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The one thing Apple never gets right

iOS 10 Apple Music

No one can see the future but when it comes to Apple, some things are becoming surprisingly safe bets. For example, when Apple releases a new iPhone we can safely assume that it will be one of the most powerful and well-designed smartphones the world has ever seen. But on the flip side of the coin, it’s becoming equally safe to assume that any new service-based products Apple introduces are going to take a bit of time to mature.

That’s putting it mildly, to say the least. Another way to put it would be to say that Apple’s new software-based products are often a total mess at first, and it looks like we’ll soon see the company reel things in with its latest launch.

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Apple’s iCloud sync and backup solution is now one of the best and simplest cloud-based systems out there for consumers. But it began life as MobileMe, which was a complete and utter disaster, as we’re sure everyone can recall.

There’s no question that Apple Music got off to a much better start than MobileMe, but it’s also apparent that things could have gone smoother.

Right out of the gate, users complained that the Apple Music app was overly complex. There are probably Apple Music features that many subscribers still haven’t discovered. And let’s not forget the fact that the desktop experience is nothing at all like the mobile experience. To this day, people still email us all the time asking how they can access their Apple Music library on a Mac.

And so with iOS 10, Apple will begin the process of fixing Apple Music.

Rumors suggest that Apple Music will be overhauled in iOS 10 as Apple looks to address customer complaints and polish the service, which represents the future of Apple’s music business. We’re expecting a whole lot from this next version of Apple Music, and it looks like preliminary details are beginning to trickle in.

So what’s one of the first thing Apple is doing to fix Apple Music? According to 9to5Mac, the company plans to kill the “Connect” tab and lump it in with the “For You” section. If you’re like most users and you’ve avoided that tab entirely, we’ll explain what it does: It’s currently home to a social network where artists post updates and multimedia for their fans to check out.

That’s right… it appears as though the successor to Apple’s now-defunct Ping social network may soon be defunct itself.

There are so many things that Apple does well, but social networking is one thing that the company just never gets right. Why would people follow their favorite artists in Apple Music when they already do so on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and elsewhere?

By nature, music apps are meant to fade to the background and — that’s right — play music. People don’t want to linger in a music player. They want to find music, play it, and drop it to the background while their do other things. Those “other things” might include checking various social networks, and they might see some updates from their favorite musicians. But they didn’t open Facebook or Twitter solely to see those particular updates and they never will.

Apple might get social right someday, but it looks less and less likely with each new attempt.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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