Spotify is testing a voice navigation feature that lets users search for and play songs, albums, and playlists in the music streaming service’s iOS app. The feature, which was first reported by TechCrunch, is found under the Spotify app’s Search tab, but it’s currently only available to a small number of users.
Casey Newton of The Verge got a chance to try the feature:
I got early access to the test and tested out the feature set. In short, it’s an excellent step forward for navigation in app that has historically required too much tapping and typing to get where you’re going.
Spotify confirmed the test to both TechCrunch and The Verge but declined to provide any details.
If you have the feature, it appears as a microphone icon inside a circular white button in the search view. According to Newton, voice search provided ‘mostly accurate results.’
Spotify’s experiment with voice commands is notable because rumors have been circulating that it is developing a smart speaker to compete with offerings from Apple, Amazon, and Google. It’s not as useful as having built-in voice search functionality, but unless Apple opens up Siri to other music services, building the feature into its iOS app is also the closest Spotify can get to working like Apple Music on the HomePod.