs, meaning you cannot continue playing an entire playlist, but this is something that will be addressed in the near future.
As a matter of fact, Martin is already hard at work on the next update to PlayOff that will bring some cool enhancements like a native iPad interface, automatic audio output switching (similar to AirPods) and the ability to hand off an entire playlist to another device.
Apple, please extend Handoff to work with Apple Music. Once you try how cool it is to play your music on one device and continue on another uninterrupted, you never wanna go back.
Such a feature would especially benefit HomePod owners: imagine starting a song on your Siri-driven speaker and continue that playback on, say, CarPlay or your iPhone.