Rumor: Apple looking to overhaul Apple Music user interface, will announce changes around WWDC (updated)

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Date: Wednesday, May 4th, 2016, 08:13
Category: Apple Music, Rumor


It may be only a year old, but it looks like Apple is planning a fairly major overhaul of Apple Music’s user interface.

The company is set to redesign the user interface to make it more intuitive, according to sources, who asked to remain anonymous because the plans are yet to be made public. Apple also means to significantly enhance the integration of its streaming and download businesses and expand its online radio service.

Apple is said to be performing a full reboot of the Apple Music service. The changes will be unveiled at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June and arrive alongside a marketing campaign to attract users to the subscription-based service.

The new version of Apple Music will ditch the current colorful and translucent look in favor of a simpler design that emphasizes black and white backgrounds and text. For instance, the user interface in the albums view will no longer change in appearance based on the color of a particular album’s art. While the new interface will eschew color in the user-interface, album artwork will become “huge” and a larger part of the interface in order to avoid a dull black and white look, according to people who have seen the updated Apple Music service.

Other changes include the additional 3D Touch shortcuts to preview and promote the ability to share songs. The social Connect feature will remain largely unchanged, but a source said the album artwork will look “bolder, yet simpler.” The updated service will also make better use of Apple’s in-house San Francisco font, including larger, black, bold text for menus and tabs.

Apple Music will arrive alongside iOS 10 this fall and first launch in beta this summer through developer and public betas alike. The current iOS 10 project has been codenamed “Whitetail” after the popular Pennsylvania ski resort. The Apple Music updates will also expand to the Mac via a minor iTunes update (a larger revamp of iTunes on the Mac is expected by next year) and via a new Apple TV app for models running tvOS. Apple planned to release iTunes 12.4 for Mac “weeks ago” with minor interface changes, but the rollout is likely delayed until summer.

Apple Music was introduced with much fanfare back in June 2015. While many commentators gave generally positive reviews, the service was criticized for its muddled interface and dearth of features.

Apple has struggled to integrate its employees and unite the streaming and downloading businesses into a cohesive music strategy, according to the latest report. As a result, the service is now being overseen by content head Robert Kondrk and Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor. Design chief Jony Ive’s team has also been involved, along with former Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine and senior VP of Internet services Eddy Cue.

In spite of all this, Apple Music has apparently reached 13 million subscribers and has a growth rate on par with that of Spotify, which leads the industry.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Via MacRumors, 9to5Mac, Bloomberg News and @nuzzel

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