Car Thing Feedback

This thread is for sharing your feedback for Car Thing 💚 🚙

 

What do you think about Car Thing? What do you like? What can be improved? Share your thoughts in this thread.

 

If you have a suggestion for a certain feature or change, you can read this thread on how to post it in the Community Ideas Exchange here:

 

Want to suggest how to make Car Thing even better? 

 

You can include a link to your idea when posting your feedback in this thread so other users can check it out and vote for it. You can absolutely toot your own car horn about your idea here.  🚙 🎺 📯

 

What is your favorite feature of Car thing? You can let us know here:

What do you like most about Car Thing?

MattSudaSpotify Star
Help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution".
If you appreciate my answer, maybe give me a Like.
Note: I'm not a Spotify employee.
Reply
20 Replies

Here are my thoughts and feedback for Car Thing:

 

I am using an iPhone 12 Pro Max and my car doesn't have CarPlay

 

  • The name. Oh man, the name! I didn't understand it at first but it's totally on brand for Spotify and I love it.

 

  • The user interface is beautiful and well designed

 

  • The device is well designed and I like all the buttons. I like that it's touchscreen as well as controllable through the big dial. It's way thinner and lighter than I was expecting. Major kudos on making it thin and lightweight. The size is about right (it would be nice if it was a little bigger but it could end up being too big and blocking buttons around it depending on how you have it setup in your car)

 

  • I love how the screen auto adjusts the brightness based on how light or dark it is outside

 

  • The screen feels delicate to me, I'm the type of person who puts a screen protector on their phone so an option to buy a screen protector for Car Thing's screen would be nice. I searched for one that might be similar size and work but no luck so far. And you can't trim glass screen protectors very easily. So I think I just have to be extra careful with it for now. Not a huge deal, I'm just OCD

 

  • Overall it's still pretty laggy and slow but it's still experimental so I can understand that, but once everything is all worked out I think in theory this device will be amazing. I wonder if it's a memory issue or software issue and if increasing the memory in the final device would help? When I am using Car Thing a lot of the times the now playing screen doesn't update to the actual song that is playing, that's the top issue I have had. 

 

  • "Hey Spotify" voice assistant needs work but for the most part it works as expected. A lot of times I get an error for things that would normally work with the voice assistant in the Spotify phone app. Even when it's not noisy in the car.

 

  • "Hey Spotify" only has one voice option which is female. I notice that if I have "Voice 1" which is male turned on in the Spotify app settings, Car Thing doesn't respect this setting. A male voice option for Car Thing would be nice. I don't have a gender preference really but I find that I like the male voice more because the sound is a little deeper and louder and easier to hear in the car.

 

  • I like that you can switch playback with the Hey Spotify voice assistant and also that when I say "Hey Spotify play (insert artist)" that it also shows other results / albums from the same artist so I can quickly use the dial to play something else from them.

 

  • I love the preset buttons. Makes it super easy to get to my favorite playlists and it's my favorite feature of Car Thing.

 

  • I would like a way to hide the like button (heart icon) on the now playing screen. I've already accidentally bumped it a few times and I can see passengers accidentally bumping this for sure since it's on the right side of the screen for the passenger to easily bump. I had to go and play back every song in the new "recently played" section of the mobile app to check which songs I unliked and then re-like them. That also means my recently added sorting of liked songs playlist is out of tune and it just isn't the same since re-liking a song shortly after unliking it doesn't put it back in the same order. There should be a Spotify cross platform period of maybe 24 hours where if you unlike a song accidentally and then re-like it, it won't change the added date, it'll be put back right where it was.  I do all of my discovery using the desktop app, so in the car I am just listening to my favorites. Maybe have the option to put a Repeat button there instead of the like button and it would cycle through Repeat, Repeat One, and Repeat Off. And the like icon indicator would move to the top right corner, but it would be read only, not changeable. If I am listening to something new in the car and I want to like a song later I can just use the new "recently played" section of the mobile app and easily go back and find the song and then like it.

 

  • There is currently no way to turn on Repeat or Repeat One. I would like a button on the now playing screen to turn this on/off and cycle through Repeat and Repeat One. If I want to Repeat One a song I currently have to say "Hey Spotify, repeat this song" for Repeat One to turn on. When this is then turned on you see a little Repeat One icon in the top right corner of the display. This Repeat icon in the corner could be a little bigger I think so that it's easier to see.

