At 8am PST (or 11am for those of us on the Eastern side of the United States), Apple will release its iOS 8.4 update for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. This last major update to iOS 8 brings a completely revamped Music app with Apple Music, some design tweaks, bug fixes and a new Audiobooks player in iBooks.
The all-new Music app will be home to both Apple Music and music purchased from the iTunes Store. Apple Music is made up of three basic components. The first, which is the on-demand music service, allows paid subscribers to access the entire iTunes Store library of over 30 million songs for unlimited streaming. Apple gives new users a 3-month free trial with the service and then it will be $9.99/month for individuals or $14.99/month for families once the trial ends. The second component is the radio which is made up of Beats 1, the new global 24/7 radio hosted in three cities with several guest stars, and playlists listed by genre created by humans (not computer algorithms). Beats 1 starts its first broadcast an hour after iOS 8.4 launches. Finally, there’s a section called Connect that will let users follow their favorite artists and view sound clips, photos, videos and more shared by them. This section won’t be just limited to the major artists, unsigned artists can connect with their fans on here too.
The Music app also received a complete redesign with many new features and a fresh icon. It is organized into five tabs: ‘For You’, ‘New’, ‘Radio’, ‘Connect’ and ‘My Music.’ The ‘For You’ tab recommends playlists, albums and music based on your likes and the ‘New’ tab shows new music that’s also based on your likes. The ‘Radio’ and ‘Connect’ tabs, as we mentioned above, are part of Apple Music. Finally, the ‘My Music’ tab is all the music that you own, including those stored on your device and in the cloud. For new features, there’s a MiniPlayer that subtly opens up when music is played, playlists can be personalized with pictures, descriptions and names, Up Next functionality to chose which songs play next and improved Now Playing to focus on artwork of albums and the music you’re listening to.
The iOS 8.4 update can be downloaded over-the-air with the Settings app (go to: General –> Software Update –> Download & Install) or with iTunes (plug in your device and click Check for Update).