“Hey Spotify” is a new wake word to launch music hands-free
Spotify is rolling out support for a wake word that will give you hands-free control over your music. Just say “Hey Spotify,” followed by the song, artist, album, or playlist you want to play.
The new wake word was first discovered by GSMArena, which accessed the new feature on Android. The website writes they were prompted by a popup explaining how the feature works.
“Enjoy your music anywhere and go hands-free with ‘Hey Spotify,'” a prompt reads. “Introducing the easiest way to keep the beat going.”
Images via the Spotify app on iOS
The new functionality only works when Spotify is open, so you can’t just say “Hey Spotify” when you’re not in the app. In that case you’d have to invoke Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant to play music via Spotify. Hey Spotify isn’t quite as convenient as calling on your device’s built-in assistant, but anytime we can interact with our phone hands-free, especially while driving, it’s a win in our book.
Spotify has actually been working on a wake phrase for several months now, with app researcher Jane Manchun Wong discovering evidence back in March 2020. On iOS, I was able to turn the feature on by going to Spotify’s Settings > Voice Interactions > Enable Voice. It’s unclear if the feature is available to all Spotify users.
It’s also unclear what Spotify will gain by introducing a wake phrase to its service, although there’s been reports that the streaming service might introduce a dedicated in-car music player.