App
For
  • Spotify integration is great
  • Visual artist maps are smoothly done
  • Endless discovery
Against
  • Apple Music integration would be good someday
4.6Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)

Music discovery tool updates, providing much needed streaming service integration

Price: Free (prev. $2.99/£2.99)
Version: 5.2
Size: 55.3 MB
Developer: David McKinney Pty
Platform: iPhone & iPad

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Discovr is a veteran App Store offering that helps users find new music based on their preferences. It’s been around since 2012, so why review it now? We often return to apps that continuously develop new features, but this time around there are two key reasons. Firstly, it’s just updated to version 5.2, which brings with it a new design for iOS 10, alongside Spotify support and music streaming capabilities. Secondly, when Apple Music is such a solid on-device resource, which uses similar tech to match you with new artists, is there still a place for Discovr?

It's incredibly easy to get started – simply search an artist

It’s incredibly easy to get started – simply search for an artist

But first, let’s catch up. Discovr is an expressly visual tool. While Apple Music uses its bubble-approach to help you tell it what you’re music tastes are, Discovr goes further, allowing you to tell it to search a specific artist right off the bat. From the first screen, you use a search bar to look up an artist you know. From here, tap on the artist, and you’ll be taken to a stark white screen featuring your chosen artist’s image in the center. A number of related artists then grow out from here, surrounding the initial artists.

Tap on an artist and the app returns a simple mind map

Tap on an artist and the app returns a simple mind map

Chances are, you’re familiar with many of these already, but tap another, and the mind map expands. It’s a great way to dig down a visual rabbit hole to find new music. Apple Music suggests a number of artists to build out from, whereas Discovr lets you go from a specific source.

However, in this day and age, Discovr would have been no good if it couldn’t plug into at least one music streaming service. But thanks to its latest update, it can – and it’s chosen the biggest: Spotify.

Press and hold on an artist to bring up play options

Press and hold on an artist to bring up play options

If you want to select an artist from the mind map, simply tap and hold on the artist’s image, and a new menu will come up. From here you can play the top songs, or similar artists, or even add artists to a queue. But Discovr doesn’t have its own music player, instead opening these in Spotify. However, it’s all done in-app, rather than switching out to the Spotify app, which is a really nice touch and works very smoothly. The reason Spotify is a good choice is that it has a free tier, so it’s accessible to all users.

Other options allow you to open the artist in iTunes, or head to the artist page in Spotify.

The Spotify integration is well done, and keeps you within the Discovr environment

The Spotify integration is well done, and keeps you within the Discovr environment

Discovr is a really great app for music discovery. Serious music fans will likely know a lot of the related artists, but for casual listeners that simply hear a song they like and want more of it, the app is a solid choice rather than digging around in the playlists or the sometimes questionable suggestions provided by streaming services (though Discovr does have a ‘Suggested’ section too.)

Many may choose to leave behind using the Spotify app altogether – it’s easy to create playlists for artists without putting in the leg work. Simply tap on a number of artists to grow your mind map, then the icon in the top right to play the songs in the map. You can also save maps to go back to later, creating a kind of visual playlist.

Maps can be endlessly expanded, and you can zoom out to capture an overview

Maps can be endlessly expanded, and you can zoom out to capture an overview

The new design for iOS 10 isn’t drastically changed, but it all works smoothly and the app still provides something different to full streaming services. Spotify integration is well-designed and implemented too. Overall, Discovr has the potential to be a valuable partner to music streamers.