The Spotify streaming service has taken over the music world om the past year. But while the company offers both an iPhone app and an incredible desktop application, it has neglected to create an iPad app — until this week.
The recently released iPad app is only available to premium members ($10/month); however, you can sign up for a 48-hour trial run, no credit card required. Spotify's premium membership truly is as good as it sounds: the vast music library is ad-free, offers high sound quality, and gives you offline access to your playlists. However, is the Spotify iPad app as good as the desktop app? Here are some of the pros and cons of the new Spotify iPad app (Free):
- Beautiful graphics and cover art: Spotify's iPad graphics are crisp and gorgeous. Unlike the somewhat flat desktop version, the iPad graphics practically pop out of the page. The iPad app also provides large cover art images, and as with iTunes, you can flip through the album art by swiping your finger.
- Simplified design:The iPad app contains a simplified side navigation bar with only five tabs (as opposed to the 12 on the desktop), making the interface more intuitive and easier to use.
- Facebook connect: While some people grumble about this, others love the ability to find new artists via their friend's profiles. The design makes it easy to see your friends' top tracks, artists, and playlists.
- Text message-like inbox: In a major change in the design, track suggestions and messages sent to your inbox are organized like iPhone bubble text messages.
Keep reading to take a look at the cons.
- Missing features: There are some major things missing in the app's navigation bar: no play queue, no radio, and no top lists of tracks and albums. The lack of a play queue really hurts the app; I miss seeing a list of what songs are coming up and how many tracks are left in a given album or playlist.
- Not enough inbox organization: One drawback to the new inbox design is that you can no longer sort the sent tracks by date sent, artist, or track name.
- Interface limitations: The app makes it difficult to seamlessly travel from one artist's page to another. If you tap to hear a song from one of your Facebook friends or the "What's New" section, you can't simply tap on the artist's name to see the the band's full page or the full album. Instead, you must manually tap the search icon in the navigation bar to search for the album or artist.
- Lack of Facebook search: While you can manually scroll your entire list of Facebook friends, the app is missing the Filter Search bar on the upper righthand side of the desktop version that enables you to quickly find a particular person.
- Too many steps: In the desktop version, sharing, starring favorites, or dragging tracks to a playlist is a simple, one-step process. However, on the iPad app, those features require additional digging and extra tapping. You must tap on the expand button arrows on the bottom of the screen to open up the range of sharing or moving options.
The app is definitely a step in the right direction; however, it needs some additional updates before it feels as seamless and awesome as the desktop app.