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As expected, Apple today released iOS 8.4, and with it: Apple Music.
The update is certainly all about Apple’s new streaming service, which was announced earlier this month at WWDC.
[Read: all about Apple Music]
So what will Apple Music bring to users? First off, the update essentially provides an entire redesign of Apple’s existing Music app. Users will still be able to play their stored songs as before via ‘My Music’, but they’ll now notice the other new tabs at the bottom through which they can access the streaming service – which, for $9.99 (after a three-month free trial) users can access hundreds of thousands of songs.
This is the first screen presented when users first open the new Music app and is housed under ‘For You’. It offers the opportunity to take the trial, or skip and go straight to the main library. Then there’s a New tab, that shows new releases, a Radio tab to access Apple’s new radio station Beats 1, and a range of other ‘stations’ based on genres. Finally, there’s Connect – which is the social element of the new Music app, enabling users to follow and gain updates from their favorite artists.
The ride from WWDC until today’s announcement hasn’t been an easy one for Apple. Firstly, it was revealed that Apple wouldn’t be paying labels royalties during the mighty three-month free trial that was being gifted to users to entice them into the service. This was something Taylor Swift, one of the most influential recording artists in the world today, objected to writing an open letter to Apple on her Tumblr page. However, Apple’s Eddy Cue then took to Twitter to say that Apple will be paying royalties after all. Finally, shortly before Apple Music’s release it was announced that Beggars Group – a significant body of independent labels – had finally signed up to put its back catalogue on the service after previously holding out.
Though Music is the clear focus to the update, Apple has also included a fairly significant upgrade to iBooks, which now allows users to listen back to audiobooks through a new player (previously, audiobooks were part of the Music app).
There’s also a fix for the malicious text message attack back in May. If a user received a specific text message with a certain string of characters, it would cause the phone to reboot, then everytime the Messages app was opened, the phone would then crash again.
The update is 222 MB in size and can be accessed on a device by going to Settings > Software Update, and tapping install, or via iTunes.