This is Spotify's 'Car Thing' gadget, as shown in the app's own code

Joe White

Posts: 58   +0
Something to look forward to: Images of Spotify's curious in-car gadget, known colloquially as the "Car Thing," have been found hidden within the code of the Spotify iOS app. The device, which is thought to be a voice-controlled music and podcasting gadget, closely resembles a miniature infotainment screen, featuring a handful of physical controls alongside a color display. However, the exact nature of Spotify's Car Thing remains a mystery.

While the Car Thing was previously billed as a device designed to help Spotify better understand users' listening habits while on the go, the continued development of the in-car gadget and its revamped design indicates there could be more.

Images of the device, found in the Spotify iOS app's code by MacRumors contributor Steve Moser, suggest that the Car Thing will look more like a car infotainment screen: it includes a large knob on the right of a color screen, and four physical buttons along the top. The new pictures match up with photographs that Spotify had submitted to the FCC.

The renders also show off different options for connecting the Car Thing to your dashboard or windshield – there appear to be mounts for air vents, or a glass suction mount. This indicates that the Car Thing should be compatible with a wide range of cars, both new and old.

It's worth noting, though, that Spotify's February event came and went without a mention of the gadget, we have no formal name for the product, let alone any indication of whether the Car Thing will be available for customers to purchase. These more recent renders do suggest that the product may have some kind of future, but what that looks like remains to be seen.

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OK, but... why? Why would I want to buy and use this instead of my cell phone? Minor convenience of a physical control?


Posts: 1,809   +1,041
OK, but... why? Why would I want to buy and use this instead of my cell phone? Minor convenience of a physical control?
Only thing I can think of is allowing other phones to use it as an interface into your car's stereo. Kind of like how if you install spotify to a Raspberry Pi, or buy a smart speaker, anyone on the same Network that has spotify can select the device to pay music through. Makes it a little easier to "pass the aux", I suppose. But that is still a stretch, and the best I could come up with. Not like they couldn't strike a deal to deploy the same feature to car stereos as-is though.