Spotify stays quiet when it launches its “Hey Spotify” voice command on a mobile device – TechCrunch

In 2019, Spotify began testing a hardware device for car owners he affectionately called “Car Thing,” allowing Spotify Premium users to play music and podcasts using voice commands that began with “Hey, Spotify”. Last year, Spotify began to develop similar voice integration into its mobile application. Access to the “Hey Spotify” voice function is now expanding.

Spotify has decided not to officially announce the new add-on, despite numerous reports indicating that the voice option is appearing for many people in their Spotify app, leading to some user confusion about availability.

For example, in one of GSM Arena’s early reports, a push notification was sent to Android users warning them of this possibility. The notice advised users “Just enable your microphone and say“ Hey Spotify, play my favorite songs. “ When touched, the notification triggered Spotify’s new voice interface where users are forced to first give the app permission to use the microphone so they can verbally request the music they want to hear.

Image credits: GSM Arena (opens in new window)

Several outlets soon reported that the feature was launched for Android users, which is only partially true.

As it turned out, this feature also made its way to iOS devices. When, for example, we launched the Spotify app here on an iPhone with iOS 14.5, we discovered that the same feature was indeed released. Just tap the microphone button next to the search box to get a voice experience. We inquired and found that other iPhone users in different versions of the iOS operating system also had this feature, including free users, Premium subscribers, and Premium Family Plan subscribers.

The screen that appears suggests large, bold text that you could speak “Hey Spotify, play …” followed by the name of a random artist. It also features a large green button at the bottom to turn on “Hey Spotify.”

Once enabled, you can search for artists, albums, songs, and playlists by name, as well as control playback with commands such as stop, pause, skip this song, return, and more. Spotify by default confirms the command with a male voice that sounds robotic. (If you want, you can switch to female voice in Settings.)

Image credits: Spotify iOS screenshot

This screen also alerts users that when an app hears the “Hey Spotify” voice command, it sends the user’s voice data and other information to Spotify. There is a link to Spotify’s policy regarding the use of voice data, which further explains that Spotify will collect recordings and transcripts of what you say along with information about the content it has returned to you. The company says it may continue to use this data to improve function, develop new voice features and target users with relevant advertising. It may also share your information with service providers, such as cloud service providers.

The rule appears to be the same as the one used in conjunction with Spotify’s voice-enabled ads, launched last year, so they don’t appear to have been updated to fully reflect the changes made possible by the “Hey Spotify” launch. However, it suggests that, like other voice assistants, Spotify not only records continuously – it waits until users utter waking words.

Given the origins of the “Hey Spotify” voice command from “Car Thing,” it has been speculated that the introduction of mobile devices is a signal that the company is ready to launch its own hardware to the general public in the near future. There are already some clues that could be true – MacRumors recently reported finding references and photos for Car Thing and its various carriers within the Spotify app code. This follows the discovery of Car Thing in FCC reports back in January this year, which also fueled rumors that the device will be introduced soon.

Spotify was contacted this morning, but still failed to provide answers about launching the feature despite a one-day wait. Instead, we were told that they “unfortunately don’t have any additional news to share at the moment.” This further suggests that some larger projects could be linked to the launch of this otherwise less significant feature.

Although today’s consumers are wary of data collection methods by technology companies – and especially their use of voice data after all three technology giants acknowledged bad practices on this front – there is still a case of using voice commands, especially from an accessibility and security point of view. .

And while you can direct your voice assistant to your phone (or via CarPlay or Android Auto, if available) to play content from Spotify, some may find it helpful to be able to talk directly to Spotify – especially since Apple doesn’t allow Spotify to is set as the default music service. You can just train Siri to run Spotify as your favorite service.

However, if you’re considering using the “Hey Spotify” feature after you’ve enabled it, you can turn it off in the “Voice Interactions” section of the app’s settings.