Spotify finally launched an official iPad app on the Apple App Store today. It offers all the same functionality of its iPhone predecessor, but takes advantage of all that extra screen real estate for a smoother experience. It also supports the new iPad’s high-reslution retina display.
After such a long delay, and with competitors like Rdio having released their own iPad apps ages ago, you might have expected something revolutionary or remarkable from Spotify’s app. Some independent designers even created mock-ups to show what it could be. Unfortunately, this new app is nothing remarkable.
It’s not a bad app; it’s roughly comparable to Rdio’s in functionality and design, but you have to wonder what took the Spotify team so long if this standard approach is what it was working on.
The app is divided into Search, What’s New, Inbox, Playlists, and People sections. Search is self-explanatory; you type in a search query and it returns artists, albums, playlists, and tracks that match it. What’s New is exactly the same landing splash page that you get on the desktop version of Spotify, featuring trending playlists and tracks.
Inbox shows all the music your friends have shared with you, Playlists shows a list of your own playlists (including your starred items), and people is a big bunch of thumbnails representing all your Spotify friends. You can tap on any of them to see their top tracks and artists, but you can’t browse their public playlists like you can on the desktop.
In a minimalist pop-up Settings menu, you can switch to Offline Mode, set a cross-fade anywhere from zero to 12 seconds, enable or disable Gapless Playback, and toggle Private Session mode.
Tapping on a song plays it in a strip along the bottom of the app. Pick an album or a playlist and a right-aligned sidebar pops up to show the album art and all the tracks, which you can tap to play.
The new Spotify iPad app includes all the essentials we expected from it, but with such a long delay in development, we’re surprised and disappointed it doesn’t offer something special. You can download it on the Apple App Store today for free.
If you already have the iPhone version, the iPad version serves as an update to that one. It’s a universal app so you can just update and install it on your iPad. Let us know what you think.