Spotify Testing Voice Control Features in iOS App

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A small group of users have begun noticing a new voice control feature appearing within the Spotify app for iOS devices, and The Verge this week got a chance to see how the music streaming service's new voice commands work.

As expected, the voice control allows users to call up their favorite artists, songs, albums, and playlists without having to navigate around the app with taps. Voice control is initiated by first navigating to the magnifying glass icon at the center of the app's bottom tab row.

Image via The Verge


In this area users can tap a microphone icon inside a white bubble, and then Spotify will begin listening for their voice (once access to the iPhone's microphone is allowed). Right now the commands are only available in English, but once a command is asked Spotify will begin playing the content within the app.

The Verge was mostly impressed with the time spent asking Spotify to play various songs, comparing it favorably to Siri on HomePod: "It all happened as quickly as Siri does the same thing on a HomePod." It should still be noted that Spotify's solution as of now isn't a fully talkative AI assistant, but simply voice controls.
I spent the past hour spitting queries at the microphone, with mostly accurate results. I queued up the Gold School and Top Hits Today playlists, artist radio stations for Radiohead and Wilco, and the magnificent strains of "Despacito." It all happened as quickly as Siri does the same thing on a HomePod.

And I did encounter some errors. I created a playlist for songs I found on Spotify that I call "Spotifinds," and when I searched for it the very confused app asked me if maybe I was searching for "Spotify memes." (I am now!)
The voice commands are said to be limited to music only inside Spotify's catalog, and queries like "Who are the Beatles?" were met with the app playing a Beatles playlist, "without telling you anything about the band."

Spotify's voice control test follows rumors that the company is planning to launch its first hardware product, expected to be a smart speaker of some kind and compete with Sonos, Echo, and Apple's HomePod. Particularly for the HomePod, Spotify users face a lesser experience due to Apple's decision to only allow native streaming for Apple Music.

If these new tests roll out to a wider audience, it could be an indication of the technology users can expect to see in a smart speaker built by Spotify. For now, The Verge noted that "the early version works well enough to make it a core part of my music listening."

Article Link: Spotify Testing Voice Control Features in iOS App
 

v0lume4

macrumors 68000
Jul 28, 2012
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This could be really useful, definitely excited to see how well it works. I regrettably admit that I sometimes look at my phone while driving to change playlists on Spotify. If I could do this all with my voice instead, I'd be all over it.
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Spotify has so many things to catch up on (Apple Watch for example) and this is what they are working on?
Respectfully -- what specifically?
 

ArneK

macrumors regular
Aug 19, 2015
132
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Spotify is way behind on self driving cars.
"Ha" "Ha" "Ha", very funny. Spotify on wearables would be great though as (you may not believe this but it is true) many people listen to music while running! and would prefer to leave their phones at home. Spotify is pretty much the only reason I - and I know so many others who say the same - would buy an AW
[doublepost=1521133152][/doublepost]
This could be really useful, definitely excited to see how well it works. I regrettably admit that I sometimes look at my phone while driving to change playlists on Spotify. If I could do this all with my voice instead, I'd be all over it.
[doublepost=1521132926][/doublepost]
Respectfully -- what specifically?
here is two examples what hundreds of users have been requesting from Spotify in their forum for years:
1. Be able to add local files to your "Songs"
2. Fix all the issues with syncing local songs from device to device.
3. Add Apple Watch support - every sportive person would love this. And Spotify tried to address those people with their running tools before, why not now?
 

v0lume4

macrumors 68000
Jul 28, 2012
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here is two examples what hundreds of users have been requesting from Spotify in their forum for years:
1. Be able to add local files to your "Songs"
Ah! I see where you're coming from.

Thankfully, you CAN add local songs to your library. It's kind of a pain in the butt process. Could be better, but it is possible currently. (It is possible that you have already done this and we are talking about two different things)
https://support.spotify.com/us/using_spotify/features/listen-to-local-files/
2. Fix all the issues with syncing local songs from device to device
Yeah, can't do that to my knowledge. Darn.
3. Add Apple Watch support - every sportive person would love this. And Spotify tried to address those people with their running tools before, why not now?
Seeing the still fairly small market that is the Apple Watch, I suppose I can see why they aren't willing to invest the resources to develop for that platform. Sucks for the folks that do have one, though. I ponder if some of the watch development tools/API's/whatever are restricting their progress on that. I know for one, Siri will not work with any music services other than Apple Music (yeah, thanks Apple). Are there some other third party music players that work on the AW?
 

ignatius345

macrumors 68020
Aug 20, 2015
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Never gonna happen. Especially now that Spotify is planning to release its own smart speaker.
Which is the problem with the HomePod: it's a closed system. No apps, no ecosystem, just another walled garden. It's like Apple forgot that the App Store is what made the iPhone a paradigm-shifting platform.

Or maybe (optimistically) they're going to open it up to apps in the future...
 

Statusnone88

macrumors 68000
Jun 19, 2010
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Didn’t even realize I had this!

