Among the many features rolled out to iOS device owners today is one that's pretty easy to lose sight of alongside things like iCloud, iMessage, Newsstand and many of the other 200 or so odd features Apple launched today.
The iPad's native Music app (essentially, a stripped down version of iTunes for the iPad) got a visual overhaul as part of iOS 5, complete with a new home screen icon. In terms of feature set, the app remains pretty basic. You can play back albums and podcasts, manage playlists and of course, jump over to the iTunes Store to download more music.
What the Music iPad app doesn't do, unfortunately, is integrate with any social services. This includes Ping, Apple's underwhelming social music feature for iTunes, as well as Twitter, which is otherwise integrated tightly across iOS 5. One enhancement that comes naturally with iOS 5 is that new songs purchased via iTunes are wirelessly synced across devices. You can also enable "Home Sharing" for sharing music libraries across multiple devices via WiFi.
The new native music app certainly has an improved look and feel. For our money, third party streaming services like Rdio and Spotify (whose iPhone app works on iPad as well) offer a more compelling music-listening experience on the device. For users who have large local music libraries, however, the iPad's built-in option may be the way to go.