Music streaming platform Spotify has officially launched the Hey Spotify voice control feature on iOS and Android in the US.
The company says the feature will be rolled out to more countries in the coming weeks. Hey Spotify offers users voice-controlled access to the platform’s service and can be used while subscribers are busy or mobile. To turn on the tool, users can go to ‘Search’, tap the microphone icon and give Spotify permission to record audio or access your microphone.
“Hey Spotify means that you can access Spotify Voice from anywhere in the app, so you no longer have to go through the ‘Search’ tab to access the voice feature,” the company said.
“When you say, ‘Hey Spotify…’ the app will begin picking up what you say and continue only until it’s processed your question or request,” Spotify added. “Plus, Spotify will always indicate – with an in-app visual or audio tone – when it is receiving your voice input. The rest of the time, the app listens for ‘Hey Spotify’ in short, few-second snippets that are deleted if you don’t say it.”
Hey Spotify also gives users direct access to the platform using its own voice assistant. Google, Amazon, and more recently Apple, have opened up their smart speakers to Spotify and other streaming services, but users still had to access Spotify through those companies’ voice assistants.
The move forms part of Spotify’s efforts to improve its services. Last week, it enhanced its Promo Cards feature following high usage. The tool was launched in October as a way for musicians to create(link is external) promotional graphics for songs, albums and artist profiles in Spotify for Artists.
Other upgrades include milestone cards for artists to show off when they reach various follower milestones, ranging from 1 000 to 100 million followers, as well as chart positions. There is also a new badge that shows when the music being promoted was released. Additionally, the platform introduced 30 more playlists that can be turned into promo cards provided that an artist has a song on them.
Meanwhile, a group of activists and musicians have called on Spotify to ditch a “terrifying patent”, which the company was granted in January. The patent is for track recommendations based on listeners’ voices as well as background noises.