Spotify has launched a beta version of its updated Android app today, bringing a whole new look, access to friends and high-res images to the music app.

The upgrades bring the Android app more in line with the iOS equivalent, and will work on Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) toting handsets and tablets.

For the first time on any mobile device, Android users will also be able to check out related artist view and the app in general is, in Spotify's words "So much faster!".

Spotify for Android

Other features include the ability to check out friends' profile pages and playlists, see artist images in high resolution and an all-new slide-out navigation system.

Speed demon

The beta version launches today so you'll be able to check it out for yourself, but Spotify tells us it will be working hard on bringing even more features to the app before it lands in Google Play.

The admin-lovers among you will be pleased to hear that these include folders (which have long been a staple of the iOS app) and Last.fm scrobbling.

If you fancy a bit of beta app action, you just need to go to Settings > applications > unknown sources and set your handset to allow installation. Then you can hop right on over and download the preview from here.