While you probably can use Google Assistant to get your devices to play Spotify hands-free, it looks like the music streaming giant wants to have a wake word of its own. They previously released a voice search feature two years ago but last year, some spotted a possible wake word or phrase to trigger a search and voice controls within the app itself. Now it looks like they have started rolling out the “Hey Spotify” trigger phrase to users who want to be able to control the app when their hands aren’t free to tap on it.
GSM Arena shares that they were able to receive a notification on their device that the “Hey Spotify” feature is now available and there’s a step-by-step instruction on how to enable and then use it. Tapping on the notification brings you to a screen where you will be prompted to turn the feature on. When you use the wake phrase, the built-in voice search on the app will be prompted, as long as your screen is on and the Spotify app is open.
Basically, this means the app is on standby and will listen for the wake phrase to be triggered. In case you’re worried about privacy, Spotify says it will only hold recordings and transcriptions when you tap the button or you say the wake phrase. So there should be no danger of the app recording something you don’t want recorded just because it’s on standby. Hopefully there will be no complaints about the app being launched or searches being made without the wake phrase.
But even without enabling this “Hey Spotify” feature, you can already do hands-free voice search and control through Google Assistant. If you made Spotify your default music streaming service, you don’t even have to say the word Spotify. They probably want to use the app’s built-in voice search to understand more how users are using it therefore having a wake phrase to activate it. There doesn’t seem to be any other function for this feature for now.
This seems to be a server-side update so you’ll have to wait for when Spotify rolls it out to you. You should get a notification or check if there’s an update available if you don’t want to wait for the notification.