With Spotify making it onto the MakeUseOf Best iPhone Apps list, we’re taking a closer look at what you can get out of using Spotify on your iPhone. You can select between the free or premium Spotify account, depending on how much you want to do with Spotify on your phone or tablet. The free version is extremely light on features. All you can do is listen to radio stations (meaning you have to be online to use it), and save your favourite songs to a ‘Liked from Radio’ playlists. If you want to know what a free Spotify account will get you on the desktop app, check out our guide here.
Premium on the other hand, which will set you back $9.99 or €9.99 depending on where you live, is definitely worth the extra cash, giving you access to a huge variety of features. While it certainly doesn’t come cheap, having Spotify Premium on your iPhone or iPad gives you on-demand music and the potential for offline access to Spotify’s entire music library with millions of songs which they claim would take you 80 years of non-stop listening to get through the entire collection. Spotify caters to all tastes, featuring the latest mainstream hits, international music, and underground indie singers, so you’re likely to find something that appeals to you no matter what your taste in music is.
Starting out with an iPhone app, Spotify launched an iPad app earlier this year, which brings all the same features as the smartphone app, with an optimized layout for the tablet’s larger screen. The iPad version really takes advantage of the larger screen, especially when it comes to the playlist tab.
Getting start with Spotify for iOS
It’s probably best to get started with Spotify on your desktop first and create a few playlists to access on your phone. If you’ve already got playlists set up in iTunes or Windows Media Player, you can also easily import those playlists to Spotify, taking out all the hard work out of creating playlists featuring your favourite music. Open up Spotify on your iOS device and your desktop at the same time, making sure that both devices are connected to the same wireless network, and your playlists will sync.
Once you have all of your playlists on your iOS device, you can then pick and choose which playlists are available in offline mode. No matter what kind of plan you’re on, you’ll want to make those songs available offline so that you can take your Spotify tunes with you no matter where you go. Of course, you should be aware that when making songs available offline, it takes up space on your phone.
With Spotify for iOS, you can also create entirely new playlists on the go, search for and add songs to existing playlists, access Spotify’s Pandora-like Radio feature, check out the newest releases promoted by Spotify and more.
The first tab on the Spotify for iOS app is the playlists tab. It includes playlists you’ve created, tracks you’ve starred, songs you been sent on Spotify (your Inbox) as well as all of the music files that you have saved on your iOS device. Any track or playlist with a green arrow next to it means that it’s available in offline mode.
You can access existing playlists – rearrange, remove or search for tracks, share them with your friends, or make them collaborative which allows other Spotify users to edit them. You can also start a radio station based on an existing playlist. When listening to songs from a playlist, you can automatically start it in shuffle mode, and choose whether or not to make that playlist available offline or not.
The edit button at the top of the screen makes it possible to delete entire playlists at a go from your iPhone or iPad. Deleting the playlist will remove it from all platforms you’re using Spotify on. You have to be in edit mode to create a new playlist as well. Just hit the ‘+’ button and you can enter a name for your new playlist.
The next step, once you’ve created a new playlist, is to find songs to add to it. You can search for music by tracks, albums and artists. With individual tracks, you have to start playing them first to add them to your existing or new playlists. Hit the screen once to bring up the menu and press the ‘Add To…’ button and you can add it to an existing or new playlist. From this menu you can also star songs, start radio based on that track, share the song on your social networks, toggle shuffle and repeat on and off, and adjust the volume.
When accessing albums you can also start a radio station based on that album, star the entire album, save the entire album to a playlist, or share it via your social network of choice.
The Radio feature, available only to Spotify users in the US makes it easy to create an entire radio station based on just one song, artist, album, or by genre. Existing genres include alternative, blues, folk, hip-hop, Indie and more. You can also access radio stations based on any decade, ranging from the 60s to the 90s. You can also search for any song, artist or album from the Radio tab to create a new station.
While listening to your specially created radio stations, you can interact with individual tracks the same way you would in any other case – adding songs to playlists, sharing them via social networks and more. While listening to a radio station, you can also give each individual song a thumbs up or down. This will add it to your ‘Liked from Radio’ playlist and will help improve the radio station to suit your taste.
What’s New & More
The What’s New tab gives you access to the latest music that’s been added to Spotify’s catalogue, as well as the top tracks based on your location. The ‘Top Tracks’ features the top 10 songs on Spotify, based on what users are listening to, and 10 new albums that have recently been added to the music app.
Under the ‘More’ tab, you can access the app’s settings. You can switch Offline mode on, to make sure that you don’t stream music using your data plan by mistake, toggle your Spotify push notifications, toggle gapless playback, private mode and more on and off.
To take advantage of Spotify’s huge library of music without having to worry about space on your phone, you can create a ton of playlists, and pick and choose which ones you want available offline.
What do you think of Spotify for iPhone? Let us know in the comments.