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Spotify seems to be testing a revitalized Car Mode

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It ‘retired’ Car View last year, without a widely available replacement

Spotify’s Car Mode for Android could be making a return.
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Spotify is reportedly letting some Android users test out a new, voice-focused car mode after it removed Car View last year without any obvious replacement. According to a report from 9to5Google, which includes screenshots of the test, Car Mode is less like the hyper-simplified Car View that came before it and more like a version of Spotify’s usual interface that’s tweaked to make quick actions easier.

While the current version of Car Mode that Spotify’s testing does have a tab that lets you access your recently played music, the search screen has been replaced by a voice control feature. The interface for controlling what’s currently playing has a similar layout to Spotify’s regular mode, which should let you use muscle memory (without a lot of the visual distractions that are on the standard screen).

9to5Google’s screenshots from the Car Mode test.
Image: 9to5Google
Spotify’s current non-Car Mode interface for controlling music..

The similarity to the regular interface solves a problem that some users had with the previous Car View — when Spotify “retired” it, many commenters wished it good riddance, saying it required more of their attention to use since it was so unfamiliar.

The test doesn’t seem to be available for everyone. When I opened Spotify on my Pixel 2 while connected to my car’s Bluetooth, the app asked if I was in a car and if I wanted to open Google Maps. Otherwise, the interface stayed the same. Spotify on my iPhone seemed to use the same interface it did when I tested it in November.

The interface remains unchanged for people who aren't asked via a pop-up to join the test.

Spotify didn’t immediately respond to The Verge’s request for comment on its testing plans and when (or if) it expected to roll Car Mode out to more users. Hopefully, it’ll become part of the app eventually — unfortunately, drivers will inevitably use their phones to control their music while driving, and that experience should be as fast as possible (without having to shell out $90 for Spotify’s Car Thing hardware).