Merely two years after the launch of the iPad, Spotify has finally released a big-screen edition of everybody’s favorite music-streaming app. In short, it works a lot like Twitter for the iPad, and it doesn’t have Spotify apps. The app is Universal, so when it hits the store (it’s still not showing up in some places), it will do so as an update, and while it is free, you’ll need to be a paid Spotify subscriber to use it.
The interface uses the stacking, swipe-able pages metaphor first seen in Twitter for the iPad, and is rendered in gorgeous retina-o-vision (bad news for 8GB iPod Touch users, we guess), with the various options arrayed in a vertical bar on the left. You get Search and What’s New (the most useless tab by far unless you like chart music), plus your Inbox, Playlists and People list.
Sadly, Spotify apps didn’t make it in. This is a real shame as the liner-note style apps like The Legacy Of… are ideal for browsing on a touch screen whilst relaxing in an armchair.
Still, most of the app is in there. You can create playlists, browse music and share and star tracks, all while the current track creeps along in the persistent bar at the bottom of the screen. The universal search from the latest desktop builds is also in there, showing thumbnails of matching artists, albums and tracks all in the same window. This beats the old iPhone app’s behavior which forced you to choose a subject area to search in.
There are a few other differences from the desktop version. There’s no unified library — you have to navigate by playlists or searching. For me, that’s no big deal as I pretty much never use the Library part of the Mac app.
Should you have nested playlists, though, they will show up as you’d expect, including any playlists you imported from iTunes, and the smart “Starred” and “Local Files” playlists are at the top of the pile.
One oddity, ahead of our review which is coming later today, is that to access you AirPlay destinations you need to put the current track in full-screen mode (hit the little diagonal arrows down by the album art thumbnail to get there).
In short, if you have an iPad and a Spotify account, you’re going to love this app, and you might just find yourself browsing your way to a whole lot of new artists. Go (try to) grab it now.