More importantly, whipping through these options and finding the right tunes to play felt incredibly fast on the Cadillac's capacitive touchscreen. While the line between car interfaces and smartphone interfaces has started to blur in recent years, the process of navigating options and settings in a vehicle still needs a lot of polish. With this Spotify app at least, I got the impression that engineers and designers from both sides of the company wanted to stick as closely as possible to the Spotify experience everyone is already used to.
That close collaboration also means that Spotify doesn't act like a separate app so much as a core part of these cars' radios instead. If you turn off the car, get out, walk away, listen to some Spotify music and return to the car, the app picks up right where you left off. You're also able to set specific Spotify playlists as radio presets, for occasions when you need those coffeeshop jams fast. If nothing else, it's clear that Spotify wants to become the default means of listening to music in cars, and it believes deep integrations like this are how it will win the day.
Since this is the first deep car integration Spotify has worked on, a few things I hoped to see just weren't there yet. The biggest omission (for me, anyway) was support for podcasts -- Spotify has invested time and effort into fleshing out the podcast experience in its desktop and mobile apps, and considering the national average commute time hovers around 45 minutes, it seems odd that Spotify would've chosen to leave this out. That said, Jonathan Tarlton -- Spotify's Senior Manager of Automotive Business Development -- told Engadget that the company is committing to a quick update cycle.
Still other features are in the offing. To use Spotify on a Cadillac, you have to be a Spotify Premium subscriber, but according to Tarlton, Spotify is also exploring ways to bring a free listening experience to these vehicles. There's no voice control here yet either, though we know based on job listings that Spotify is taking those kinds of interactions very seriously.