Spotify’s iOS app hints the company is still working on its ‘Car Thing’ hardware and more

Spotify has been working on an in-car piece of hardware for quite some time, but the company has never hinted at a public launch. But hints in the iOS app could suggest Spotify has decided to switch lanes.

According to a report today from MacRumors, based on a discovery made by iOS developer Steve Moser, Spotify has indeed continued work on the aptly named “Car Thing”. This device is a dedicated piece of hardware meant to play music and podcasts from Spotify (and only Spotify). It’s voice-controlled for the most part, meant to make sure drivers keep their eyes on the road, but also features on-screen controls.

Back in 2019, Spotify confirmed it was working on Car Thing, but said that the device was meant as a testing unit, built to find out how people listen to music and podcasts while in the car. Spotify’s never said the device was meant for public consumption. But, according to the original report, Car Thing has gone through various design changes since 2019, which could hint at a public launch in the future.

As MR reports, an FCC filing (via The Verge) for the device describes it as a “voice controlled accessory for phone/Spotify App with supporting display and buttons”, and that’s what we can see from the hints discovered in the iOS app’s code. It’s a rectangular device with what looks like a pretty large display on the front. There’s a small-ish button just below a larger knob, which Moser believes could be used to control volume.

Meanwhile, the device itself would connect to either your phone, an in-car head unit, and the car’s audio system over Bluetooth. There are also photos of various mounts for the device, so owners could attach the device to a mount connected to an air vent.

It looks like an interesting device, and for dedicated Spotify users it could be an interesting addition. Especially those who don’t use, or don’t have access to, Apple’s CarPlay or Android Auto.

Meanwhile, the report also indicates that Spotify’s iOS app hints at future paid subscriptions for podcasts, and even the ability to leave comments as well.

What do you think of Car Thing? If Spotify does get around to actually launching it, would you pick it up, depending on price?