updated 01:10 pm EDT, Thu August 4, 2011
Rdio goes iPad native but carries iTunes premium
Rdio catered to iPad owners for the first time Thursday with a new native app (free, App Store). The new version provides a nearly always-on sidebar for faster navigation as well as pop-overs to handle elements like friend profiles without interruption. Albums also get much more play with full track listings alongside the album.
The music streaming app is now universal and has some bug fixes for iPhone users along with the iPad extensions.
The app may be the first to show the consequences of Apple's insistence on using iTunes for subscription payments. Those signing up within the app for a subscription have to pay $15 per month, or 50 percent more than those who sign up on the web or through a competing platform like Android. Rdio hasn't explained the hike but is certain to be charging more to make up for Apple's demand for a 30 percent cut.
Many subscription services, including competitors like Slacker, have said they might need to raise the prices to meet Apple's terms. While some services work under Apple's model, others normally have to price their services without Apple's cut factored in to remain competitive. The iTunes policy doesn't preclude competition but makes iPhones and iPads appear the most expensive.