Spotify is now available in Cadillac 2017 vehicles through a new dedicated application that does not require your phone, Bluetooth or something like Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The Spotify app, which you can install from the app store on Cadillac's infotainment system, streams music while driving, relying on the car's LTE mobile data connection. (The application caches several songs before their current position in a playlist, should they drive through a dead cell zone).
The design and appearance of the application are very similar to what you already know from spending countless hours playing Spotify on your smartphone. Four main virtual buttons give you quick access to Home, Recently played, Your library and Browser. All of Spotify's custom playlists, from Discover Weekly to your daily mixes, are included. And Spotify's new Cadillac integration is "smart" enough to recognize that you're listening in a car. Therefore, it will serve music aimed at your trip or driving instead of, for example, playlists to exercise or study.
The Now Playing screen displays a list of common options for track controls, random playback, saving a song in your library, repeating a song, etc. There's nothing really special there, but once again, it adheres to Spotify's appearance on other platforms.
On platforms such as CarPlay and Android Auto, Spotify must follow the design guidelines and user interface of Apple and Google, respectively. With this Cadillac approach, the company has more control over how everything works. In addition to touching the screen directly, you can also use the steering wheel controls to play, pause or adjust the volume of your music.
The most disappointing thing is the lack of voice commands. I think that voice control should be a central focus of the applications in the car, and Spotify agrees. The company is not yet ready to announce anything specific about voice support, but it is definitely in process, just like on mobile devices.
Cadillac has also worked a little to make the experience a little more fluid. Spotify has a presence on the main audio screen right next to the FM and AM radio. And you can place any Spotify playlist you want in the row of preset stations at the top, outside the Spotify app, to have the same one-touch access as your favorite FM stations.
The Spotify application is available on certain Cadillac models, which include:
As you might suspect, it is also coming to the Cadillac 2019 models, including the CT6, and there are plans to bring this version of Spotify to Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and other General Motor brands.
Therefore, in addition to using CarPlay or Android Auto for maps, messages, etc., you now have the option of using a fully integrated Spotify standalone application. Some people may prefer the design, simplicity and consistency of how Spotify looks through the Apple or Google car platform, where the buttons are always in the same place in all audio applications.
An example of how Spotify looks on Apple's CarPlay.
Let me be very clear: in general, those platforms are still overwhelmingly superior to the clumsy information and entertainment software that automakers continue to place on their board. We would be in a very sad and sad situation if the car companies abandoned them in favor of their own ecosystems and individual applications like this one. No thanks. But that is not what is happening here; instead, you only have another option. Spotify, as expected, prefers this route.
Photograph by Chris Welch / The Verge