Rdio takes their iPhone app design to the next level, adds new badges and menus

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iOS

106120Rdio, despite all odds, is continuing to compete with Spotify in leaps and bounds, yesterday releasing some new UI tweaks in their iPhone app.

A new UI is now seen in the context menus for music, which are accessed by holding a song or album. You can then add it to your playlists or collection, or share and download the songs locally. The new UI style, where gradients, rich backgrounds and Windows Phone-like text-to-background contrast exist, really is refreshing compared to the Apple’s Music.app and competing apps like JB Hi-Fi Now and Spotify.

It builds upon the simplicity of last year’s redesign, while making attempts to integrate into iOS 6’s UI, with more modern look that still feels fancy. You can also see badges which indicate whether a track or album is in your collection or synced to your iPhone.

A few problems still exist in the app, such as music showing up in your home ‘Heavy Rotation’ feed, which is meant to show music from your friends, that simply can’t be played, despite being available through search. But otherwise, it’s a solid app.

It’s exciting to see that Rdio is still fighting Spotify for first place, and the new features show that, if anything, Rdio cares about the polish of their app a lot more than Spotify does. And with the Discovery features from Spotify still ‘rolling out’, I find that Rdio almost unintentionally continues to offer a fantastic music-focused social network and deliver it immediately, not ‘soon’ like Spotify has.

It’s such a shame that I can’t replace Spotify with Rdio.

Full disclosure: the author of this post was able to demo the application thanks to supplied Rdio promotional codes. This did not affect the opinions expressed.