TNW Pick of the Day: Vela for iOS brings voice-search to Spotify and Rdio

TNW Pick of the Day: Vela for iOS brings voice-search to Spotify and Rdio

TNW-PickOfTheDayThus far, there hasn’t been an easy way to integrate voice-search functionality into Spotify on your iOS device, similar to how Google Voice Search permits.

Indeed, while the likes of the AssistantLove jailbreak tweak does enable some Siri functionality with Spotify, it’s not official and by all accounts it’s not overly accurate.

Now, however, with Vela Lite for iOS, you can search for music on Spotify and Rdio (and Rhapsody is promised) with your voice, through a sweet app that works entirely as it claims to.

How it works

When you first launch the app, you’ll be met with a warning sign, which is a clear indicator for what one of the key demographics is for this app…drivers.

Once you accept this warning, you can create a Vela account if you so wish…but it’s not essential at this stage.


What is essential, however, is connecting one of your music-streaming services to the app. Spotify or Rdio will require paid premium subscriptions to their respective services.

While the app also promises Rhapsody integration, this option was greyed out for me, though admittedly this could be because I’m based in the UK…however, shouldn’t it then integrate with Napster? Plus, the app description only really refers to Spotify and Rdio for now, so it’s not clear whether this option is pending a future update or what.

With at least one account connected, you’re good to go. Hit the search option, and you’ll see a microphone.


Tap this microphone button, say what you want to listen to – artist, album or track – and it’ll throw up what it thinks you want. For me, the searches were 100% accurate each time. And it’s worth noting here that the music automatically plays too, which is particularly useful for those concentrating on the roads.


In case you’re wondering, although ‘Vela’ has been used in sentence-case throughout this piece, it is actually an acronym – Voice Enhanced Listening Assistant.

It’s certainly a nice app from our initial tests, and it will be interesting to see if it takes off or not. And it’s probably also worth mentioning that there is a Lite and Pro version of the app, but we really can’t figure out what the differences are between them…they seem identical.

“In building Vela we didn’t want to just make a music player app,” says Justin Mason, Vela creator. “We wanted to make a much better music experience for mobile listening. It works the way you’d expect a music app to always work on a mobile device.”

Meanwhile, if you like companion apps for drivers, you may also wish to check out Drive, which gives you quick access to calls, texts, music and maps on the road.

➤ Vela Lite: Lite | Pro

Disclosure: This article contains an affiliate link. While we only ever write about products we think deserve to be on the pages of our site, The Next Web may earn a small commission if you click through and buy the product in question. For more information, please see our Terms of Service

Read next: Watch a Tesla Model S Performance spank the pants off of a Dodge Viper SRT10 in a drag race