Wish it was integrated into Siri. It works pretty well for a beta test.
 

ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
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That’s not what I was getting at. Why would Spotify allow native functionality on HomePod when they’ll be trying to maximize sales of their own speaker?
I figure Spotify would want to maximize the number of people using their service, whether on their own hardware or other hardware. Long term, the money is in the service, not the speaker. Selling people a $300 speaker is nice, but then they keep it for several years - it doesn't make a lot of money over its life. The service is $15/month (family plan) though - that's $180 per year. If someone bought both the speaker and the family plan, after just 20 months Spotify will have made more money from the service than the speaker, and the money from the service will just keep growing.
[doublepost=1521219505][/doublepost]
The question is why are you even here, as judging by your signature you’ve switched already. o_O
Hm? I currently own a $35 Raspberry Pi and that's it for computers. I might buy another Mac someday, if Apple can ever give me a compelling reason why I shouldn't just stick with Raspberry. That was an impulse purchase because the price was so low, but I've really been blown away by the computer. Apple is going to have a problem selling any "affordable" computer, because Apple's idea of affordable is at least 15x more expensive, while about equally capable and far less power efficient. But yeah. Maybe an iMac Pro or something - something high end where the Raspberry Pi can't cut it. Or maybe I'll just use my Pi + MacInACloud to rent an iMac Pro by the hour when I need that kind of power.

I'm still in the iPhone boat for now. I think about switching sometimes. Just replaced the battery on the 6+, so I'll probably stick with it for another year or two before getting something else. Probably an iPhone X3. Maybe something Android.
 

davidb8

macrumors regular
Sep 30, 2013
128
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Siri that isn't awful might be a nice first step.
It's pretty bad. Skipping or pausing and resuming songs using hey Siri is a painful process. It would be quicker for me to jump out of the shower and do it manually, if It didn't risk getting my phone wet (apparently it's "water resistant" but no covered under warranty if it gets wet)
 
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ignatius345

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Aug 20, 2015
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It's pretty bad. Skipping or pausing and resuming songs using hey Siri is a painful process. It would be quicker for me to jump out of the shower and do it manually, if It didn't risk getting my phone wet (apparently it's "water resistant" but no covered under warranty if it gets wet)
(Not to let Siri off the hook for being bad, but it might have trouble discerning voice commands over the noise of a running shower, in this instance.)
 

0970373

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Mar 15, 2008
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Ah! I see where you're coming from.

Thankfully, you CAN add local songs to your library. It's kind of a pain in the butt process. Could be better, but it is possible currently. (It is possible that you have already done this and we are talking about two different things)
https://support.spotify.com/us/using_spotify/features/listen-to-local-files/

Yeah, can't do that to my knowledge. Darn.

Seeing the still fairly small market that is the Apple Watch, I suppose I can see why they aren't willing to invest the resources to develop for that platform. Sucks for the folks that do have one, though. I ponder if some of the watch development tools/API's/whatever are restricting their progress on that. I know for one, Siri will not work with any music services other than Apple Music (yeah, thanks Apple). Are there some other third party music players that work on the AW?
Thing is, a 3rd party developer actually made an AW app (Snowy) and Spotify killed it. They bought out the dev under the guise that this app would be released with some work but once the deal was done, the app was dead and the Dev wasn't ever allowed to comment on it under NDA. There is a very active and long thread in the Spotify forums that have been asking for an app for years. When new threads on it start, the forum mods direct people to this site only to learn that Spotify isn't really ever going to do this.

Anyway, I know a lot of AW owners, including myself, that switched to Apple Music after this fiasco. Sure small numbers in the big picture but enough to cause a stink. Oh well. If they don't care about their users needs/wants, then good luck to them.
 

v0lume4

macrumors 68000
Jul 28, 2012
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Thing is, a 3rd party developer actually made an AW app (Snowy) and Spotify killed it. They bought out the dev under the guise that this app would be released with some work but once the deal was done, the app was dead and the Dev wasn't ever allowed to comment on it under NDA. There is a very active and long thread in the Spotify forums that have been asking for an app for years. When new threads on it start, the forum mods direct people to this site only to learn that Spotify isn't really ever going to do this.

Anyway, I know a lot of AW owners, including myself, that switched to Apple Music after this fiasco. Sure small numbers in the big picture but enough to cause a stink. Oh well. If they don't care about their users needs/wants, then good luck to them.
Fair enough. That's a huge bummer, too. I wasn't aware of the Snowy app.
 

0970373

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Mar 15, 2008
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Fair enough. That's a huge bummer, too. I wasn't aware of the Snowy app.
Yeah. He got really far along in the development and even had a Beta going, was probably a month or so away from release, when Spotify swooped in and "hired" him, bought his IP and killed the app. He even had Siri integration working. ** shakes fist **

I'm happy for the Dev, he likely made a good chunk of change from the sale but I'll never go back to Spotify Premium because of this. I'll happily Houdini their playlists over to Apple Music for free though.
 
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