‘Hey Spotify’ wake word now rolling out to some users, but there's a catch
While smart assistants were extremely popular on mobile devices a couple of years ago, Google Assistant and Siri are arguably the only two voice-based assistants that are widely used on smartphones, while Microsoft recently shut down its Cortana app for iOS and Android. Meanwhile, Spotify is all set to launch its own ‘wake word' that will allow users to control music with their voice on their phones.
The company's new wake word is called “Hey Spotify” and is rolling out to users around the world. The feature allows users to control the player by streaming music from an artist, an album or simply a song - and was first spotted by GSMArena. Along with the mobile apps for iOS and Android, the feature is also reportedly available on compatible smart speakers.
The feature could definitely come in handy when playing music while performing other tasks like cooking or cleaning and touching your phone screen isn't an option. However, as with every online-based software or service, there are a few downsides to the wake word and voice assistant feature.
Because Siri and Google Assistant are created by Apple and Google respectively, they can enjoy virtually unfettered access to system and hardware features that their competitors simply cannot enjoy. This means that unlike Siri, which can be invoked even when your iPhone is lying with the screen off on your bed, ‘Hey Spotify' will only work if you have your phone screen on, your Spotify app is running and has been given microphone access.
You can enable this feature in the Spotify app settings, but there are a couple of things to keep in mind - enabling support for the wake word means your app will always listen for the commands and that might be a privacy concern for some users. Similarly, having your microphone constantly on will also drain the battery constantly, which will definitely cause issues especially for users with smaller batteries.