Apple Music’s iOS 10 revamp to offer simpler UI, ‘huge artwork,’ and more

“Nearly a year after Apple Music’s debut, Apple is preparing to announce its streaming music service’s first end-to-end overhaul, according to multiple sources familiar with the changes,” Mark Gurman reports for 9to5Mac. “The changes are expected to be shown off at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in mid-June, and Apple currently plans to launch the updated service across its product lines that currently support Apple Music this fall as part of new operating system versions.”

“The new version of Apple Music, which Apple recently announced has 13 million users so far, focuses on a redesigned user-interface, a few new functions, and reorganization as well as simplification of existing features,” Gurman reports. “The new user-interface ditches the current colorful and translucent look in favor of a simpler design that emphasizes black and white backgrounds and text.”

“While the new interface will eschew color in the user-interface, album artwork will become ‘huge’ and a larger part of the interface in order to avoid a dull black and white look,” Gurman reports. “While the most of the Apple Music service will be redesigned, much of the emphasis is on the ‘For You’ feature, the tab that recommends songs, albums, artists, and music videos. This section will be simplified and better promoted to increase usage of the feature… The new service will also discontinue the ‘New’ tab, which is a jumbled list of top charts, genres, featured music launches, and curated playlists. It will be replaced with a section called “Browse” which better organizes the aforementioned content.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Again, here’s hoping the revamp described by Gurman delivers the intuitiveness that Apple Music currently lacks. We use Apple Music every day, but it’s a freaking mess. To put it bluntly, it’s Microsoftian crap-by-committee in its current form.

If you have to ask yourself “Why is this so difficult? Am I an idiot?” then there is a User Interface problem, not a user problem. This is, after all, what we pay Apple for. Those type of questions are for Windows/Android sufferers, not Mac/iOS users. Who’s responsible for iTunes’ unsettled, rather awful UI, a blind Microsoft reject or nobody at all?MacDailyNews Take, July 10, 2015

Apple preps sweeping changes to Apple Music – May 4, 2016
Spotify dims as Apple Music shines – April 27, 2016
Apple Music needs a web widget – March 8, 2016
Yet another example of how Apple Music is messed up – December 16, 2015
Apple admits it has ‘homework to do’ to improve Apple Music – September 3, 2015
Apple Music, both on iOS and OS X, is an embarrassing and confusing mess – July 10, 2015

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Dan K.” for the heads up.]


  1. Please for the love of god, no light gray text/buttons on a white background, yellow text on white background or medium gray text over black backgrounds.

    If a 40 to 60 year old can’t read it at first glance, that’s a user interface FAIL.
    Now try it in sunlight, dark and then normal light.
    I don’t think iOS 7 thru 9 had any user testing done. It still sucks. I’m not even going to list Music’s faults. Plenty of others will do that.

  2. Dinosaurs like myself will always prefer quality and usability over subscription-based “curated” crap of the month.

    On the Mac, just split iTunes from Music. Podcasts and movie rental need to be separate as well. And while Apple has no clue about managing Classical music, it’s long past time that it engages or highlights a 3rd party app that does it better.

    Those apps should be removable for those who don’t want them.

    If music has value to your life, then it is worth being:
    – owned
    – managed and archived by the owner
    – transferable after death
    – lossless
    – fully labelled (with complete and correct searchable metadata)

    and a whole lot more that i would list if I had the time now.

    Bottom line: Apple allowed iTunes to bloat and then rot. Apple Music is not the answer for everyone. Fix it, Apple.

  3. I remember when Apple made fun of other computer companies for lousy monochrome interfaces. Now Apple is the black, white, and gray one. WTF??????????

  4. Who would have thought that Radio Shack’s TRS-80 pioneered the most advanced UI: black and white with text! Even if they call it an upgrade, I’m smart enough to know it is really a downgrade.

    Actually, this is a good move for Jony Ive. He can’t draw, he has no artistic sense, he can’t choose colors that are actually in the spectrum, so he’s using photographs to take up the slack. He should go back to his ironing board and flatten the Macs eve more and leave UIs alone.

    It’s okay to target third-graders in your marketing, but ill-advised to exclude everyone else.

  5. Looks aside, the UI doesn’t work well at all. Spotify is great, even Beats Music worked very well, what a disappointment that they junked a perfectly good product, and a waste of a good brand that you only use for headphones now. I think Apple would have been better off keeping the Beats Music label, perhaps adding “by Apple”. Beats Music was cool, Apple Music is not.

    1. Fix the problems with usability first. Worry about the branding later.

      Beats is not exactly a strong brand, either. Most people just associate the brand with overpriced plastic distorted bass-heavy headphones.

      The Dre/Iovine influence actually turned off many music lovers, just as dumbass music personalities have turned people off to Tidal regardless of how technically good Tidal’s product is.

      Apple needs to look a lot less like a celebrity gay pride & hip-hop mashup and start looking like professional software developers who understand what great software interfaces are. Less art, less attempt at “curation” pushing people to listen to the same 40 songs as everyone else. Instead, let he user understand how to explore with a more scientifically developed interface that is intuitive and doesn’t hide features & functions (at least, not without user control thereof). Customizable toolbars would go a long way to enabling users to see what they want.

      If Apple wants to promote music, then allow people to pick their own selection criteria instead of letting some unknown “Genius” algorithm or some ex-music industry hack pick what to push. Apple has to stop its Music from becoming as bad as automated FM radio stations. But that’s what’s happening.

      It shouldn’t be hard for Apple to properly label its music genres, ORIGINAL music release date and album information (as opposed to the date of the “greatest hits” compilation), and so forth. But there’s so much more. If a person likes a song, why can’t he quickly and easily see other songs written by the same composer, or producer, or record label? How about if a person wants to hear all acoustic or all live music one evening? You can set up a playlist manually, thank goodness. But it’s not easy unless you properly tagged the music yourself.

      Apple Music, as iTunes eventually did, just pushes corporate-promoted stuff and nothing more. That’s what’s wrong with it.

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