Beats Music for iPad review: Putting music discovery front and center

When Beats Music launched at the beginning of this year, it was iPhone only. Luckily that's now changed and Beats has now launched a dedicated iPad app as well. That's right, it isn't just a blown up version of the iPhone app, but one specifically designed to take advantage of the iPad's larger screen size. But does it fix any of my previous issues with Beats? Let's find out!

Beats Music released their dedicated iPad app right after I decided to ditch the service altogether and go back to Rdio. And to my surprise and delight a lot of the quirks and issued I'd been having with the iPhone app didn't seem to be present in the iPad version. Whether or not the streaming issues have all been fixed as well will take longer to tell. Since I don't typically rely on my iPad like I do my iPhone, which is with me when I work out and when I travel, I'd be interested to hear from some Beats subscribers that do and whether or not they've had issues with offline playback on the iPad version.

I was also happy to see that Beats didn't take the lazy route and actually crafted the interface to take advantage of the vast amount of screen real estate the iPad offers. While the main home area remains largely unchanged, all the other sections feature a cascading menu that fans outwards so you can easily tap in and out of any section in just a tap. This is definitely better than having to back out of a section in order to visit another. Any area you want to explore is only one tap away.

The main home area of Beats Music for iPad lets you swipe through several sections of curated music based on your tastes. You can read more about a playlist, follow a curator, and much more. Beats Music for iPad really focuses on helping you discover music you may not have ever found on your own. I've loved this part of Beats since it came out and despite my issues, curation really is the heart of the Beats Music service, not library size or exclusive artist content.

While I've had reliability issues with Beats Music, I still think the curation aspect of it is what makes it such a great service. You can find a custom curated playlists for almost any scenario and the suggestions are always spot on. It's why I think Apple is interested in Beats Music to begin with. They really do have something special. Some may argue the app isn't as pretty as Spotify or Rdio, but Apple knows how to do design. That's not what they're after.

The good

  • I'm not experiencing any of the same issues I have had with the iPhone app in terms of offline playback and streaming issues
  • Great layout that takes advantage of the iPad's larger screen
  • Playlists are front and center, which is at the heart of the Beats Music service

The bad

  • No complaints

The bottom line

Much of what I said in my Beats Music for iPhone review still holds true. Beats does an excellent job at curation and music discovery. You'll never run out of new things to listen to and the iPad app just adds even more value to the service. Streaming hiccups aside, it's hard to not recommend the Beats Music service. It will however be interesting to see how the supposed deal with Apple will unfold.

Allyson Kazmucha

iMore senior editor from 2011 to 2015.