Spotify for iPad is now live in the app store. We have had a good play with the app, uncovered its secrets and figured it best we share them with you.
Those desperate for an iPad-centric version of the application will not be disappointed. From our play through, the app is slick as anything, super speedy and doesn't require you to re-sync locally stored tracks should you want to update to it.
Booting up the application you are greeted with a scrolling what's new section, complete with retina display artwork. Below this is a friend-based trending playlists and top tracks section, there is then a scrollable new releases and a top tracks and playlists near you.
A tab on the left of the app governs all the rest of the Spotify functions. So your inbox, search, what's new, playlists and people are all selectable, as well as settings. The whole app works on a sort of slide-out tray principle, so whatever you tap will pop up as an overlay on the previous menu. Sliding left and right will take you back and forth.
Search has had a major revamp for the iPad and is now as in-depth as you could want it to be. Type in Radiohead and you get a best match, artists, albums, playlists and most played tracks. The individual artist page is also very slick with a bio and similar-sounding bands, as well as being able to share to Spotify people, Facebook, Twitter and email.
Once you actually decide on a song then just tap it to play. This will pop open the player at the bottom of the application which you can switch between being full screen or miniaturised. In full-screen mode album artwork looks particularly impressive. This mode also allows you to push audio out through Apple TV devices.
Storing tracks locally is as easy as tapping the download button. These can be kept in the 320kbps extreme setting as well that Spotify recently added to its iPhone and Android apps. There is also the ability to stream and playback songs gaplessly, a feature unique to the iPad.
Playlist management is our favourite bit of the whole app experience. Spotify is still slightly behind when it comes to managing your music on the desktop. We still don't quite like the way you can have a properly organised library, instead of just playlists. By organising a proper playlists tab and making saving albums easier on the iPad, it feels like the best Spotify experience yet on any platform. This is a big step up.
We aren't quite sure how useful the what's new section is, unless you are interested in following very mainstream pop music - there just isn't that much else there. The other problem is, there is none of the quite frankly brilliant Spotify apps that you see in the desktop version.
We want to be able to use Last.fm and Soundrop. Who knows though, they might be coming. Similarly the friends integration, though handled well, just doesn't seem to have that much use yet. Then again our Pocket-lint friends might be particularly anti social.
All in all though a brilliant application. Shame it just didn't turn up earlier.
What do you think to the new Spotify iPad app? Let us know in the comments below ...