Spotify on Android was always a slightly unpleasant experience compared to the delights of its iOS-based application cousin. Laggy and untidy, the app looked decent enough but didn't function the way many had hoped. Thankfully, this has been fixed with an updated application for Android 4.0.
A totally redesigned UI which reminds us slightly of the Twitter app on iOS, ensures that searching and finding music is extremely easy. A slide-out tray with options such as search, your playlists or the what's new homepage sits to the left of the main screen.
Tap search and select and artist to start playing their music. By default the player will pop down to the bottom of the screen so you can continue exploring Spotify, but if you tap the artist at the bottom, it will open full screen so you can see related artists and other albums, as well as fast forward and rewind. From this screen you can also share tracks, add them to playlists, queue them and look at the rest of an album.
The artist homepage is particularly nice to play with. A high-resolution screen of the artist, with bio info below sits at the top. Sliding left or right will open up either the full biography or other related artists. It makes exploring music easy, which is what Spotify is all about.
The friends list, which is populated by Facebook, allows you to click on other Spotify users and see their top tracks. You can also use friends to build collaborative playlists within the app, which is particularly cool.
An update for Spotify on iOS added the ability to sync and stream tracks at extreme quality. The new app on Android also lets you do this via the settings menu. Do be sure not to stream songs at the extreme setting unless you are on Wi-Fi as it will eat up your free data allowance. Instead try and store them locally by downloading over a Wi-Fi connection.
Not a lot else to say about the updated Spotify app other than, with a bit of .apk fiddling, we got it running on our Transformer Prime. It wouldn't switch out of landscape mode, annoyingly, but looked decent enough in portrait, with the artist pics scaling to its 1200 x 800 resolution display. The ICS lock screen also gets an album artwork icon with the ability to pause and skip tracks without needing to unlock your phone, very useful.
For those who want to give the new look Spotify a try you can download it here.
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