Spotify is jumping in on the digital assistant bandwagon. The popular music-streaming service is developing a new feature that will have us using simple voice commands to play our favourite tracks on the app without pressing any buttons.
Jane Wong, known for using reverse engineering app code to uncover hidden features, discovered the "Hey Spotify" wake-up command tucked away in the app's settings under the "Voice" tab.
At the moment, the "Hey, Spotify" wake word opens the Spotify Voice screen with which users can search for specific songs, albums, or artists. However, this feature could allow users to say the magic words and summon the app to perform an action like play/pause music, add a song to playlist, change tracks etc in the future.
Spotify has had the voice commands feature for a long time now but it required the user to tap the microphone icon. Digital assistants such as the Google Assistant can also be summoned to search for and play tracks from Spotify. If the music streaming company's assistant does make it to the app, it will be interesting to see what other benefits it brings to users.
Only usable in-app
The voice-activation feature will only work when the music-streaming app is open and in the foreground with the phone's screen turned on. While it is understandable that the feature is limited to just the app, it would've been nice to let users use the wake-up command even when the app is minimised or when the phone screen is locked.
The ability to use the app handsfree while driving would've made much more sense but Spotify is planning to roll out a different product for that.
Music-streaming device for cars
Last year, Spotify announced that it had started testing its voice-activated music-streaming device for cars. The device, called "Car Thing" plugs into the vehicles 12-volt outlet and connects to both a person's car and phone via Bluetooth. The device can be activated by saying, "Hey, Spotify," followed by a request for whatever the person wants to hear. It'll be linked to a user's Spotify account, so they can access their playlists.