iOS 8.4 was released last week and its biggest update was the highly-anticipated new Apple Music app. Of course we couldn’t wait to take it for a spin and here are our initial thoughts (stayed tuned for our full review):
Once you’ve updated your device to iOS 8.4 and it has rebooted you will see a new Music icon either on your home screen or in your Music Folder, named Music. Once you tap on this you will be presented with a home screen with a whole bunch of awesome Apple Music features.
Because your account is automatically setup using your Apple ID, the initial setup is quick and easy.
Apple is initially offering a free, three-month trail after which you can choose between two monthly subscription plans:
- Individual Plan – R59.99 p/m; and
- Family Plan (up to 6 members) – R89.99 p/m.
As an Apple product, Apple Music had to be visually pleasing, comprehensive and user-friendly. And I think it succeeded in presenting a visually beautiful and simplistic app that offers a clean and uncluttered initial impression.
Everything seems clear and navigation is easy and seamless. However, the app isn’t without its bugs and it can be quite overwhelming when you initially navigate through the app. But after using it for a few days, I started to get a hang of things.
Like I said above, you might be initially overwhelmed by the sheer size of the app. You can get rather lost swiping and tapping away, but luckily it becomes easy to navigate as you get used to it. And once you are used to navigating your way through Apple Music you really start to appreciate its awesome features and you will soon realise how comprehensive (and slightly ambitious) this app really is.
The Search function (located at the top right corner) is comprehensive and accurate and you can search for basically any artist, album or song you can think of. Search results are displayed in sub-categories, consisting of Top Results, Artists, Songs, Albums, Playlists, Videos and Stations, ensuring you find exactly what you were looking for.
At the bottom of the screen you will be presented with 5 tabs namely:
- My Music;
- For You;
- Radio; and
You’re constantly presented with cool options like queueing your music, favouriting a song/album/artist which lets the app know to play similar songs and you can tap on the album art to check out your lyrics to the song you are listening to.
The Connect feature is sick if you’re a superfan of artists and bands. The feature allows artists to debut songs, share photos, videos, behind-the-scene footage and more. In turn, fans can comment and like their favourite artists’ activity.
Another crazy cool feature is the Radio tab. When you tap the Radio tab you are directed to Apple’s 24-hour live-radio station, Beats 1, as well as curated, genre-specific radio stations in your area. The key is to favourite as many songs as possible so that you will hear more of the music you love. Beats 1 is hosted by DJs Julie Adenuga in London, Ebron Daren in New York and Zane Lowe in LA.
Apple Music initially seemed like it might be a little ambitious, but after spending some time getting to know the app it seems like Apple might be able to become a strong, if not dominating, competitor in the music streaming service market. Features like Connect, access to over 30 million songs and curated radio stations make me excited to play around more. Stay tuned for our full review soon!