 

  • There is no support for playlist folders right now. I feel like that might be able to reduce some clutter when browsing through playlists. Playlist folders could open up just like playlists do but with a list of playlists in the folder.

 

  • There is no support for emoji characters in playlist titles. I played a playlist that had an emoji in the title and it showed up as a square instead of the emoji. Emoji support would be nice if possible. THIS HAS BEEN FIXED IN AN UPDATE

 

  • Sometimes the background color on the now playing screen of the Car Thing will be a different color than what is show for the background color on the now playing screen in the iOS app. It's just inconsistent and annoys me. I know my phone screen is OLED and the Car Thing is a different type of screen, so some colors will be slightly different, but I'm talking about some colors just being totally different.

 

  • It would be nice if there was an option to enable a clock to be displayed somewhere on the screen. Some users have said their Car Thing setup means their clock in the car is now blocked.

 

  • I like that you can pair multiple phones to Car Thing and switch to different phones. I have not yet tried this out but it's nice if you have multiple drivers.

 

Overall I really like Car Thing and it makes playing music in the car while driving much nicer and easier. I think whether you have an older car with just a basic screen and controls or a newer car with a fancy screen and controls (CarPlay, Android Auto), you can all benefit from using Car Thing. If you have an older car it might not have a display of what is playing, or it might just show the track playing with no album art. Car Thing shows you the album art, artist name, song title, progress bar, etc. Right now I don't have CarPlay, so before Car Thing if I wanted to change what's playing while driving I was either stuck with the playlist I selected before starting my drive and having to press the next and previous button on my steering wheel to change songs. Or I would have to wait for a stop light or stop sign to unlock my phone that is mounted near my steering wheel, swipe up, find the Spotify app (or switch apps if I am using the maps app) find what I want to play, etc and it's not very easy in the car. Car Thing is a dedicated screen remote for my Spotify app on my phone and it makes things easier. I also can now have the maps app open on my mounted phone while using the dedicated Car Thing screen to monitor and control Spotify playback. Some things are a little laggy right now, but I think once everything is tweaked and worked out Car Thing will be a nice tool for Spotify users to put in their car.

 

I will consider posting some of my ideas in the ideas exchange so others can vote on them. I just need some more time to gather my thoughts. This is my feedback for now.

 

If you're looking for ideas of what "thing" to make next:

 

Look no further than the Spotify Shower Thing 🚿 

 

I don't see this happening but still fun to dream 🙂

MattSudaSpotify Star
Help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution".
If you appreciate my answer, maybe give me a Like.
Note: I'm not a Spotify employee.

So I've had a few weeks to drive around with Car Thing and really get a feel for how it works and fits in with my typical driving experience, and I have to say I've been impressed overall! It's really a great little device and a huge upgrade from the simple bluetooth adapter/remote I've been using to control my music listening up to this point. It's so nice to be able to easily use Spotify voice commands as well as seeing what is currently playing.

 

I didn't run into any major hiccups during setup and found the experience to be pretty pleasant and straightforward.

 

I'm a huge fan of the dial, and that's the main way I pause/resume my music as that tends to be the fastest and most reliable option versus attempting this with voice commands, and it's nice to be able to just reach over and feel a physical button rather than dealing with the distraction of a touch screen when driving, so it provides a safety aspect as well.

 

Unfortunately, I have a few difficulties related to all of the physical buttons, due to the way the device balances on its magnetic mount. I've found that if I want to use the preset buttons, it's best to use my thumb to support it from the bottom rather than simply pressing down on the button directly from the top without that support, because that can disrupt the balance and cause the device to shift a bit. Also, I have a more difficult time with the dial at night due to the lack of any kind of lighting on it, and I've noticed that if I press the dial too hard, it's easy to dislodge Car Thing entirely from the mount. It would be really nice if all of the physical buttons had a bit of lighting for night time purposes. Anyway, these are all things I'm able to adapt to but definitely a bit of a learning curve as far as figuring out how best to approach them without making it move around too much.

