Spotify is adding additional features to Car Thing, its hardware device that plugs into a car’s sound system offering a digital listening option for cars that do not have an infotainment system. Users will now be able to queue podcasts and songs and answer phone calls directly on Car Thing. The company says this was one of the most requested features by users who wanted to add things to their list.
While voice commands are in the works, for now adding to the queue will take eyes off the road. Spotify says users will first need to tap the “add to queue” icon next to a track on their tracklist. Once it is highlighted, they will need to press and keep holding the dial on Car Play in order for the track to be added to the queue. But once it is in the queue, it will simply take a “Hey, Spotify” voice command to get the podcast or song to play.
Car Thing users will also now be able to see, answer, and dismiss incoming calls with the device and will also now be able to play and control other apps. Updates will roll out for iOS users automatically. Spotify has not yet released an Android version.
Car Thing retails for $89.99 and requires a Spotify Premium subscription plan along with a phone with a mobile data connection.
Car Thing was released on a limited basis last April after nearly two years of development. It beta-launched in October before becoming widely available in February. Spotify has not released any sales figures so far. But Spotify CEO Daniel Ek told investors in the fall that more than two million users had added their names to a wait list to buy the product.