Spotify Car Thing Gets Several New Features

Posted on April 8, 2022 by Paul Thurrott in Spotify with 5 Comments

Spotify announced today that it has updated its curious Car Thing accessory with several useful new features, including phone call answering and support for other media.

“With these updates, you’ll now be able to answer phone calls on Car Thing, queue songs and podcasts, and display and control other media,” the company announced. “Car Thing also connects to and now mirrors your phone, giving you access to more functionality.”

Spotify began testing Car Thing way back in May 2019, but it didn’t release the device until February 2022. Available only in the U.S., Car Thing is a hardware accessory that lets users access their Spotify content from any vehicle using “Hey Spotify” voice commands and simple taps, turns, and swipes.

But now it does a lot more, too: it helps you see, answer, and dismiss incoming phone calls, control media from other services, add songs or podcasts to the now playing queue, and use your voice to get a personalized playlist. These updates are available on iPhone now and are coming to Android soon.

Spotify Car Thing costs $89.99 and requires a Spotify Premium subscription. You can learn more from the Car Thing website.

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Comments (5)

5 responses to “Spotify Car Thing Gets Several New Features”

  1. rmlounsbury

    The idea of the Car Thing is something I want but not just for Spotify and it's limited scope of use. I would buy something like this if it allowed me to connect my phone via bluetooth to it and get Android Auto/Apple CarPlay on it. It would also need to have an aux jack for me to plug it into my stereo. Having to connect your phone to the stereo and the to the Car Thing seems silly to me.


    I'm not going to replace the stereo head unit in my 2011 Escape. But, something like this gives me an infotainment center without replacing anything.

    • faustxd9

      I am in the exact same boat with my 2014 Escape. I would love a solution like what you have described!

  2. christianwilson

    I bought an Echo Auto gimmick that gets you Alexa in the car because my car doesn't have CarPlay. It works alright and plays all of the music I want when I ask for it. It does much of what this Spotify device does, just without a display.


    Like rmlounsbury said in his comment, what I'd really like is a device with a screen that functions as a CarPlay endpoint for cars that don't have it built in to the infotainment system. I'd buy one of those in a heartbeat.

    • mattbg

      Like rmlounsbury said in his comment, what I'd really like is a device with a screen that functions as a CarPlay endpoint for cars that don't have it built in to the infotainment system. I'd buy one of those in a heartbeat.


      When I read this, it sounded great... but then I wondered... how is this different from a dash-mounted phone?

      • rmlounsbury

        I can't necessarily put a finger on it aside from not wanting to have my phone attached to a mount on my dash. Especially in the case of something like an iPhone Pro or Galaxy S22 Ultra which are large and chonky. If the mount fails your $1000+ phone goes flying. I'm less concerned about a $90 display getting broken.


        Also, ideally, the device (such as the Car Thing) is using an Aux port connection to your car stereo. Most flagship phones these days do not have a headphone jack and most older cars don't have Bluetooth.


        Beyond that, with Apple you can't invoke CarPlay on the phone. It has to connect to a head unit that can act as a CarPlay receiver. On the Google side they took Android Auto off of Android and replaced with Google Assistant Driving Mode which I wasn't a fan of.