Spotify is a music streaming app that lets you listen to millions of songs on your iPhone, iPod, or iPad.
Unlimited music on tap
You can use the app to listen to anything from Spotify's huge and expanding library. You can sync with playlists you have on your desktop, create new ones, or just listen to tracks, albums, or artist selections.
Spotify is getting better and better at music discovery and there are plenty of ways to expand your musical awareness through the app. For example, the Browse section allows you to explore curated playlists based on different genres of music. There are thousands available and it's a great way to check out sub-genres of the type of music you like.
The Mood section (not available on iPad, unfortunately) includes playlists based around what you might be doing or feeling like at the moment. Examples include "songs to sing in the shower", "songs for sunsets", and "re-engerize". As with Genres in the Browse section, you can apply filters to set what kind of moods are displayed.
The Discover feature of Spotify is a more simple way of discovering new stuff you might like. It recommends artists, songs, and albums based on your listening habits, and what people nearby are listening to.
If you find playlists too fiddly to maintain you'll love the Your Music feature of Spotify, which allows you to simply add songs to a non-organized collection for times when you don't want the hassle of putting tracks in a particular place. This is one of the new features added in version 1.0 of Spotify and offers Spotify users a way of managing songs already available in rival apps like Rdio or Google Play Music.
Playlists are, of course, still a key feature of Spotify. You can use the app to listen to playlists you've already created via the mobile, desktop or web versions of Spotify. And there's more you can do with playlists too, including editing, sharing, or even making them collaborative, so others can add songs to them.
Spotify supports offline listening, which is a godsend for saving on mobile data. Simply mark a playlist as 'Available offline' and the tracks will be cached to your device so you can listen to them without a connection.
The Radio feature within Spotify is another neat way of discovering tracks and artists you might enjoy. You can listen to stations based on a genre, or build stations around artists, tracks, and even playlists that you've been playing.
You can change the audio quality of tracks in Spotify in the Settings menu. Even on the 'Normal' setting the quality is pretty good but if you want crystal clear quality you can ramp it up to 'Extreme' (though obviously this puts a load on streaming performance).
The Settings menu is also home to social controls, where you can set whether you want people who follow you to be able to see your activity, and opt to feed Last.fm scrobble. Playback settings include cross-fading, gapless playback and an option for hiding unplayable songs.
What you get for free with Spotify
It's possible to use the Spotify app even if you don't subscribe to a premium Spotify account. Without paying you can play music from any artist, album, or playlist in shuffle mode on your iPhone. On an iPad you're able to play songs for free on shuffle.
Premium Spotify users get access to offline listening and can enjoy superior sound quality, and can enjoy unlimited music without having to listen to ads.
We love the design of the Spotify interface for iPhone, which was recently revamped in version 1.0 of the app. The interface is not only clear and easy to move around, but it looks modern and stylish too.
The Spotify app is generally easy to use. It features a slide-out sidebar listing all the main features of the app. Playlists are simple to edit, allowing you to remove tracks in a pinch, and reorder songs by holding and dragging them up and down. Our only gripe with the interface would be that the context menu buttons (the ones for sharing, adding to playlist, etc.) are a little small on the iPhone version.
Spotify's trademark charcoal black, white, and green color scheme is stamped across the interface but in a way that's softer on the eye than it was before. The typography is punchy but elegant, the semi-transparent sidebar looks great, and the blurred cover artwork that appears in the background when a song is playing affirms the iOS 7 feel of the interface. We also like the way that artist images appear in a circle, and record covers are in squares. It's a neat way to help distinguish between the two, and again it fits with the iOS 7 design principles.
The iPad version of Spotify has yet to get the full makeover, but it's still functional and easy to use.
One important thing to note about using the Spotify mobile app is that it can quickly suck your battery dry. Depending on your device and whether you're streaming or listening offline, it's conceivable that the app can run down a full charge of battery in three or four hours.
What's new in Spotify 1.0?
Through an odd quirk of its version numbering system, version 1.0 of the Spotify app comes more than two years after the initial release of the iOS app. The iPhone app has been redesigned from the ground up, giving it a more modern look that fits closer with the style of the iOS 7 operating system.
Besides all the visual restyling, there's the new 'Your Music' feature for adding songs to a personal music collection, allowing you to save all the music that you like in one place. Improvements have been made to the playlists in the Browse section, too.
A joy for music lovers
Spotify really gives other music discovery apps a run for their money with its hip, functional interface and impressive song library.
Clicking the Download button will take you to a page on the App Store from where you can install