May 21, 2012
I’m going to start this app review by saying how much I love Spotify. I made the unfortunate mistake of getting Spotify Premium and now I am hopelessly addicted. For those who are not aware of what Spotify is, it is a service that allows the user to browse and listen to nearly every music track in existence. It is like owning the entire iTunes Store, but for free. Naturally there is a paid version that offers advanced features such as higher streaming rates, offline playback, mobile access, and ad-free listening. For subscribers of Premium, such as myself, one of the biggest advantages was being able to stream songs through Spotify onto any mobile device. Unfortunately, until now the Spotify app had been one of the most frustrating experiences on a smartphone since Facebook updated their Android app.
Now available on the Spotify website for download is a completely new app that bears no resemblance to the old clunker, and has been completely rebuilt from scratch. Because this is still in testing phase, it is not out on the Play Store but rather available for download as an .apk file to be manually installed. For any Spotify Premium user, I would definitely recommend giving it a shot, even for those who have never manually installed an application before.
The app has too many changes to name, and every one of them is for the better. It is more stable than its predecessor as well as markedly faster. The styling has changed from a dreary dark gray and green to a white and lime combo that takes definite nods towards Google’s restyling of all their web services. The giant gray buttons are now replaced by simple, flat squares and rectangles, and the obtrusive ‘Now Playing’ tab is gone. The menu is accessed in the exact same way as in Facebook’s new app, and the two look so similar that I cannot tell specifically if there are any differences. Searching for a song is finally logical and the feeling of needing to outsmart the app just to find a song is mercifully gone. While the whole app revolves around the ‘Playlist’ feature, ‘What’s New’ makes an appearance and artist and album pages have been redesigned with giant cover photos adorning the header.
With the reincarnation of their Android app, Spotify has more than likely brought themselves Premium subscribers in droves. The argument to stay at Spotify Free and not upgrade to Premium just got a little bit harder to make.