If you want to retrieve your favorite Spotify track or playlist without pressing buttons, there is no shortage of voice assistants to help you get those paper jams, including Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant, Cortana and even Bixby. But now Spotify has its own hands-free watchword: “Hi Spotify” seems to be rolling out on Android and iOS, as tested by GSM Arena, 9to5Mac, and us here on The Verge.
Honestly, it’s a little less useful than some of the native voice assistants built into your phone because you need it leave the app open for it to work – it̵
But if you have the app open, you can just say “Hello Spotify” and ask it to play a song; draw up a playlist; start a radio station; and skip, pause or play. We also found that the “Play something I like” command will pull up a random one from the Daily Mix playlists.
The telephone version of the function has been in operation for at least a year, as app researcher Jane Manchun Wong discovered in March last year. The app should ask you to get started if the feature has been rolled out to you now, but you may be able to find the switch manually under Settings> Microphone Permissions> “Hi Spotify.”
Why now? Why bother when other voice assistants can do this without launching an app? I imagine it’s because Spotify is tracking it own hardware that the voice assistant want always be on and always ready. In particular, Spotify seems to be tracking the launch of its Car Thing, a dedicated Spotify smart assistant for your vehicle, which was reported to include a “Hey Spotify” voice command way back in January 2019.
Having the same voice command on your phone makes sense; Users can get used to it and start looking for it when they leave the vehicles. And while they’re at it, I’ll also not be surprised if we’ve seen some “Hey Spotify” headphones or earbuds sometime over the next year.