Home Hands On With Spotify For iPad: Their Best-Looking Effort Yet

Hands On With Spotify For iPad: Their Best-Looking Effort Yet

Spotify gets praise for a lot of things, but user experience design is typically not one of them. It’s not that its desktop and mobile applications are hideous. They’re perfectly functional, but few would describe them as beautiful or especially enticing to use. 

However, with its new iPad app, the music subscription service signals a new direction in terms of how its apps look and feel. It’s a much-welcomed shift. 

Spotify for iPad bears virtually no resemblance to the service’s iPhone app, nor does it draw much influence from the desktop version. This is a good thing. Instead, the team has designed the new app from the ground up, specifically for the tablet form factor. Along the way, they politely borrow conventions from some of the best existing music players like Rdio and Apple’s own native Music app for the iPad.

As you get deeper into the app – say, via a search or as you’re digging through your playlists – Spotify for iPad uses the kind of flyover panels that work so well on the tablet form factor. Think Twitter for iPad. 

Newly released albums are displayed in a way that makes effective use of a Coverflow-style UI, which works better on a touchscreen than in probably any other context.

The app is not perfect. The social features could be stronger, but then again that’s true of Spotify generally. We’d also love to see iPad access to some of the third-party HTML5 apps that are available on the desktop. Some of those apps would have a hard time squeezing onto the screen of a smartphone, but the iPad is perfect for the desktop-sized designs put together by the likes of Spotify partners such as Last.fm, Pitchfork, Moodagent and TuneWiki. Hopefully those are on the way. 

The end result turns one’s tablet into the modern equivalent of a boom box, but with unlimited music. The speaker on newer iPads is good enough to let you get away with tapping the play button and sitting the device down on a table. At parties, Spotify for iPad can serve as a sort of universal jukebox if the device is hooked up to the right speakers. 

All things considered, it’s a worthy download for Spotify users, and hopefully it’s a sign of things to come. 

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.