I've read in multiple places, that the search bar on Spotify has been disabled on Android Auto. Mostly for security reason : you shouldn't be typing while driving.
Good point, although, this wont stop anyone, as the passenger (or even worse the driver), just has to grab one's phone to type it in.
My idea would be just as what GPS apps do: if the car is driving, as the search function is called, a popup inform the driver that only the passenger is supposed to use the keyboard.From there, you could have access the feature.
We're in 2021, I believe this functionality is awaited by many of the community, please let it be heard!
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