Apple Music will receive its "first end-to-end overhaul" at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June, according to multiple new reports, which also marks the service's one-year anniversary.
According to one report, Apple will get rid of Music's "current colourful and translucent look" and move towards a design that "emphasises black and white backgrounds and text". If you're thinking a black and white UI would seem quite dull, there is some respite. The new album artwork panel is supposed to be "huge", the sources revealed.
Apple will give the new music streaming app "a redesigned user-interface" "to make it more intuitive to use", according to a another report citing people familiar with the new product. Deeper 3D Touch integration will give you shortcut previews and make it easier to share songs with your friends. The company also plans to "expand its online radio service".
The new Apple Music will also mark a shift in typography, with more use of the in-house San Francisco font with "larger, black, bold text for menus and tabs".
A lot of focus will be given to the maligned "For You" tab of Apple Music, which will come with a simplified interface and will use algorithms that power Apple Music's recommendations engine, as opposed to depending on the genres and artists the service makes you choose when you first start the app. The "New" tab will be replaced by a section called "Browse", akin to what Spotify does currently. It remains unclear how the supposedly "better organisation" will change things.
Apple is also looking to integrate lyrics into the app, and is working with music labels for the same. Musixmatch, the community-built lyrics catalogue, recently rolled out support for Apple Music but you still need to refer to its notification bar widget or open the app to see the lyrics on iOS. Since Android is friendlier towards floating widgets, Musixmatch has long been able to provide lyrics in that fashion.
The new Apple Music will reportedly first be available in beta for developer and the public, and will then make its way onto the release version of iOS 10 in the Fall. It will also arrive on its other operating systems - OS X via an iTunes update and a new Apple Music app for tvOS. There is no word on when the Android version will be updated.
Apple Music has 13 million paying subscribers according to latest numbers available, well behind industry leader Spotify with over 30 million. Pandora, meanwhile, sits at 3.9 million paying customers and artist-owned Tidal has 3 million.