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iOS 9 finally makes Apple Music enjoyable and worth a listen

September 29th, 2015 at 4:16 PM
Apple Music Usability

Since launching about three months ago, Apple Music hasn’t exactly provided a consistent and pleasurable user experience on iOS. While Apple Music really nailed music curation right out of the gate, overall usability on the app left a whole lot to be desired. As we highlighted on numerous occasions over the past few weeks, the initial incarnation of Apple Music was fraught with a number of frustrating bugs, with one of the more prominent issues being the inability to consistently add songs to a selected playlist.

Also problematic is that mobile performance was at times erratic. Often times, Apple Music would seemingly stall for minutes on end. Compounding matters is that some of the service’s more basic functions were hidden behind a rather unintuitive UI. Even worse, some functions — such as hopping from a song to the album it came from — seemingly worked just 30% of the time.

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As recently as early September, complaints surrounding Apple Music were still coming in fast and furious. In fact, the problems associated with Apple Music were so widespread that Apple took the rare step of actually admitting that “there’s a lot of work to be done” to address performance and usability issues.

Well thankfully, Apple with iOS 9 has already done quite a bit to address many of the aforementioned complaints. Over the past two and a half weeks, I’ve been using Apple Music quite a bit on iOS 9 and the experience has been surprisingly enjoyable. After months of frustration, I can gladly say that playlists on Apple Music are finally working. In fact, with Apple Music running on iOS 9, I can’t recall a single time where I added a song to a playlist and it didn’t show up instantly.

What’s more, the entire app appears to be a bit snappier. Now, songs play as quickly in succession as they do on Pandora and Spotify. Further, Apple has implemented a number of subtle, yet ultimately helpful, new UI tweaks that make perusing through the app much more enjoyable than ever before.

Timing wise, Apple Music’s emergence from what was arguably a ‘beta’ release couldn’t be more perfect. Not only does Apple Music reportedly have upwards of 15 million users, but there are undoubtedly many new iPhone 6s owners who are opting to take Apple Music for a spin. Notably, users who signed up for Apple Music when it launched will be seeing their free three-month trial period come to an end this week.  If you’re not inclined to keep paying $10/month for Apple Music, make sure to turn off auto-pay by following these directions which we highlighted earlier this week:

  1. From your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, open the Music app and tap on the Profile button on the top-left corner of the screen
  2. Tap “View Apple ID”
  3. Under the Subscriptions header, tap “Manage” (and then tap “Apple Music Membership” if you’ve signed up for multiple subscriptions)
  4. Under the Renewal Options header, slide the Automatic Renewal switch from “ON” to “OFF”
  5. Tap “Done” in the top-right corner of the screen and breathe a sigh of relief

If you’re on the fence about whether or not you should keep Apple Music, I think it’s worth giving it a spin, especially if you were one of the many early subscribers who found it to be endlessly frustrating. Overall, the service has improved by leaps and bounds since its initial release. Not only is the app no longer an exercise in frustration, it’s actually fun to use.

A life long Mac user and Apple enthusiast, Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 6 years. His writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and most recently, TUAW. When not writing about and analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions, the most recent examples being The Walking Dead and Broad City.

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