Apple yesterday introduced its long-awaited music streaming service called Apple Music. Built on the back of its $3 billion Beats acquisition, Apple Music seemingly does it all: curated playlists, worldwide radio, and of course, unfettered access to Apple’s library of 37 million songs.
What’s unfortunate, though, is that Apple completely did away with one of the Beats Music app’s best features, its UI.
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With the Beats app of old, it was possible to fast forward or go back through a song by motioning ones thumb in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. The entire process was intuitive, simple, apparent, and dare I say, fun. The Beats UI, with its circular wheel was iPod-esque in its simplicity. More than that, it was extremely functional.
Ahead of WWDC, I was hoping that Apple Music might incorporate something similar, but alas, the company chose to stick with a more aesthetically appealing and less functional design.
Here’s what the Apple Music app looks like while playing a song from Pharrell. Sure, it looks great, no one can deny that. But good luck trying to navigate through a song when the scrubber is nothing more than a tiny sliver of a vertical line. If this scrubber is anything like the similar scrubber Apple already employs on its Music app, it’s going to be tough to move forward or backwards in a song without a bit of difficulty.
To be clear, the color shading and vibrant artwork on Apple Music looks great. But truth be told, how many people actually stare at their iPhones when music is playing.
From a practical perspective, doesn’t it make more sense, in this particular scenario, to put more of an emphasis on usability than on aesthetics?