A little over a year back, Spotify was found testing its own voice bot with the "Hey Spotify" wake phrase, akin to Google Assistant. Since then, we haven’t heard much about the new voice feature, though it now looks to be rolling out as a wider public release.

"Hey Spotify" recently became available for the folks at GSMArena, and this is how it works. Spotify communicated the feature availability with a notification, which took the user to a setup screen asking for various permissions and simultaneously giving a little tutorial. You can easily alter these choices later on from the app’s settings page, where you can also pick the bot’s voice.

This is is basically a step up from the Spotify app’s existing voice search option (available only in the US), allowing you to give verbal commands hands-free. As for the privacy aspect, Spotify says that it must record your query to take action and respond. It notes that only the words spoken after “Hey Spotify” are saved, though the app continuously listens for the wake phrase when the feature is enabled.

You can only use the "Hey Spotify" when your phone screen is on and the Spotify app is open. That’s quite a few conditions for something that you can easily do with the Google Assistant from any screen. And since you can set Spotify as your default music provider anyway, there doesn't seem to be much need for this competing feature.

For now, we can’t say if this is, in fact, a public release or Spotify is still testing the waters before a full rollout. We'll know for sure when Spotify comes out with an official confirmation.