updated 10:35 pm EDT, Sun September 6, 2009
Spotify for iPhone and Android
Spotify tonight quietly saw the release of both the iPhone (1.7MB) and Android versions of its promised mobile app. On both platforms, the free app lets those with a Spotify Premium subscription (roughly $14 per month) stream the service's entire catalog, including music from all the major labels. They also have access to an offline mode that caches whole playlists for use when Internet access over 3G or Wi-Fi isn't available.
It's similarly possible to create playlists on the device itself and to have full control over track navigation and searching, unlike Internet radio apps that often limit users to a server-selected playlist and only allow searching by artist.
Apple had already approved the iPhone version of the app in late August and set a minor precedent for music software in the App Store. Critics had raised concerns that Apple's policy of blocking apps that compete with the iPod component might prevent any on-demand music streaming app from a competing company. Although optionally for-pay services like Slacker have been available on the iPhone for some time, these have usually been radio services.
It's considered more likely that apps like RealNetworks' Rhapsody will also receive approval. There won't be a Napster app for Apple's platform as the company claims licensing fees would be too high.
The app is currently available only in countries that already have Spotify's desktop service, such as Finland, France, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the UK. The company has signalled intentions to reach the US and other countries but doesn't have definite plans in place.