On Monday, Apple seeded the first beta of iOS 8.4 to developers. This update, which is the fourth major update to iOS 8, comes with a completely redesigned Music app, some new features to the iBooks app and it created a dedicated app in CarPlay for audiobooks.
The new Music app has a more simplified design, many new features and further integrates iTunes Radio with purchased music. Here are the release notes that came with the update:
- All-New Design. Music app has a beautiful new design that makes exploring your music collection easier and more fun. Personalize playlists by adding your own image and description. Enjoy stunning pictures of your favorite artists in the Artists view. Start playing an album right from the album list. The music you love is never more than a tap away.
- Recently Added. Albums and playlists you’ve recently added are now at the top of your library, making it effortless to find something new to play. Simply tap play on the artwork to listen.
- Streamlined iTunes Radio. Discovering music with iTunes Radio is easier than ever. You can now quickly return to your favorite stations in Recently Played. Choose from a selection of hand-curated stations in Featured Stations, or start a new one from your favorite artist or song.
- New MiniPlayer. With the new MiniPlayer, you can see what’s playing and control playback while browsing your music collection. To open Now Playing, just tap on the MiniPlayer.
- Improved Now Playing. Now Playing has a stunning new design that showcases your album artwork the way it was meant to be. In addition, you can begin wirelessly streaming your music using AirPlay without leaving Now Playing.
- Up Next. It’s now simple to find out which songs from your library will play next — just tap the Up Next icon in Now Playing. You can even reorder, add, or skip songs whenever you like.
- Global Search. You can now search from anywhere in the Music app — just tap the magnifying glass. Search results are conveniently organized to help you quickly find that perfect song. You can even start an iTunes Radio station right from Search.
In addition, the iBooks application received some updates in the form of audiobooks. This feature, which was originally found in the Music app, has been moved to its new home in the iBooks app. For reading audiobooks, a new player opens that closely resembles the new Music app’s player. It has some different features, like Sleep Timer and Speed. It also supports gesture control in addition to the use of the buttons. There’s a dedication section in Collections like Books and PDFs already have. The CarPlay operating system also has a dedicated iBooks app called “Audiobooks” which has the same features as the player.
The new update is only available for developers and can be downloaded from the developer’s portal. When a couple of betas come out for iOS 8.4, the AppleSeed program users should have access to this first beta.