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Spotify iOS app overhauled with new UI

Spotify has launched a new version of its mobile software for Apple's iOS devices, signalling that it is not likely to give up its market-leading position in the lucrative music streaming business to Google without a fight.

Spotify is one of the most popular music streaming services in the UK, thanks to an early promotion that offered unlimited streaming for free to everyone - providing you were willing to listen to adverts. Spotify Premium was soon to follow, offering an end to the adverts for £9.99 a month - and when monthly listening limits were introduced for free users, subscriptions exploded.

The market is becoming increasingly crowded, however, and recent rumours suggest that Google wants a piece of the pie and is accordingly planning a streaming service of its own under its Play Music umbrella.

Spotify, meanwhile, continues to offer cross-platform compatibility and has just updated its iOS software to add new features and address some outstanding issues on Apple mobile devices.

First, the user interface has been overhauled with the inclusion of a sidebar for faster navigation - something the Android version of Spotify has had for some time. This also allows the user to quickly swipe between screens, flipping from the Search, Playlists and Radio sections with the brush of a fingertip. The track listings in search results also now come with a button to access additional details including sharing tracks, adding them to favourites or playlists, or launching the Spotify Radio player using the track as a base. The Now Playing section is also now permanently displayed at the bottom of the Spotify screen.

Additional under-the-hood changes include fixes for a bug that prevented tracks from playing after going offline, the wrong track being displayed on the iOS lock screen, and the Shuffle setting becoming stuck on after using Shuffle Play on an album or playlist.

While the app itself is free, users outside the US will require a Spotify Premium subscription to use it. The updated app is available now for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad running iOS 5.0 or later from the Apple App Store.

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