Spotify is ending support for the Car View feature it introduced in January 2019. The tool offered a simplified interface for easier, and safer, controls while driving. It was much loved by people who listen to Spotify on their cars’ infotainment system. But, unfortunately, the company is now retiring this feature, much to the disappointment of the users.
Car View in Spotify kicked in automatically when you connect your phone to a car over Bluetooth. The interface featured larger touch controls for music playback, and that’s pretty much it. There were no distracting elements on the screen, such as album art and lyrics. You only have the playback controls, favorite and shuffle buttons, and the track title and artists, all in a larger size than normal.
You could enable or disable Car View in the Settings. But several users have recently taken to Spotify’s official community forums to complain that the feature has been missing on their device. They were forced to use the regular interface instead of the simplified interface with larger controls. A forum moderator later confirmed that Car View is dead.
According to the company, it will replace Car View with “new innovations” in the future. “We’re actively exploring a variety of new ways to deliver the best in-car listening experience. Think of retiring car-view as something that needs to happen in an effort to make way for new innovations coming down the track,” the Spotify forum moderator said (via).
However, users were, understandably, not happy with this decision. As many users pointed out, Spotify should have first implemented the replacement in the app before taking away the feature. Worst yet, there’s no ETA (estimated time of arrival) for the replacement. Instead, the company is suggesting workarounds like using Google Assistant to listen to music hands-free or its integration with Google Maps.
Spotify could be hinting at its Car Thing as the Car View replacement
Spotify doesn’t tell what innovation it is actively working on as the replacement to the Car View feature. But it is worth noting that the company is currently testing its Car Thing — a device that lets you control music playback on a car, through both physical buttons as well as voice commands.
However, that wouldn’t be very ideal for users. Car Thing costs $80 and only works with Spotify. With Car View, an identical feature was available at no additional cost. Hopefully, Spotify will resolve this issue quickly before it loses users to rival services.