Spotify is late to the tablet game — its competitors, which include MOG, Rhapsody and Rdio — have all had iPad or Android tablet apps in the market for months. So what took so long?
“We wanted to make sure we got the app just right,” Spotify told us while showing off the app.
After having some time to play around with the app, we can say that the hard work paid off.
Spotify’s app strategy is similar to that of Vevo and Vimeo in that the developers consider the use-case for each device when crafting the experience. There are unifying elements across the apps, of course, but the goal is to offer up the best experience for each product.
Making it Look and Sound Beautiful
With Spotify for iPad, the company had several goals in mind:
Create a true stereo replacement
Enable better discovery
Allow users to better interact with their music
The Spotify app is fully optimized for the new iPad’s retina display. Because one of the goals was to allow the iPad — and Spotify — to act as a personal or group stereo, cover art is a big part of the overall experience.
On Spotify’s desktop app, the cover art is small — tracks and playlists take the focus. On the iPad, the art is big and beautiful.
To enable a more living-room centric listening experience, Spotify for iOS supports AirPlay, which means users can send sound to AirPlay-enabled speaker systems, BlueTooth devices (such as the new Big Jambox) or to the Apple TV.
Spotify also offers streaming in 320kpbs. Users can, at their option, enable or disable 2G/3G/4G streaming and downloads on the app.
Focus on Discovery
As we’ve said in the past, one of the issues that subscription music services face is that because the libraries are so vast, users can have a hard time discovering new music.
The various music subscription services are addressing this issue head-on. In it’s latest update, Rdio emphasized discovery at the center of its entire ecosystem. Other services, such as Songza also put a lot of effort and technology into helping users find the best curated playlists full of music they might not know by heart.
For the last six months, Spotify has turned to its new app platform to improve music discovery. The Spotify app experience — especially with the latest group of apps — has made significant inroads in the discovery space.
Spotify apps aren’t coming to mobile for now — though the company is actively looking at how it can extend apps to other platforms — but discovery is still a big part of the iPad experience.
The app boasts the same improved search functionality that recently rolled out to Spotify desktop users. This features autocomplete for artists, playlists and users and makes getting to what you want much easier.
By using a panel paradigm, users can also swipe quickly from one artist to a related artist and back again — and in the process, find artists or albums they might not have otherwise heard about.
Spotify for iPad has all of Spotify’s usual social features baked in — including Facebook login, subscribe and search for users and the ability to share songs, albums and playlists.
Spotify for iPad [iTunes link] is a universal app and is available for download now. Like the rest of the mobile apps, it requires a Spotify Premium subscription.
iPad users – let us know what you think of the new Spotify app in the comments!