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App Friday: Spotify for Windows Phone

Spotify logo​One of the most popular music streaming apps in the world finally gets the Windows Phone treatment as Spotify arrives on handsets running Microsoft’s mobile OS.

The app’s arrival should prove beneficial not only for Spotify but for the manufacturers of Windows Phone devices and Microsoft too; strengthening the platform’s position that little bit more. But enough about the fact it’s here, let’s see how it performs.

The design team behind the app have been able to squeeze a decent amount of functionality into the Windows Phone aesthetic, without making it feel over crowded. To begin with the Live Tile on the homescreen will jump from the Spotify logo to the cover art of the currently playing track and of course you can pause, play and skip tracks from the volume bar at the top as with most music related apps. Once you actually fire it up and sign in you have five main options: the search bar adorns the top of the menu, allowing you the ability to search Spotify’s vast music library, filtering by ‘tracks’, ‘albums’ or ‘artists’.

Spotify WP 1

Should you want to get into your own music, ‘playlists’ is the next option, which consolidates not only your playlists but access to starred tracks, your inbox and the ability to toggle playlists for offline playback. We should mention that alongside the excellent integration of the Windows Phone UI style, the colour palette consists of a plethora of greens, which might not suit everyone’s taste, but in our opinion, looks the part.

Next up is ‘play queue’ which as you might expect offers the ability to browse which songs are coming up, which songs have already played and by pressing and by long-pressing on a track, add it to the top of the queue, star it, add to an existing playlist and share the track by Facebook, text message or email.

Spotify WP 2

Should you want to see what your friends are listening to, you can head to the people hub, which pulls in all of your contacts who also use Spotify and shows their top music choices. Beyond this the rest of the app is stripped down. The ‘settings’ option lets you toggle offline mode, streaming quality, and sync control as well as the option to log out. A swipe right on the home screen also brings up the ‘what’s new’ section which will accommodate up to six new tracks or albums every time you hit the refresh button. The main and ‘what new’ screens are also accompanied by the now playing screen during playback which cleanly displays cover art, artist name and track and tapping it brings you back into the play queue, but this time with full cover art.

Spotify WP 3

If it isn’t already clear, the usability of the Windows Phone experience is simple, clean and easy to use. We had no problems streaming over WiFi and 3G on the Lumia 620 we tested it with and for the most part we preferred the simplicity of the interface over the likes of the company’s iOS and Android offerings. There were a couple of omissions such as Spotify Radio, but none big enough to really affect our enjoyment. In truth we’re glad it’s finally arrived, not having such a popular app on their platform had placed Microsoft in a difficult position, thankfully one which no longer exists.

You can pick up Spotify from the Windows Phone Store for free now.

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