Tech | November 28, 2021 6:04 am

Report: Spotify Plans to Remove its Car View Mode

An unexpected change from the streaming service

A Spotify logo is displayed on a smartphone screen.
Nikolas Kokovlis/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Here are two statements that are both accurate and seemingly contradictory: smartphones can be distracting while driving, and smartphones can be a crucial part of driving. The extent to which they’re contradictory has to do with what you’re using your phone for — sending a text message while driving, for instance, is both dangerous and (in many cases) illegal. Using an app on your phone for navigation purposes, however, is something entirely different.

Over the last few years, a number of applications and operating systems have developed optimized modes for use when in a vehicle. But where there’s been expansion, there now seems to be contraction. Earlier this year came the news that Android Auto was being discontinued by Google in favor of changes made to Google Assistant for in-car use. And a new report suggests that something similar is in the works for Spotify.

For a substantial number of people, Spotify is their go-to source for music — essentially, an alternative to both radio stations and a record collection. (Which, in turn, brings to mind the perpetual debate over the service’s royalty rates.) With that in mind, it’s not surprising that Spotify would provide the soundtrack to countless commutes and road trips. But the way it does so seems likely to change.

At Engadget, D. Hardawar reports that Spotify announced plans to remove its Car Mode feature in lieu of — according to an unnamed Spotify moderator — “a variety of new ways to deliver the best in-car listening experience.”

What that experience might be, however, remains to be seen. The Engadget article also ponders whether or not this relates to Spotify launching Car Thing earlier this year. Whether it’s an example of corporate synergy or just a way of re-allocating resources, it’s a substantial change for a number of drivers.