In 2019, Spotify began testing a hardware device for car owners that it lovingly “Car thingThis enabled Spotify Premium users to play music and podcasts Use voice commands that started with “Hey, Spotify”. Last year Spotify began to develop a similar language integration in its mobile app. Access to the “Hey Spotify” voice function is now broader.
Spotify chose not to officially announce the new addition, although numerous reports indicated that many users were seeing the language option on their Spotify app, causing confusion among users about its availability.
An early report from GSM arena, For example, it was stated that Android users received a push notification notifying them of the feature. The notification recommended it to users “Just activate your microphone and say,” Hey Spotify, play my favorite songs. “ After typing, the notification started Spotify’s new voice interface, prompting users to first give the app permission to use the microphone in order to verbally request the music they want to hear.
Several outlets soon reported that the feature had been rolled out to Android users, which is only partially true.
As it turns out, the function does its way to iOS devices, also. For example, when we started the Spotify app here on an iPhone with iOS 14.5, we noticed that the same feature actually went live. You simply tap the microphone button next to the search box to get to the voice experience. We did our research and found that other iPhone users with different versions of the iOS operating system also have this feature, including Free Users, Premium Subscribers, and Premium Family Plan Subscribers.
The screen that appears suggests what to say in large, bold text “Hey Spotify, play …” followed by a random stage name. There is also a big green button at the bottom that you can use to activate “Hey Spotify”.
Once activated, you can ask for artists, albums, tracks and playlists by name and control playback with commands like stop, pause, skip this track, go back and others. Spotify confirms the command with a robotic-sounding male voice by default. (You can switch to a female voice in settings if you prefer.)
This screen also alerts users that when the app hears the voice command “Hey Spotify”, it will send the user’s voice and other information to Spotify. There is A link to the Spotify policy on the use of voice dataThis further explains that Spotify collects records and transcripts of your statements along with information about the content it returned to you. The company says it may continue to use this data to improve functionality, develop new language capabilities, and target users with relevant advertisements. Your information may also be shared with service providers such as cloud storage providers.
The policy appears to be the same as the policy used in conjunction with the Spotify voice-activated ads launched last year. So it doesn’t seem to have been updated to fully reflect the changes activated when Hey Spotify was launched. However, it indicates that Spotify, like other voice assistants, not only records continuously, but waits for users to say the wake-up words.
Given the origins of the voice command “Hey Spotify” with “Car Thing”, it has been speculated that the mobile rollout is a signal that the company is ready to bring its own hardware to the general public in the near future. There are already some clues that might be true – MacRumors reported recently In the Spotify app code, you will find references and photos of Car Thing and its various mounts. This follows Car Things disclosure in FCC records Back in January of this year, which had also sparked rumors that the device would soon hit the market.
Spotify was reached this morning for comment, but has not yet been able to provide any responses about the launch of the feature despite a day of waiting. Instead, we were told that they “unfortunately have no additional news to share at this time”. This further suggests that some larger projects may be associated with the launch of this otherwise minor feature.
Although today’s consumers fear the data collection methods used by tech companies – and especially the use of voice data after all three tech giants admitted bad practices on this front – there is still a use case for voice commands, especially from an accessibility perspective and e.g. driver safety View.
While you can tell your voice assistant on your phone (or via CarPlay or Android Auto, if available) to play content from Spotify, it may be useful for some to be able to speak to Spotify directly – especially since Apple doesn’t allow Spotify as the default Music service can be set. The only thing you can do is train Siri to start Spotify as your preferred service.
However, if you have concerns about using the “Hey Spotify” function after activating it, you can deactivate it in the app settings under “Voice interactions”.