Rumors about Spotify’s Car thing have been circulating for a few years now. Well, according to The Verge, it’s finally launched. The Car Thing’s launch will be limited, however.
The Car Thing’s launch is limited to only select customers
Spotify hasn’t specified how many Car Thing devices that it’s shipping out. What we do know is that this is a limited launch. Spotify invited select customers to take part in the limited release. This is most likely a beta test in order to save costs if folks don’t like the device- or if there are any fatal flaws with the design.
The people who are currently receiving the devices are most likely people who have been Spotify customers for a long time and tech reviewers. Others who want to order the device will be put on a waitlist. Spotify has not stated when it will be launching the device to the public just yet.
For those who are selected, the device itself is free, but they have to pay for the shipping. This is to help recuperate some of the cost of manufacturing the devices.
The Car Thing lets you control your Spotify app hands-free
The Car Thing is a device that you clip onto your dashboard that you can use to interact with your Spotify app. With it, you can access your songs and playlists. The large knob on the right of the device is how you navigate through the interface primarily. The smaller button below it is a back button.
You can interact with the device via the hardware buttons or you can use the voice function. You summon Spotify with the “Hey Spotify” command. From there, it’s pretty axiomatic. You tell Spotify what you want it to play. This is a much safer way of interacting with the device while on the road.
The Car Things is strictly for controlling the app- there is no speaker on the device. I’ll be connected to your phone or whatever device you listen to Spotify on. It’ll remain tethered to the device via Bluetooth. The Bluetooth connection is the Car Thing’s only means of a data connection- there’s no WiFi connectivity, unfortunately. Another unfortunate thing is that there’s no means of accessing your downloaded content. For now, it’s all streamed content.
The Car Thing gets its power from the 12V car adapter that comes with it. It has to remain plugged in, as there is no rechargeable battery in it. There are multiple ways of mounting the device to your dashboard. You can mount it onto your dashboard with either the vent clip, the dashboard mount, or the CD player mount. There’s no option to use suction cups, however.
It’s tough to tell if other streaming services will also enter the hardware market. With the release in a beta stage, any drawbacks that the users report will hopefully be addressed and fixed before the full launch.