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SoundCloud's iPad app gets a fresh redesign, loses recording capabilities

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After giving its main iPhone app a big redesign back in June, SoundCloud is back today with a revamped iPad experience. And much like the smaller-sized version, this new SoundCloud is fast, fluid, and focuses on getting you to your playlists and tracks fast. At the bottom you'll see the same four navigation buttons found on the iPhone app: home, search, a "Collection" section for all the stuff you've saved, and a trending page that highlights what's popular across all of SoundCloud. There's beautiful album art throughout the app, and SoundCloud now more than ever resembles traditional streaming music services like Spotify.

SoundCloud iPad

That's perhaps appropriate, since this new SoundCloud really is all about listening and the music discovery process. The company has fully removed the recording features that existed previously — just as it did for iPhone in June — and now points users to "one of the many apps that allow you to record and post directly to SoundCloud." SoundCloud would be nothing without its community of musicians, podcasters, and other users (you've seen the awesome NASA account, surely) but it's now sending a clear message that the mobile app is for listening and listening alone. It's for consumers, and creatives can look elsewhere for getting their tracks uploaded and published to SoundCloud's servers. That's a change that some people were unhappy with in June, and we'd expect some of those complaints to resurface with today's update.

Yes, the new SoundCloud is very nice to look at, but it's still got some holes to patch up. Like the iPhone version, there's no trace of user comments here. You can follow other users with a single tap (and quickly see the play count for their catalog), but sharing your own thoughts will require visiting SoundCloud in a web browser. The same holds true if you want more specifics on a certain track or to see your own activity feed and private tracks. These seem to be conscious decisions made during the development process, but they're things we'd like to see improved at some point. For both the iPhone and iPad, SoundCloud says today's update should deliver a smoother scrolling experience, as well. It's available now from the App Store.