MASTERCLASSING

Apple Music Set for Major Overhaul

Alex Spencer

Apple Music CroppedApple is reportedly planning a major revamp of Apple Music, the streaming app it launched last year off the back of its Beats acquisition.

The redesign is set to be announced at the WWDC event in June, according to Bloomberg, and released as part of the iOS 10 update this autumn.

Leading the project are iTunes content VP Robert Kondrk and musician Trent Reznor, best known as the frontman of Nine Inch Nails and composer of the Social Network soundtrack.

9to5Mac reports that Apple Music's colourful UI, which changes to match the album art, will be ditched in favour of a simpler black-and-white design. It will also integrate 3D Touch more deeply into its controls, add synced lyrics for a selection of songs, and put more emphasis on social sharing and tailored recommendations. The 'New' tab, which runs down the latest additions, charts and playlists, will be dropped and replaced with a more organised 'Browse' section.

The software side of Apple's business – often considered a weakness in comparison to its hardware design – looks to become increasingly important to the company's fortunes. In its recent Q2 financial results, Apple recorded the first-ever drop in iPhone sales, but a 20 per cent increase for its 'services' department, of which Apple Music is part, to become the company's second biggest revenue stream.

So it's important that Apple gets these products right, something that can't be said for the mixed response to Apple Music's initial release. This revamp hopes to change that, though it looks unlikely to overcome some of its deeper systemic criticisms – such as the recent claim from blogger James Pinkstone that Apple Music deleted 122GB of music files from his hard drive without permission, including his own compositions.

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