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Spotify CarPlay either steals control from other apps or doesn't play at all

Spotify CarPlay either steals control from other apps or doesn't play at all

There is a major bug with Spotify's CarPlay implementation that manifests one of two ways:

  1. Spotify always starts playing whenever CarPlay connects even when it was not the last audio app to play. It will even wrest control away from the audio app that last played. This requires me to open the app I was listening and start playback again. For example, if I switch to the CarPlay audio source on my Honda Accord Ex and the last app I was using was Pandora, Pandora will start to play and then Spotify will start playing. This also happens when I was last using Apple Music. For example, I can play something in Apple Music, switch to FM radio and then switch back to CarPlay and Spotify starts playing. Spotify will also start playing when using Maps via CarPlay and voice navigation occurs. That is highly annoying. The only way to stop this from happening is to restart the iPhone (6s Plus) or uninstall the Spotify app. Force killing Spotify doesn't help, since it launches itself again. That leads me to issue #2...
  2. When I uninstalled the Spotify app and reinstalled it and logged in, I couldn't get Spotify to play using the CarPlay controls. It would appear to be playing in the app when I looked at my iPhone (playback bar was moving), but no audio would actually play. If I was using another audio app previously, that app would continue to play. The only way to get Spotify to work with CarPlay is to press pause on the iPhone itself. This gets Spotify to start working in the CarPlay interface and I can select songs and they will play. At least until I start playing audio in a different CarPlay audio app at which point Spotify won't work again. I've found that playing audio in Spotify via CarPlay, switching to another audio app (like Apple Music), but not playing anything and then switching away from the CarPlay source in my car and back again fixes this problem, but causes problem #1 above to start happening again.

Basically Spotify won't play audio in CarPlay until I press pause in the app on my iPhone or it will always play the last song, even when it shouldn't be doing so as it wasn't the last CarPlay audio app playing.

In both cases it's horribly broken, though #1 is a lot worse since Spotify keeps stealing control from other audio apps or even the radio or SiriusXM whenever it feels like.

I had this problem on iOS 9.2.1 and it persists in iOS 9.3.

8 Replies

I emailed Spotify support and after they asked me a series of questions that had nothing to do with the issue, they came back and said my car isn't supported.

That makes little sense.

Today I ran into another problem. I was listening to Spotify over CarPlay and an incoming call came in. The car kept trying to switch to the phone call screen and Spotify kept taking control back and switching to the Spotify app screen. Finally the phone screen displayed after the call had rung a few times.

Hey @Morac, thank you very much for providing all of that information! Can't think of anything else to troubleshoot that you haven't already, so I have escalated it up to the Spotify staff for you.

Hey @Morac, are you able to get in touch with Spotify via @SpotifyCares on Twitter about the issue? Let me know if that's an issue.

I can, though I don't know if I can explain the problem in 140 characters.

No worries @Morac, at this stage, my suggestion is to hold tight for the next iOS app update. I believe this is an issue that may be fixed.

Fix this crap. I can't believe we have a thread of 41 pages for months to years and Spotify still hasn't fixed this.

Time to register a domain

This is beyond bs!

Still having the same problem 😞 What's the point of being a premium-user if you haven't the joy in your brand new car with apple car in it 😞

Just got my new BMW M240i today with Carplay, and am experiencing the same exact issues as described above. It doesn't matter if I switch to another app via CarPlay (or another app on my iPhone that is not compatible via CarPlay, e.g. Waze), Spotify will randomly wrest control and switch back to the app, bringing it back to the forefront.


Like the original poster, this also occurs when I switch to Radio or Satellite Radio -- Spotify will just take over at random times.


I'm surprised that 7 months has gone by without this bug being fixes, as it's a pretty glaring and highly annoying issue that numerous people seem to be having.


I have an iPhone SE and am running iOS 10.0.2, with the latest build of Spotify Premium.



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