At long last, Rdio has an iPad app.
Fans of the $10-per-month mobile music streaming service now get a nice, big dashboard thatís fully optimized for Appleís tablet. The app, which we tested for several days prior to its release, has just been made available in the App Store.
Itís a recommended download. If youíre a subscriber and an iPad owner, I neednít twist your arm here. If you have an iPad but havenít yet dipped into the world of carte blanche streaming music, this app makes an excellent case that itís time to pony up.
The release really couldnít have come soon enough. You could access Rdio on the iPad previously, but you were stuck using the blown-up version of the iPhone app. It got you from A to B, but it left you wanting.
Perhaps more importantly, Rdio, now one year old, is the first of the big streaming services to release an iPad app, and it should give Rdio a bump in mindshare and marketshare.
Spotify has the hype and the traction, but it doesnít have a dedicated iPad app. It really needs one ó Spotifyís desktop and mobile clients are terribly crowded, and tablets are a better fit for its design approach.
MOG has neither the cultural heat nor an iPad app, though itís definitely working on the latter, and presumably, the former.
So at least for now, the Rdio experience is more enjoyable on the iPad than what the other kids have on offer. Sure, Spotifyís catalog is the deepest of all of them, but Rdio is growing quickly and just hit 10 million songs. Also, Rdio understands something that Spotify doesnít: the joys of a simple, intuitive user interface.
Gone is the pixelated shitstorm of the blown-up Rdio iPhone app. In its place is an elegant and animated UI that takes full advantage of the iPadís ample screen real estate.
Search for something, or tap on Heavy Rotation, New Releases or any of the filtered views. Youíll see a nice, big grid of album covers. Tap an album cover and it flips around, showing you a scrollable list of tracks. Tap a song to play it instantly. You can also add a song or album to your collection ó and sync it to your iPad ó with an additional tap or two.
One final bit of advice: A subscription to Rdioís mobile service costs $10 per month, and you will need a subscription to use any of the companyís apps for various mobile devices, including this one. But if you buy that subscription in the iPad app, youíll be charged $15 ó the company is hiking the price to offset the revenue Apple takes from in-app subscriptions. If you want to subscribe and pay just $10 a month, buy your subscription directly from Rdioís website. The company also has a desktop-browser-only plan for $5 a month.
WIRED Nicest native app for music streaming yet. Gives you access to the best features of Rdioís smartphone, desktop and web-based players. Stable and fast. Take that, Spotify.
TIRED Menu for New Releases isnít deep enough. Access to social sharing features is limited. Web client is still the most flexible option. My iPad doesnít fit in my pocket.