 

As far as voice control is concerned, it's awesome being able to simply ask Spotify to play an artist, album, playlist, etc. as well as using basic playback controls this way. Without Car Thing, I'd generally not change what I'm listening to during a drive, so this is a pretty big game changer for me. My biggest issue with this is just that it's entirely reliant on the Internet, and even the playback commands aren't functional without it. Near my house, data coverage is not the best, so that's another reason I've found myself mainly relying on the physical buttons or the touch screen for just controlling what's currently playing.

 

Anyway, in the scheme of things, most of the issues I've dealt with have been fairly minor, and this is a product that I definitely intend to use as part of my standard driving routine, and I consider it to be a huge upgrade to my in car experience compared to how I've been using Spotify for years until now!

dinomightSpotify Star
Help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution".
If you appreciate my answer, maybe give me a Like.
Note: I'm not a Spotify employee.

Thanks for your sharing! Hope I can get car thing too.

I think that overall the concept is very solid, but I have a major complaint with it. I discovered that Carthing won't work in the car because it doesn't have Bluetooth, aux, or USB audio. I was expecting it to just connect to my phone and plug into the car and then play, but it requires those connection paths. The thing is if your car has Bluetooth, USB, or AUX just play the music using that(I can't think of many cars where this doesn't apply). If you like the screen then just get a car mount for your phone and mount it to the vent and if I am right it should stay on(Plus many phones now have some assistant for voice commands that can also serve double duty not just for music). For me and what I feel like a lot of people will think is it's just a Unnessacary piece of equipment that solves a problem that doesn't exist. I know that I sort of misunderstood the pitch and I probably didn't do enough research, but at the same time after toying with it it just seems like it won't be a useful product for most people. If you could find a way to get rid of the Bluetooth/AUX/USB connection to the car I think that would massively improve its helpfulness. The car I bought this for is older and doesn't have Bluetooth or USB/AUX as I said before so it doesn't fulfill my needs without me screwing around too much for it to be a viable solution. Overall, the product looks great and the concept appears to be mostly well-rounded, I just think that it isn't necessary for most people and they will just keep playing their music the way they do currently.

P.S. Please get rid of the proprietary plug, I could easily see people losing their plug, and then their entire thing is useless.

Hey @Krampus1 

 

Fair points. As of right now the Car Thing doesn't have a speaker built into it, so the audio will default to playing through your phone speakers with Car Thing unless you have it going to the car speakers via Bluetooth or AUX/USB.

 

I just wanted to say that if you lose the cable or USB Car adapter it comes with, you can just replace them. All you need for it to get power is a USB-C to USB-A cable and a USB-A car adapter that plugs into the car outlet and provides at least 12W to the USB port. I bought a shorter USB-C to USB-A cable to use instead of the included cable and it works just fine.

MattSudaSpotify Star
Help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution".
If you appreciate my answer, maybe give me a Like.
Note: I'm not a Spotify employee.

I have a concern that Car Thing is a bit too aggressive about Audio Focus (on iOS).

 

 It has a tendency to steal focus not only at startup, but any time you switch between various apps (and even just randomly, after a couple of minutes of not being the focus app).

 

 While I can understand how this might be beneficial to Spotify, dumping me out of my preferred podcast app and blasting the last music I listened to isn’t a great experience and I believe it causes a safety issue. Rather than starting my podcast or other audio app and leaving my phone in my pocket, I now have to take it out at random times to switch back to the app and start playback, while driving.

 

 An optional “Seize audio focus on startup” or something similar would resolve many of these issues.

Hey @Mattsuda, 

 

I would like to use car thing because my car does not have bluetooth and the aux plug.  I am a free user and would like to use car thing without a premium subscription. why car thing requires a premium account.  When will be available in France car thing for free users.

 

 

Hey @Flanstario1 

 

Car Thing requires that your car has either Bluetooth or an AUX / USB plug so you can connect your phone for audio playback. The Car Thing does not have built in speakers. Your mobile phone will also need Bluetooth to communicate with the Car Thing device. Car Thing acts as a remote for the Spotify mobile app so you have an always on display to control the music more easily while driving.

 

Right now Car Thing is only available in the USA. Spotify has not released any information on when it will be available in other countries.

 

Car Thing requires a Premium subscription. Spotify has not said why it requires a Premium subscription, but if you compare the available plans, Spotify has always offered more features to Premium subscribers.

MattSudaSpotify Star
Help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution".
If you appreciate my answer, maybe give me a Like.
Note: I'm not a Spotify employee.

