Rdio has reignited the intense competition among the streaming music services by totally redesigning its Android app, drawing attention back to the listener experience.
Overall, it no longer seems like Android is an afterthought. It now easily is comparable to the iOS version.
There are two immediately noticeable changes. For one, it supports the “remote control” capabilties of the latest version of Android – Ice Cream Sandwich – so that users can access the controls they need to play their music from the lock screen. This makes Rdio more convenient for listening while doing something else, like driving or working out.
The other is a cleaner design that offers all of Rdio’s key features directly from the home screen with a single click, and that does a better job of integrating social sharing and networking.
Rdio costs $9.99 a month, which includes unlimited mobile and online streaming along with wireless syncing to listen offline. There is a discount for bundling two or three people in a Family plan, and a web-only plan cuts the price in half to $4.99. In some territories, Rdio is also available via Sonos and Roku and in-car with Pioneer AppRadio.
Launched in August 2010, Rdio is headquartered in San Francisco and was founded by Janus Friis, one of the creators of Skype. Currently available in the U.., Canada, Brazil, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand, Rdio is funded by Atomico, Janus Friis through his investment entities, Skype and Mangrove Capital Partners.
Here is Rdio’s own list of the app’s significant updates:
- Streamlined Top-level Navigation – All-new home screen design gives one-click access to key features in the app
- Convenient Control – Take advantage of Android Ice Cream Sandwich’s new remote control client to manage playback controls on the lock screen, including viewing controls and album art
- New Releases – Be the first to listen to new albums and singles on the day they are released, and access new albums released up to two weeks prior
- Top Charts – Check out recent chart-topping albums
- Recommendations – Discover more music by exploring fresh album recommendations based on your listening history
- Enhanced Search – In addition to searching for artists, albums, and songs, you can now search for Playlists and People
- Synced collection and playlist views – View only the music you have synced for offline listening, without the need to go into offline mode
- User Profiles – Search, browse, and follow other Rdio users; discover new music by seeing their activity, who they follow, their playlists and more
- And features of the previous version including Activity, Collection, Heavy Rotation, Playlists, Listening History, Syncing for offline access, and a variety of settings to control syncing and streaming on Wi-Fi or 3G