If you use an iPhone or an Android smartphone, you may or may not have used the digital assistant on your phone which is invoked by saying "Hey Siri" or "Hey Google" on your iPhone and Android respectively.
There's also the "Hey Alexa" wake word for those who use an Amazon Echo smart home speaker or an Alexa-powered smartphone. Now, it seems like there's going to be yet another voice-controlled assistant which you may need to familiarise yourself with very soon – and you can call upon it by saying "Hey Spotify."
Hey Spotify hotword
Apparently, the Swedish music streaming service Spotify is working on adding a voice-controlled digital assistant which works with the wake word "Hey Spotify."
The feature could soon make its way onto the popular music service quite soon as the "Hey Spotify" hotword was discovered tucked away under the app's settings by Jane Manchun Wong, who is famous for reverse engineering app codes to dig out hidden features. She tweeted a screenshot of the 'Microphone permissions' inside the Spotify app settings showing a Hey Spotify toggle which when enabled lets Spotify listen for "Hey Spotify" when the app is running.
Spotify has been featuring voice commands for quite some time, but it required the user to tap the mic icon in order to jump into action. With this new option, users will be able to invoke the assistant by just saying "Hey Spotify" as the app actively listens for the hotword, and get it to search for artists, albums or play specific songs.
A feature you may never need
Although the feature is a welcome addition, we doubt if you will ever use it, because the existing digital assistant like Google Assistant and Alexa already have Spotify integration allowing you to control music via your voice.
Also, the Hey Spotify hotword, as it stands, requires the user to not only leave their phone's screen on, but also have the Spotify app running in the foreground, which means the hotword won't work if you lock your phone's screen or leave the app to work on some other app. This limitation makes it a lot less useful than we'd like. However, you can simply use your phone's buttons and Spotify's lockscreen controls to control the app, and just in case your are not interested in the feature, you can always disable it by tapping the toggle under the settings.
Moreover, this may just be a way for Spotify to familiarise people with the "Hey Spotify" command, in time for its upcoming in-car audio service. The company is reportedly developing an in-car music device with voice control. Having said that, Spotify could still change the way the feature works before it releases. Music streaming app Pandora already offers a similar virtual assistant feature that can be invoked speaking the hotword "Hey Pandora."