Spotify today updated its Android app to version 0.5.3.56. You can grab the update directly from the official Google Play store.

This is must-have release if you’re running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or Android 4.1 Jelly Bean: the app will now let you share music via Near Field Communication (NFC). If your phone or tablet doesn’t have NFC, then this of course doesn’t apply to you.

One of the things that has allowed Spotify to grow so quickly is its sharing feature. You can easily browse your friends’ music libraries and song playlists. You can easily add individual songs from them, or even the full lists. You can do all this instantly because the songs are streamed in the end, meaning there’s no wait time for adding them to your account.

In fact, there are a number of sites (Listiply, Specifyspot, Spotylist, Spotyshare, and Topsify) dedicated solely to finding, sharing, and discussing Spotify playlists. With NFC support, Spotify is taking the experience to a whole new personal level, likely in the hopes of creating a modern version of the tape cassette swapping craze of the 80s.

Also specific to ICS are the new Audio Effects (Settings > Audio Effects). For everyone else, there’s an updated offline mode bar, so you know why you’re offline. Other than that, the usual improvements have cut down on crashes and other bugs.

If you prefer the list form, here’s the official changelog:

  • New: Better offline mode bar, so you know why you’re offline.
  • New: Share music with NFC (Near Field Communication) on ICS.
  • New: Check out the Audio Effects on ICS (Settings > Audio Effects).
  • Fixed: More crashes and bugs are now history.
  • Fictitious: This app likes doing jigsaws on a rainy day.

Yes, that last one is an attempt by Spotify to make a joke. Good thing they’re not in the entertainment business. Oh wait.

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