Voice Assistant for ARC in-car

ARC Voice Assistant for Carplay and Android Auto

For ARC, We are very excited to announce a few updates which will make your in-car music experience much more awesome, easy, and safe. Both Carplay and Android Auto now feature voice assistant support.

Your feedback has been invaluable in steering these updates. We’ve learned through multiple surveys and combing through community reports that Android Auto and Carplay needed some love. Many of you pointed to difficulty in searching for music, UI bugs, and wanting more ways to discover music. We heard over and over that search was particularly lacking—if you had a song or an album in your head, there was no easy way to find it.

Voice Assistant Support

We are excited to announce that you can now use Siri and Google Assistant to search for and control your music in the car. Voice assistant works with tracks, albums, artists, playlists, and genres. Dig through your Roon library, search through your favorite streaming catalogs, and fully control your music using only your voice.

You can say things like:

  • “Play me some indie rock”
  • “Play Bill Evans”
  • “Play Don’t Speak by No Doubt”
  • “Play my Summer playlist”
  • “Play The Wall by Pink Floyd”

For best results, try to be as specific as possible when searching for something—”play the album Blonde on Blonde by Bob Dylan” will always be better than making Voice Assistant guess. When in doubt, let it out! :wink:

You can also fully control playback without taking your hands off the wheel. Try saying things like:

  • “Play me some music”
  • “Skip this track”
  • “What song is playing?”
  • “Shuffle my Epic Road Trip Rock playlist”

Voice Assistant is tightly integrated into your Roon and ARC experience. Your searches are saved and searchable in your Roon history, just like searches in the app would be.

How to setup Siri/Google Assistant

iOS

On iOS, you can start Siri by navigating to the new “Search” tab on the interface. You can also simply say “Hey Siri”.

If you haven’t set up Siri yet, read Apple’s guide here: Use Siri on iPhone - Apple Support

In order to connect Siri to Roon ARC, you will first need to allow Siri access to your data. As you make your first Siri request with ARC, you’ll be prompted to share Roon ARC’s data with Siri. Select “allow” to set this up.

Android

On Android, press Google Assistant button within the Android Auto interface. You can also simply say “Hey Google”.

If you haven’t set up Google Assistant yet, you can read Google’s guide here: Access Google Assistant with your voice - Android - Google Assistant Help

To ensure Google Assistant queries are sent to Roon ARC, be sure to select “No Default Provider” in Settings > Google Assistant > Music.

Please note that Google Assistant is only supported with Android Auto.

It may take some time for Roon ARC to become the default media player with both Siri and Google, so be sure to explicitly say “Play x in Roon ARC” After time, they will know to pick ARC instinctively.

Enhanced Music Discovery

As many of you were looking for more places to find music within your car interface’s we’ve made a few tweaks to the interface. In Android Auto we’ve cleaned up things in general, adding extra information to make things more navigable, and faster to parse.

Across both platforms, we’ve also added a new top level tab—Search/Browse. Click here to browse your top genres, start genre radio, or browse for albums by genres in just a few taps. On iOS, this is also where you can find Siri.

We are thrilled to roll out these updates and confident they will make your in-car music experience with ARC not just better, but the best it can be. As always, we look forward to your feedback and are excited to hear how these new features enhance your journeys.

23 Likes

Sounds great, will test it when I get back to my car from flight home today.
Still think a great feature that is not made well known is the ability to update Roon Server from Roon Arc app once Arc has been updated and needs a Core update.
Twice now I have done this successfully.

4 Likes

Out of interest, is this a fixed limitation, or might it be technically possible to add support outside of Android Auto at a future date?

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Could be done on a future update. We wanted to keep this scope small and solve the in-car use case first. Even more robust voice support in the future is on our list for sure.

6 Likes

It’s not working for me now, sadly. I did the server update via Arc once, and was pretty pleased that it was possible. But Arc now simply says that I should perform an server upgrade, without the possibility to do so. I won’t be home until next Friday.

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Yep,that’s what it told me today too.
But I have seen that before too.
I killed the ARC app and restarted and it had actually updated the Server and normal service was resumed.

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I tried this more than ten times now on both iOS and Android, but nothing is happening.

EDIT: after a night’s rest, it finally did the trick. Up and running again.

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Awesome update! Can’t wait to try

Michael,

what do you mean in your original post where you mention “we’ve also added a new top level tab—Search/Browse” please?

I have looked for this (using Arc on iPhone) but cannot see it, but I don’t really know what you mean by a top level tab.

However, your iOS screenshots don’t look the same as what I see on my phone, but perhaps your screenshots are from an iPad?

But I did get Siri to play something from Arc successfully, after I’d persuaded it not to try using the BBC Sounds app. Is the trick to tell Siri to play [album/artist] from Roon Arc, or is there a way of setting Siri to use Arc as the default player?

Thanks,

Ian

Start out by specifying that you want to use Roon ARC. After a few rounds of it, Siri will learn to use ARC by default for music.

4 Likes

A post was split to a new topic: Android Automotive OS (AAOS)

They are from CarPlay?

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That makes sense, thanks - I don’t use CarPlay so didn’t recognise it.

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Ooh. Siri works without CarPlay - great for those of us with older cars. Marvellous!

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And what about Tesla? will we have once Arc available directly on Tesla without going through a phone and bluetooth?

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Or maybe Tesla will stop being childish. (well fat chance)

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Roon Team,
You have truly knocked it out of the park with this one.
Just tried it on the arc iOS app and it worked perfectly with my first suggestions. Will try it in the car tomorrow.

Question: I notice it doesn’t work with Roon app. Will you be able to reuse the code for that too(in a future release )? That would be amazing.

2 Likes

I tried it just now and it seems snappier and more responsive. Unfortunately it won’t load any music; not a playlist or an album. Not using voice command, just selecting from the screen. It seems as unstable as it always was.

This will help with how difficult it is to navigate your music on Roon Arc in the car and safety concerns. Hate to say “what about this”, but similar feature on HomePod with Roon is a feature I miss on Apple Music

Just this evening I noticed the ARC home screen has changed on the General Motors Infotainment System in my 2023 Corvette. I think I’m really going to like this latest iteration of ARC. All the album covers display completely and promptly and while I haven’t tried the search with Siri yet, it looks simple enough. Looking forward to experimenting more.

1 Like