Spotify is adding additional functionality to Car Thing, its hardware device that plugs into a car’s audio system providing a digital listening option for cars that don’t 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 it was one of the most requested features by users who wanted to add items to their list.
While voice commands are in the works, for now adding to the queue will take your eyes off the road. Spotify says users will first need to tap the “add to queue” icon next to a track in their track list. Once it’s highlighted, they’ll need to press and hold the dial on Car Play for the track to be added to the queue. But once it’s in the queue, all it takes is a “Hey, Spotify” voice command to play the podcast or song.
Car Thing users will now be able to view, answer and reject incoming calls with the device and will also be able to play and control other apps. Updates will automatically roll out to iOS users. Spotify has not yet released an Android version.
Car Thing sells for $89.99 and requires a Spotify Premium subscription plan as well as a phone with a mobile data connection.
Car Thing was released on a limited basis last April after almost two years of development. It was launched in beta in October before becoming widely available in February. Spotify hasn’t released any revenue yet. But Spotify CEO Daniel Ek told investors in the fall that more than two million users had added their names to a waiting list to buy the product.