The social nature of taste, and of musical taste in particular, is so fundamental that it should be the organizing principle of Apple Music. Here’s how I think they should do it:
- Five New Tabs - Reorganize the top level of the app into five tabs that answer the fundamental questions: Keep Listening, Friends, Everyone, New Releases, and For You.
- Bye, Bye, iPod - Break out all the legacy iPod features into another app.
- Consistent Visual Grammar - Create a consistent visual grammar that allows albums, playlists, and radio stations to exist as siblings on any screen.
- Let Me Choose My Heroes - Make it easy for me to browse the music habits of my heroes, whether they’re celebrities or the cool kids down the street.
Interesting thoughts, given recent rumors that Apple Music is in for an overhaul in iOS 10, but I don’t agree with some of the points. I’m all for finding out about new releases, but showing what’s popular among all users is a sure recipe for mediocrity. I’m not particularly sold on the idea of following what my friends are listening either, mostly because I don’t care; I saw the feature briefly in Spotify and used it for half an hour at most. Besides, how would Apple know who my friends are? Are we assuming all of them have subscribed to Apple Music? Highly unlikely! Apple has systematically cut back on social integration in iOS, so I doubt at this point Apple Music would be able to access lists of Facebook friends or people you follow on Twitter – or would be reluctant to do so in order to protect its users privacy (since I’m assuming Facebook would ask access to some personal data in exchange).
Apple seems to have plans for the social side of Music already: if you can’t fix it, kill it:
In the iOS 10 Apple Music redesign, the Connect feature will follow Ping’s lead and will be demoted. Apple Music Connect currently exists as its own tab across the Apple Music interface, but multiple sources say that the feature will lose its tab and become integrated into the “For You” recommendations page. Connect will still exist within applicable artist pages as it does today, but its demotion from the set of Apple Music tabs indicates that the feature has not lived up to Apple’s expectations from last year. Along with the demotion, Connect is unlikely to see notable new features this year.Mark Gurman