Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Spotify appears to be testing a revitalized car mode

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Spotify is reportedly letting some Android users test a new speech-focused car mode after Car View was removed last year without any apparent replacement. According to a report by 9to5Googlewhich includes screenshots from the test, Car Mode looks less like the hyper-simplified Car View that preceded it and more like a version of Spotify’s usual interface tweaked to make quick actions easier.

While the current version of Car Mode that Spotify is testing has a tab that lets you access your recently played music, the search screen has been replaced with a voice control feature. The interface for controlling what’s currently playing has a similar layout to Spotify’s normal mode, which should let you use muscle memory (without much of the visual distraction found on the standard screen).

9to5Google‘s screenshots from the Car Mode test.
Image: 9to5Google

Spotify’s current non-auto mode interface for controlling music..

The similarity to the regular interface solves a problem some users had with the previous Car View – when Spotify “retired” it, many commenters wished it well, saying it took more of their attention to use because it was so unknown.

The test does not seem to be available to everyone. When I opened Spotify on my Pixel 2 while connected to my car’s Bluetooth, the app asked if I was in a car and if I wanted to open Google Maps. Furthermore, the interface has remained the same. Spotify on my iPhone seemed to use the same interface as when I tested it in November.

The interface will remain unchanged for people who are not prompted by a pop-up to participate in the test.

Spotify did not immediately respond to The edge‘s request for comment on the test plans and when (or if) it expects to roll out Car Mode to more users. Hopefully it will eventually become part of the app – unfortunately drivers will inevitably use their phones to control their music while driving, and that experience should be as soon as possible (without having to pay $90 for Spotify’s Car Thing hardware).

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