Song Queue issues - 

 

Sequence of events

Asked "Hey Spotify show queue" instead it searched for the letter "Q".

Asked "Hey Spotify show upcoming songs" 

Car Thing replied "Here is your queue" and showed the song list.

Scrolled through queue and selected a song.  

Song ended and the music completely stopped.

Hit the next button - nothing happened.

Hit the play button - the same song started again.

Asked "Hey Spotify show upcoming songs"

This time the queue existed of only the song currently playing.

 

Why does scrolling through the song queue and selecting a new song exit the current playlist???  Is there a fix upcoming for this?

I was hesitant to buy a specialized device for just one service, but after setting up and using the new Spotify "Car Thing," I have no regrets.

 

Early YouTube reviews showed a slow/sluggish interface.  This has NOT been my experience.  I received a brand new unit with current firmware version.  To my delight, the interface is SPEEDY and VERY responsive.  There are several method to navigate menus... touch screen, jog wheel, and voice... something for everyone.

 

The four preset keys at the top of the unit can be accidentally activated, when repositioning the device on you dash, but that's a minor inconvenience.

 

I have a Spotify Premium account, but haven't used it as much as I would like.  The Car Thing has changed that.  Now, I can easily listen in the car, without fumbling with the phone AND it always shows what's playing, without going to sleep like the phone does.

 

I also have a Sirius/XM account for my car, but with the recent reallocation of radio spectrum to Mobile Phone Providers, this new data traffic has negatively impacted Satellite Radio in older cars.  Every time I pass certain cell sites, there's a prolonged loss of S/XM signal due to adjacent channel interference.  This has made using Satellite Radio in my car intolerable.  As a result, I'm not renewing S/XM for my car. Car Thing couldn't have arrived at a better time!

 

I've already been happy with Spotify's diverse playlists, but the addition of Car Thing has made my account even more valuable.  I plan on adding a second (duo) account to my Spotify plan, as well as a second Car Thing for my other vehicle.

 

Wishlish: A way to lower the brightness at night. The auto-dim doesn't go low enough.

 

Otherwise, GREAT product!

There is only one thing I need the Car Thing to do to be perfect and that is either utilize a wifi connection to connect to my phone/wifi in general, or use Bluetooth for Audio without having to traverse through my phone.

 

The whole reason I bought the Car Thing was so that I could not have to connect my phone to my car's Bluetooth so I could listen to my music, without being interrupted by things like GPS. I was so excited for this device! I wanted to use it at my wedding, but it looks like I'll go back to plan A of getting a cheap phone or tablet to play Spotify off of.

I would like car thing to always play from a set playback device in Spotify (like smart speakers). Because, I would like to use it in my house as a remote control.

There's some noticeable lag on the screen, which can be frustrating while driving.

I'd also love to be able to sort playlists on Car Thing.  On the app all my playlists are sorted by recently added, but those settings  don't seem to carry over or be available on Car Thing, so unfortunately I still end up often navigating Spotify via my phone in the car, since I really don't want to constantly listen to songs I added to my playlist 5 years ago. 

I've had Car Thing for a couple of weeks now and I absolutely love it. Makes choosing music while driving super easy!

 

Here's some feedback/suggestions I have:

  • I've been consistently running into a bug with the Phone volume indicator. Everytime Car Thing starts up, the Phone volume overlay shows up as "0" and doesn't go away. If I turn the dial to change the volume, it changes, but the volume overlay still doesn't go away. I have to press the volume keys on my phone to get it to finally go away.
  • It would be nice to be able to change the function of rotating the dial. I don't change the volume on my phone but on my car instead, so rotating the dial is effectively useless to me. It would be nice if in Settings the function of rotating the dial could be changed to skipping tracks.
  • It's probably already in the works, but I'd love to be able to add items to my queue using my voice 🙂

Diagnostics info:

  • Car Thing app version: 0.23.31
  • Car Thing OS version: 6.2.11
  • My phone is a Pixel 5, running on Android 12

Thanks Spotify team! Car Thing has been great so far 👍

I'd really like my albums displayed by recently added. That's how I keep it on my phone normally and on the desktop app. These are the albums I'm listening to at any given time for the most part, so it would be nice if they are easily accessible on Car Thing. I'd say that Recently Added should be the default for Car Thing in the albums section. Other than that I really like...just ordered one for my fiance.

