Spotify for iOS goes universal; gets iPad love

Huzzah! Spotify for iPad has arrived in the form of a universal iOS app that was released today.

I've been pretty vocal in my criticism of the Spotify iOS app, chiefly about its lack of a universal version that worked on the iPad. Well all that is water under the bridge, my friend.

Today Spotify released version 0.5.0 of its iOS app (free, App Store) and it's finally a universal build. This means that Spotify will now run on the small screen of the iPhone as well as the larger screen of its big brother, the iPad. Before today, iPad users had to use the iPhone version on the iPad, a less than ideal experience.

Spotify, for the unfamiliar, is a music subscription service that offers free, $5 per month and $10 per month subscription packages. Free is ad supported and limited to 10 hours per month, the $5 per month plan features unlimited listening and removes the ads. The $10 per month plan allows you to download songs to your iPhone/iPad for offline playback. A Facebook account is required to use the service unless you registered before September 22, 2011.

In addition to iPad-native playback, the new Spotify iOS app features gapless playback and cross fading - ala iTunes. It's still not perfect though, although Spotify's catalog is deep (~22 million tracks), some artists withhold their latest releases (The Black Keys El Camino comes to mind) from the service, presumably to protect new album sales. Spotify has addressed this with its iTunes integration which allows you to play any music that you have in your iTunes library from within the Spotify app.

Spotify is still my favorite streamer, but it isn't the only music subscription service that I subscribe to. I also subscribe to SiriusXM (I have it in my vehicle, so Internet streaming was a no-brainer) and Digitally Imported for my electronic music fix.

Apple should have acquired and subsumed Spotify a long time ago, music subscriptions are an area that is sorely lacking in iTunes. Since subscribing to Spotify, downloading music and creating playlists has really turn into a chore for me. I want to enjoy music, not become a curator of it.

Sorry Steve, people do want to rent their music.

What are your music apps of choice on iOS?


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