Rdio has always been the pretty, pretty princess of music subscription services: IE, its UI is really, really sleek. Now, the service has gone and revamped its iOS and Android apps, adding a suite of tweaks and features that make Rdio even more slick.
So what exactly has changed when it comes to Rdio’s mobile app? Mostly, it’s cosmetic: 1). A more minimal look to mimic the service’s Web and desktop apps, 2). A new navigation panel on the left side of the app that features Your Music, Settings, Playlists, etc.
When it comes to functionality, things get more interesting, however. Rdio has also added infinite scroll — which means you’ll never hit the end of jams listed in charts, the heavy rotation section, new releases etc — and, best of all, “remote control.” This feature will allow you to see when Rdio is playing elsewhere — like on your phone or desktop — and control said stream, as well as pick up where you left off on your current device. So, if you’re listening to tunes before work in the morning on your laptop and you want to switch to mobile on your commute, you can just toggle over.
Rdio has been taking a lot of steps of late that put it on level with reigning subscription music champ, Spotify. For example, Rdio now has 18 million tracks, and sources music from CD Baby and TuneCore. That’s right, Spotify and Rdio now have the same number of songs.
Granted, Spotify has a free tier while Rdio does not, but in terms of functionality and offerings, the two aren’t that disparate. Rdio started out as the more social app, allowing users to follow each other and thus discover new music. But Spotify has since been deeply integrated with Facebook, and launched an apps platform for the desktop that offers a plethora of social music services built on its API.
Still, Spotify arguably has the edge here, especially with its recent influx of cash. It also has a few tricks up its sleeve that we have not yet seen, which are likely to be revealed at a press conference in New York next week. Stay tuned.