Apple’s first release of the iOS 8.4 beta includes ‘an early preview of the all-new’ Music app.
The news of the revamped native Music app has sparked hot interest given Apple’s acquisition last year of Beats Electronics, with suggestions that Apple will relaunch a new version of Beats’ streaming music service.
Apple's US$3 billion acquisition of Beats in May 2014 was the company's biggest acquisition ever.
Apple says the revamped Music app has a ‘beautiful’ new design to make exploring music collections ‘easier and more fun’ along with a streamlined iTunes Radio and a new MiniPlayer showing what’s playing and allowing users to control playback while browsing their music collection.
An improved ‘Now Playing’ design showcasing album artwork, and global search integration are also included, with much of the update appearing to be focused on visual enhancements of the product.
The developer notes for 8.4 also make mention of Up Next, allowing users to find out what songs will play next, and reorder, add, or skip songs.
The 8.4 update is tipped to be the last point release ahead of iOS 9, which is expected to be unveiled at Apple’s June developer conference, WWDC.
International reports have suggested that Apple will also unveil a new streaming music offering at WWDC and the revamped Music app is a case of Apple getting things in order in preparation for baking the streaming service into the app soon.
Integrating the streaming music service into the native Music app, would offer Apple a way to differentiate the offering from third-party competitors like Spotify.
Meanwhile Bloomberg has reported that Apple has been busy trying to sign musicians to exclusive deals for some of their music to be streamed on Beats,which it says will be relaunched 'this [Northern] summer'.