Apple has just released iOS 8.3 a couple of days ago. But now, the company is already busy with the next upcoming version, which will come with a host of new features. The developer preview of iOS 8.4 will reportedly ship with a fresh new update of Apple's native iOS Music app, which will incorporate a new look as well as an enhanced version of iTunes radio.
As reported by 9to5Mac, some of the changes in the developer beta of iOS 8.4 were described in the release notes, detailing the upcoming version's ability to edit and customize playlists by incorporating images from the user's library, and the addition of a new Artists view that features images of musical artists while browsing. Moreover, the Albums view now allows playback of entire albums with just one tap, instead of displaying a track listing.
The Music app in iOS 8.4 also displays recently added tracks easier by showing them by default at the top of the library, which many users might find similar to what other music streaming service providers display through their interfaces. As for iTunes Radio, it is now able to place favorite tracks in a more prominent position, while Features now provides hand-curated playlists as well as those compiled to mirror the user's listening preferences.
There is also a new MiniPlayer that displays across the browsing user interface, which is a lot like what other music streaming apps do. Users can also line up the next tracks they want to listen to via the new Up Next management section. Plus, Search has now been made available via the Music app through a loop icon -- users can start playing back a station on iTunes Radio directly from any search session.
There must be an overall purpose to all these changes, one might think. That would not be much of a surprise -- Apple, after all, is readying to blast audio audiences with its rebranded Beats Music streaming service. Which means that users can enjoy more flexibility, not only from listening to tracks from their own libraries, but also from a music streaming service that Apple directly provides.
The company is expected to unveil something that is music-related at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) to be held in California on June later this year. If Apple manages to fully integrate both its native music app with a streaming service, that would be something that is truly unique, or should hopefully give Apple an edge over competitors like Spotify.
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