Apple’s latest iTunes update comes with a completely redesigned Apple Music section. The 12.5.1 version for OS X and Windows users adds full support for iOS 10 and the iPhone 7 as well as enhancements designed for macOS Sierra.
Available to beta testers of Apple’s operating systems for several weeks now, the novel Apple Music design is clearer, simpler, and more enjoyable. Common complaints about the confusing interface Apple offered in iTunes, and the iOS Music app got solved.
Launched in June 2015, Apple Music has now more than 17 million paid subscribers. Users can select music to stream to their device on-demand or listen to existing playlists. New subscribers get a 3-month free trial before it becomes paid-only.
The music-streaming service has distanced itself from competitors Spotify and Google Play Music with exclusive content, Siri integration, and high-profile advertising. It also offers the Internet radio station Beats 1 and the blog platform Connect.
The navigation bar of iTunes is now simpler
Apple simplified the navigation bar that shows up above the iTunes library content or when users are viewing Apple Music. My Music is now Library, iTunes Store is simply Store, and Browse replaced New. Connect got relocated, while Radio and For You stayed put.
Library is their music library, For You gives recommendations like always, and Browse is where users go to search for new or old music. Little fonts within these tabs are also gone as Apple Music now displays larger fonts.
Recently Played is next when scrolling down. Then comes playlists and albums linked to the day and each user’s taste in music. Finally, it’s the Artist Spotlight Playlists and New Releases.
Meanwhile, the Browse tab hosts some sections for new releases such as “Music You Need to Hear,” “Hot Tracks,” and more. At the top of the page, it also offers quick links to Curated Playlists, Videos, Top Charts, and Genres.
The new iTunes is bigger and ready for macOS Sierra
One of the key features in iTunes 12.5 is the bigger everything. When users view an album, it will have larger fonts and much larger artwork, instead of thumbnails. The size is shocking at first, but in the end, it makes the music stand out a little more.
The new iTunes comes macOS Sierra ready, too. Enhancements for Apple’s upcoming operating system includes Siri integration and Picture-in-Picture. The successor to OS X El Capitan, macOS Sierra launches on September 20.
Users can ask Siri to play music from their Library and Apple Music using their voice. Plus, Picture-in-Picture offers the possibility to watch videos while multitasking and using different apps. Videos will float above their desktop in any corner of the screen.