Rdio’s redesigned iPhone app impresses with a faster, sleeker, better interface

rdio 2.0 app

A much needed update to the Rdio app for the iPhone finally got rid of the unsightly gradients and icons in favor of a more Windows 8-like feel. The redesigned app parallels the design template of Rdio’s Android app that was in beta and released to the Google Play store. While the aesthetic changes are without major feature updates (the only new addition being a “remote control” feature), the new design and interface is impressive.

The minimalistic style of the app, now gradient-free with a white background, puts the focus of the app on the album art. The navigation bar at the top of the screen is a one-tone, blue color that’s more subdued. Borders and drop shadows around the album art have been entirely removed so moving your eyes from one album to another can be done in one fluid movement as you scroll down. And long-time Rdio users will notice that when you’re scrolling down to peruse albums and decide what to listen to, there’s now an infinite scroll. 

As for the navigation, Rdio now opts for a Facebook-like side panel that you can swipe open. This style is in lieu of Rdio dedicating the navigation buttons to one full page in a grid layout, like it used to. The panel houses all the navigation buttons including a search bar, your music, profile, settings, and different types of filters for browsing music.

rdio sync and go offline
rdio player

If you scroll to the very bottom of the navigation panel, the button “Go Offline” enables you to move to an offline listening experience should you be away from a Wi-Fi connection and want to conserve your data use. On the same panel there’s an easily accessible “Sync” button within a one-click reach that opens up all the songs, playlists, and albums that you’ve synced so you can listen to these tracks without the need for an Internet connection.

A feature that Rdio has included in this update is a the remote control, which enables users to essentially control the music that’s playing on your computer via your smartphone. In the same vein, if you’ve synced tracks, the songs can be picked up on the mobile app where the desktop app left off.

Searching for and playing music with Rdio,  it doesn’t take more than two clicks just to play a song – other music apps make this shockingly more complicated; it’s a four step process with Spotify. If you close the app, the track continues to play in the background, and if you’re browsing other features in Rdio while playing a track the song appears as a non-intrusive bar at the bottom of your screen.

We’ve tried a number of iOS music apps out there, and the look and feel of this right now just might be the best we’ve played around with – faster load times and an overall snappy system aren’t hurting the updated Rdio either. But when it comes to music, it’s not only the user interface that matters to audiophiles that pay for a subscription: The library of music is a critical factor. Rdio’s latest figure from August of this year puts it at 18 million songs, the same number of songs that Spotify has in its catalog. Unless you’re a dedicated Spotify fanboy, Rdio has an app here that’s easily worth your consideration – especially if you’re  less than pleased with Spotify’s incredibly tight Facebook integration. 

Mobile

Xiaomi Mi 9 will be one of the first phones with monster Snapdragon 855 chip

Xiaomi's next major smartphone release will be the Mi 9, and the company hasn't held back in giving us a good look at the phone, revealing the design, the camera, and a stunning color.
Gaming

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Computing

These 30 useful apps are absolutely essential for Mac lovers

There are literally hundreds of thousands of great software programs compatible with MacOS, but which should you download? Look no further than our list of the best Mac apps you can find.
Home Theater

Everything to know about Sling TV: Channels, pricing, and more

Sling TV has grown a great deal since its launch. Now there are more channels and more packages to chose from, with prices to match, and more is being added all the time. Everything you need to know is right here.
Computing

M4A is great for quality, but not for storage. Here's how to convert to MP3

Despite its remarkable ability to retain audio fidelity at a smaller size, M4A files aren't the best when it comes to compatibility. Check out our basic guide on how to convert M4A files to MP3.
Wearables

Galaxy Watch Active isn't official yet, but you can see it in Samsung's own app

Samsung may be about to resurrect its Sport line of smartwatches under a new name: The Galaxy Watch Sport Active. Leaks and rumors are building our picture of the device at the moment.
Wearables

Focals succeed where Google Glass fumbled (but do we really need smartglasses?)

It’s been seven years since Google took the wraps off Google Glass. Now, we’re finally getting a modern-day equivalent we want to wear. North’s Focals combine subtle style with an intuitive interface to craft smartglasses you’ll…
Mobile

Stop buying old tablets, says Samsung, buy the new Galaxy Tab S5e instead

Samsung has launched the Galaxy Tab S5e -- the E is for Essential -- a reasonably priced tablet that includes many of the features we like from the Tab A 10.5, and the Tab S4. Here's what you need to know.
Mobile

Bag yourself a bargain with the best budget tablets under $200

The battle for your budget tablet affections is really ramping up. Which tablet, costing less than $200, should be commanding your attention? We take a look at some different options for the budget-conscious.
Computing

What is Wi-Fi 6? Here's a look at the next evolution of the wireless standard

We're exploring the new naming convention for wireless standards, how it affects the devices you buy, and what the upcoming Wi-Fi generation is changing for the better.
Home Theater

Samsung accidentally leaks its new Galaxy Buds ahead of launch

It's been all but certain that Samsung would launch a successor to its Gear IconX wireless earbuds soon, but a newly leaked photo and recent FCC certification document seems to indicate that the debut is very close.
Home Theater

Hi-res streaming audio service Qobuz arrives in U.S., threatens Tidal’s monopoly

For several years, Tidal enjoyed a monopoly on hi-res music streaming in the U.S. Now, French company Qobuz is here to offer some competition with a variety of monthly plans starting at $10 a month.
Mobile

These 13 gadgets walk a fine line between ingenious and insane

The annual avalanche of devices and gadgets is astounding, but how many will succeed? A few are destined to spark new trends, while the majority fade deservedly into obscurity. We look at some gadgets on the border of brilliant and bonkers.
Mobile

OnePlus 6T vs. Honor View 20: We compare the cameras in these ‘flagship killers’

For less than $600, you can buy either the OnePlus 6T or the Honor View 20, two extremely capable smartphones with plenty of exciting features. But which one has the best camera? We found out on a recent trip to France.