Spotify scraps Car View to make space for 'new innovations'
Music streaming giant Spotify has announced the retirement of its feature called Car View that first appeared in 2019. The company has decided to make this move to "make way for new innovations." On the company's Community forum, a Spotify moderator confirmed the development but reiterated that the company is "actively exploring a variety of new ways to deliver the best in-car listening experience."
Why does it matter?
Spotify's Car View mode was an integral part of the in-car driving experience for many since its introduction. It offered users the convenience of a larger user interface so they can safely and conveniently change tracks and choose playlists while driving. The "new innovations" replacing it could be Spotify Car Thing, which was announced in 2019 and spotted testing with a few users earlier.
Car Thing solves a problem of Spotify's own making
Android Police reports that Spotify users who noticed the disappearance of the Car View feature are disgruntled, and understandably so. The Car Thing is an additional product that Spotify sells for $80 to access functionality they once had in the main app itself. Moreover, unlike your smartphone or car's infotainment system, Car Thing can do just one thing—play Spotify music.
Dated technology, mandatory subscriptions don't strengthen Car Thing's case
Spotify's move doesn't make great sense because Car Thing's technology is rather dated now. It features Bluetooth 4.2 and AUX-in. Another limitation is that one has to be a Spotify Premium subscriber to use Car Thing, and the contraption is being sold on an invite-only basis. On the upside, Car Thing has a built-in voice assistant. However, its data usage policy is worrisome.
Should you look for another streaming service for in-car music?
Spotify hasn't officially said what it will replace Car View with, but the only immediately available alternative appears to be the Car Thing. The device rivals the Amazon Echo Auto but doesn't offer as many integrated capabilities. We believe Spotify could release an improved version of the Car Thing soon, or a new software feature, or standalone app for in-car use.