Spotify Tests Car Safety Bluetooth Interface And It’s Unable To Distinguish Vehicle And Home Systems

An Android user in the United States on the Samsung Galaxy S7 reached out to the Spotify customer care services earlier today (the 17th of July, 2018) to bring to their attention a supposed-glitch encountered in his Spotify application. The user, posting under the alias username awful_resilient, explained that he had recently updated the Spotify application (which was supporting a premium plan) on his Android device and when using the application to play music connected to any Bluetooth speaker device, he was shown the car safety restricted user interface. The difference that this entailed was a limitation of clickable features. The dubbed “car safety” mode simply showed the song’s name, artist, controls to click forwards and backwards and the control to pause as well as options to shuffle and favorite the song being played. Album artwork, toggle scrolling across the length of the track, song black listing, and setting menus were not a part of this interface.

The user reached out to Spotify support services as he was concerned that this interface was restricting his operations through a simple connection to a Bluetooth speaker as opposed to the Bluetooth system of a moving car in which one would deem this feature necessary for road safety. Having spoken to a representative, the user was first told that this feature was part of a beta testing phase carried out on only 3% of all users on iOS devices. Responding back to the representative that the user was an Android user, s/he was then made to believe that this feature was part of an all-around update which was perhaps temporary and would soon be reverted. Until now, the user claims to still be facing this issue and is detesting the fact that Spotify did not include any options to switch this feature on or off and that the Spotify Bluetooth connections are not able to differentiate between vehicle Bluetooth systems for which this feature would be useful and home Bluetooth speaks for which this feature is rather bothersome.

Screenshot Of The New Interface Uploaded In Spotify Community Post. awful_resilient / Spotify Community

In order to address these concerns, if Spotify wishes to continue offering a “car safety” Bluetooth interface, the developers can leave this up to the user to enable or disable the mode when desired. If Spotify wants to regulate this in order to enforce road safety as part of their responsibility and legal liability act, the application can offer manual categorization of unique Bluetooth address connections. Bluetooth works in the way that a transmitter sends out waves on the ISM band between 2.4 and 2.485 Gigahertz with spread at 1600 hops per second. These wave communications are specifically suited for short range communications due to the band that they operate in. In the case of a full-duplex connection in the ISM band as opposed to a half-duplex, both devices connected are able to transmit as well as receive signals in a full connection. Once a receiver is sent packets from the transmitting device, the receiver establishes a connection on the particular address that the packets are sent and that unique address is used to reconnect once devices are paired. Since Bluetooth connections are distinguishable by their unique connection addresses, Spotify can ask users to categorize Bluetooth connections as moving or stationary, vehicle or home, when the first connection is made. This will allow the application to implement the appropriate interface when necessary.

It seems that the user’s concern has not been resolved today as s/he has not updated his/her post or marked it resolved. The coming forth of this issue clearly indicates that Spotify is considering a permanent restricted Bluetooth interface, perhaps for selected Bluetooth speaker systems only, specifically those in vehicles if they choose to dub it “car safety” mode. However, the application is unsuccessful as of yet in differentiating between the Bluetooth system of a car and the Bluetooth system of a stationary speaker device.

Aaron Michael
Aaron Micheal is an electrical engineer by profession and a hard-core gamer by passion. His exceptional experience with computer hardware and profound knowledge in gaming makes him a very competent writer. What makes him unique is his growing interest in the state of the art technologies that motivates him to learn, adopt, and integrate latest techniques into his work.