After what has to be one of the longest waits ever for a native iPad application, Spotify has finally released a version of its application for Apple's tablet. All that waiting has given the Stockholm-based company plenty of time to get its iPad app right - and boy, is it impressive.
Taking a leaf out of the sliding drawer look of the Twitter and Facebook app, Spotify for iPad works on different layers which slide out on top of each other. Fire it up and you are greeted with the standard What's New page, albeit with a few iPad-centric tweaks.
First, there is a trending playlists window, which will show all the music people are listening to based on your location. This goes beyond city level and can show playlists being heard in a much tighter area, giving you an idea of what sort of music your local community is enjoying.
Album artwork and the whole navigation of the application will change and upscale when you switch to portrait. Everything is Retina Display compatible, so things look particularly sweet with HD artwork on the new iPad.
A miniature player can pop out at the bottom of the app when in landscape. This will allow you to scroll through tracks, skip and pause them as well as enlarge the artwork to full screen and do things such as share and favourite a song.
Search is very in-depth. Say you looked up someone like Radiohead: tapping on the band's name after a search will give you the option to see high-res pics of them, a bio, related artists, albums and tracks.
In terms of playback settings, the extreme option from the iPhone has been brought across to the iPad. This means you can sync tracks in CD quality. You can also now use gapless playback and send music straight from the app to other devices using AirPlay.
Spotify thinks a lot of people will be using the iPad app like an oversized remote control for their music and has made an effort to ensure it is as easy to navigate as possible.
Right now the application is usable only by Spotify Premium subscribers. Those who aren't fee paying will be able to login but not playback any music. If you have already synced a lot of music to your iPad using the iPhone version of the application, you can update to the native iPad app without having to re-sync anything.
So what are you waiting for? Get downloading! Spotify tells us the application will be rolling out across the App Store today.
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