updated 11:50 am EDT, Thu March 17, 2011
Sirius XM app retooled for iPad, AirPlay
Sirius XM this morning put out a new version of its iOS app optimized for the iPad (free, App Store). The new version is universal for both iPad and iPhone, and takes advantage of the extra screen area to show a much more visual, art-guided channel picker. Those running iOS 4.3 on any device also now have the option of pushing audio through AirPlay to an Apple TV or another external audio source.
Other improvements include a switch to AAC+ for better audio quality and fewer audio drops, particularly on 3G. Every channel shows album art and artist biographies when relevant. iPhone 4 and new iPod touch owners also get imagery optimized for the higher resolution display.
While the app is free, using the app requires either the $13 monthly Internet-only plan or $16 per month for a conventional satellite radio subscription with the Internet radio add-on. Most channels are now included in the online-only plan through recent deals, including Howard Stern, but Sirius XM cuts out 10 channels focusing mostly on traffic, weather, and live sports.