Been using spotify since like 2011, I love spotify... Back when it started I was like "This is the future! I can listen to whole albums, no ads, and find everything I like! Heck, even the recommended songs has been decent and I've found so many artist with spotify". I excitedly just got the spotify "car thing" and pre-ordered it on announcement. I have an old jeep without a nice visual display to navigate my music so thought this was perfect.

 

The car thing's user interface is basically has non customizable home screen you have no control over and and makes it such a cluster to use spotify the way I normally do on the desktop app or smartphone app. I can't get to my recently played list or see my "uniquely yours playlists", When I "heart" them i can eventually find them under playlists and even then it's hard to find them. My home screen has things on it that will NOT GO AWAY that i maybe listened to once or some podcasts that somehow appeared after listening to the "Daily Drive" that car thing recommended. The most frustrating thing is sparked this post is this: I listened to one playlist - one time at a little work party and that damn playlist that I would never listen to again will NOT get off my home screen on my car thing. The offending playlist doesn't show up anywhere on my desktop app or smartphone app but there it is wasting valuable screen real estate on my car thing and is a constant reminder of how I do not like this device. My home screen is utterly useless and so I am forced to remember what playlist I want to navigate to by voice or scroll endless on the "more" pages. I want to see my recently played albums, playlists, desktop app home sections "Recently Played, Uniquely Yours, Your Shows, Top Mixes". I suspect that one playlist is stuck because has popular artists in it that I never listen to. The user interface seemingly designed to push what they want you to listen to. it's dumb that the interface for this doesn't follow the smartphone and desktop app idea.

I've factory reset the device, I've "hearted" so many other playlists, podcasts, albums to try and get that one playlist off the home screen or the other podcasts that are stuck on there as well that appeared magically after listening to the "daily drive" playlist it recommended.

Anyway. Just a rant, every time I get in my car to fiddle with it and it makes me more frustrated. It doesn't help me use spotify easier. It makes me frustrated. Maybe I'm not the target audience for car thing as the way I use the spotify app and interface is different? I never heart things but that doesn't seem to matter.

Well, Spotify, I think the feedback is pretty clear here. We need access to our Recently Added albums and Playlists. If I click an area: Albums, Playlists, etc....it should always display by recently added, not whatever weird system it's using now.

I have had very little issues with my Car Thing. The unit itself is pretty sleek and looks nice in my older car which doesn't have a screen. Unfortunately the best mounting spot blocks my cars clock. I didn't think this would be an issue but it feels redundant to either check my phone or take the unit out when driving just to check it. This product makes driving with Spotify way easier and safer for me versus using the app on my phone. In a future update if the time could just be added somewhere in the interface that would be great in my opinion. 

 

Biggest thing I enjoy about it is the voice commands feature. I am so surprised by this because with my phone or anything else I opt to never use the voice controls usually they are buggy or pointless. I mainly use voice controls with my Car Thing so I can focus more on the road and it's so easy to just ask it to play or shuffle something while driving. 

 

Biggest problem I've been having is sometimes the phone and Car Thing volume will be out of sync with eachother and be stuck at whatever volume it is at when it gets stuck. This can be solved easily with just a reboot or wait and it might fix itself but my experience so far has been decently bug free. 

 

Overall I'm happy with it. I got it cheap with Spotify's promotions and it exceeds my expectations. Although if I paid it's retail price I think It wouldn't feel like such a bargain. This could be fixed with some more bespoke features added in future updates. Some suggestions I have would be: 

-Display Google Maps Navigation (even a more simplified version or just have it be another tab available via the home button) 

-Option to display lyrics (this could be fun for passengers when driving around together, almost like a sing along mode or car Karaoke)

-Some sort of Screen saver if connected and not playing anything. (This could be a clock or just some nice looking design or animation) 

-More useful information that can be provided via Bluetooth (display the time, date, or etc) 

 

I'm pretty annoyed the price dropped by $20 2 weeks after I purchased it and I paid $50.

Not to mention I tried to return it the day that I bought it, but Spotify asked me to wait until it was delivered. Little did I know that I could only return it within 14 days. 

Also, the way the warranty is written, I have a bad feeling Spotify will try to get out of fixing any malfunctions.

Suggested posts