Spotify Car Thing is getting its first big update — bringing features like phone call support, the ability to control other media, and more. Since it launched in 2008, Spotify has exclusively been known as a software company. The Spotify app is available on virtually every device in 2022 and is the largest streaming service by a considerable margin.
That’s what makes the Spotify Car Thing such a unique device. Announced in April 2021 and released this February, the Car Thing is Spotify’s first-ever hardware product. And as the name implies, it’s a thing for your car for controlling Spotify. You can use Car Thing to manage music playback, browse playlists, and use voice controls to find something new to listen to. Car Thing is arguably the best gadget for using Spotify on the road — but that’s where its functionality begins and ends. Unless you’re a die-hard Spotify user, justifying the Car Thing’s $89 price tag isn’t easy.
Related: Car Thing: Do You Need A Spotify Smart Player For The Car?
But that looks to be changing. On April 7, Spotify announced its first major update for Car Thing. In its press release announcing the update, Spotify says, “Car Thing makes it simpler to play exactly what you want, thanks to the intuitive product interface and the ease of using ‘Hey Spotify’ to control what you want to listen to. But there’s always room to make a great thing even better, which is why Car Thing has some new updates rolling out this week.”
Everything New In This Spotify Car Thing Update
The biggest new feature in the Spotify Car Thing update is phone call support. So long as your smartphone is connected to Car Thing, any incoming calls will appear on the display with buttons to accept or decline the call. The other big feature is that you can now control other, non-Spotify media with Car Thing. Car Thing is still a Spotify device, first and foremost, but having the option to use it for other media controls is a huge plus.
Spotify Car Thing users are also getting a much-requested queue feature. Just like you can in the Spotify app, the Car Thing now lets you add songs/podcasts to a queue for future listening. You can do this by tapping the ‘Add to queue’ button, pressing and holding the dial over a selected track, or with a ‘Hey Spotify’ voice command. Lastly, Spotify’s adding more personalized playlists to Car Thing. Per the press release, “Simply ask for any genre, mood, or activity that describes the kind of music you want to hear. For example, say, ‘Hey Spotify, play cozy Sunday RnB,’ and we’ll do our best to instantly create a personalized playlist from your request.”
The only downside for the Spotify Car Thing update is how it’s rolling out. All users will get the queue feature and personal playlists this week, but only iPhone users are getting phone call notifications and upgraded media controls. Those things are coming to Android users at some point, but Spotify doesn’t have a release date just yet (saying they’ll be available ‘at a later date’).