One year in, Apple Music will get an interface refresh at WWDC [UPDATED with specifics]
This year’s WWDC will come nearly a year after Apple Music launched service. The app had a launch experience that allowed users to tailor their own tastes for Apple’s algorithms to conform to in order to ferry over suggestions that those users might like. But while it has been growing in subscribers, it still faces criticism for its user interface.
So, the top-line story from all of this, according to sources tipping off Bloomberg, is that Apple Music will re-launch with a new UI at WWDC.
It wasn’t enough that the service was able to score exclusive artists and a deep catalog. Investor analysts believe that the lack of “elegance” of how Apple handles its software services has contributed to poor customer retainment.
Bloomberg also reports that the company’s still stuck on iTunes, mainly on its downloaded media store. Some artists have refused to make their work available on streaming services like Spotify and Pandora — that puts the iTunes Store as a safe investment, but would seem to irk Apple Music subscribers paying a monthly fee for something they would want, but can’t get without shelling out extra. This flies in the face of consumer music habits trending more towards streaming rather than a la carte downloading.
Apple’s acquisition of Dr. Dre’s Beats has also been a thorny road, mostly due to differences in culture between the two companies. Beats employees pitching new ideas had to go through Apple’s hierarchy, red tape they thought wasn’t needed. Several Beats execs and many employees left, though an Apple executive said that the tension involved in putting together Apple Music was very much intentional.
Still, Cupertino seems to be looking forward to further growth of Apple Music, especially with this new interface. It might also be happier with a bit more control over its products anyhow.
Update: Sources are reporting to 9to5Mac that the UI change has been in development since late February and includes a follow-along with the rest of iOS 10’s rumored new design paragigm based on black and white. Album artwork will be “huge,” likely akin to how Instagram may be expecting to pull off its app design change on iOS. The Apple Music app itself will be re-organized: the “For You” tab will likely be in prime position on navigation menus while the “New” tab will be replaced by “Browse”.
The revamp will be beta tested through the summer with a full launch attached to iOS 10 coming in the fall.