Spotify confirms it’s testing a new ‘Car Mode’ interface with some users – TechCrunch

Spotify has started testing a new “Car Mode” interface with some users, the company confirmed to TechCrunch on Friday. The test comes a few months after Spotify announcement that it was removing its streamlined automotive interface called “Car View”, which displayed playback controls and your current track as you drive. At the time, Spotify said it was exploring new ways to deliver in-car listening experiences and would be launching new features soon.

“At Spotify, we are always working to ensure our users have the best possible listening experience,” a Spotify spokesperson told TechCrunch. “We can confirm that we are testing a new car mode for some users. As with all of our testing, we always seek feedback from our users before rolling out changes more widely.”

The new interface was first spotted by 9to5Google. The website posted screenshots of the Android version of car mode. Spotify didn’t say whether the new interface was also being tested with iOS users.

Screenshots show that car mode allows users to browse and search for music via voice commands. The track player view in car mode includes simple controls, such as play/pause, shuffle skip, and similar buttons. There is also a microphone button that you can use to search Spotify’s library in car mode. You can also use voice commands to access recently played music or podcasts. The layout is similar to the usual Spotify interface, but without many of the visual distractions that are usually present on the screen.

spotify car fashion

Picture credits: 9to5Google

Spotify is still testing the new interface and looking for feedback from users who have access to it, which means the final version of car mode may look different from the screenshots seen above.

The new Car Mode is just one part of Spotify’s effort to deliver a smooth in-car listening experience. Back in April, the company officially announced the limited US release of its first hardware peripheral called Car Thing. The device is aimed at Spotify Premium subscribers and vehicle owners who don’t have an integrated infotainment system that offers easy access to Spotify, such as Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Spotify made Car Thing available to the general public in November for $89.99.

Car Thing connects to the Spotify mobile app on your phone, then uses the phone’s cellular signal (or Wi-Fi, if available) to stream your music or podcasts to the car’s audio system. The device works with USB, Bluetooth and Aux. You can access the service by saying “Hey Spotify”, pressing its touchscreen, turning the dial, or using one of the four preset buttons at the top of the player.

Spotify can also be integrated with Google Assistant to listen to music and podcasts hands-free while driving. The feature also works with Google Maps so you can navigate while listening to Spotify. You can do this by linking your accounts and saying “Hey Google, play Spotify”.