Get to know iOS 10's new Music app

Alongside a long list of new features on iOS 10 comes a redesigned Music app. Here's what you need to know.

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Last year, Apple Music launched alongside a redesigned Music app on iOS, and let's just be honest: the app was horrible. It was difficult to navigate, confusing and it lacked key features (Shuffle All, anyone?). Apple has improved the app here and there throughout the year, but with iOS 10, the Music app has been completely redone.

It's going to take some getting used to, but a couple months into using iOS 10 and I think this version of the Music app more intuitive and far better than last year's version.

Navigating your library is now easier

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

When you first open the Music app, you'll notice the "My Music" tab is no longer available. Instead, you will find your music collection in the Library tab, which consists of content stored on your device and in your Apple Music account (if you're a subscriber).

You can quickly jump between categories and sections of your library by tapping on the large text buttons at the top of the screen, or scroll down to view music recently added to your account.

Tap on Edit in the top-right corner to add, remove, or rearrange music categories.

Perhaps most importantly, the option to view only the music stored on your device is no longer hidden through a series of menus; just tap on Downloaded Music.

For You is supposed to be smarter

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET


The For You tab also has a new look, and what has thus far appeared to be better music recommendations based on my listening habits and the songs or artists I have liked within the app. Recently, Apple added two playlists in the For You section for Apple Music subscribers: My New Music Mix and My Favorites Mix. Each one is updated on a weekly basis, with new and old music alike.

Along the top is where recently played items are, with playlists curated based on the day of the week just below that. As you continue to scroll through this section, you'll see your heavy rotation albums, artists, radio stations or playlists, and further recommendations based on your music profile.

Last but not least, Apple's Connect service where artists can posts updates, music and videos is now located towards the bottom of the For You section. You know, if you're into that sort of thing.

New is now under Browse

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Looking for this week's latest albums? You'll want to tap on the Browse tab.

Scroll through the thumbnail previews of albums at the top, or tap on one of the text buttons to view New Music, Curated Playlists, Top Charts and Genres.

Radio hasn't changed all that much

You can still listen to Beats 1 radio on demand, or find older shows to listen to through the Radio tab. With the biggest change being you now need to tap on View All Stations to find featured stations outside of Beats 1, such as Classic Hip Hop or Dance.

A portable karaoke machine, of sorts

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

When playing music you can continue to browse through your library or Apple Music and control playback using controls just above the tabs at the bottom of the screen.

Tapping on the bar where the controls are located will open the Now Playing screen, where you can pause, skip, add a song to your library or scroll down and view what's Up Next.

Tap on the three-dot button to do tasks like add an item to a playlist, create a station based on the song, love or dislike a tune.

Another neat feature you will notice is the option to view Lyrics for whatever is currently playing. You can do so by scrolling down to the Up Next section, or by tapping on the three-dot button > Lyrics.

Currently, lyrics seems to be hit or miss as far as what songs it's available for, but one can hope Apple will continue adding lyrics throughout the beta process.

The only thing missing now is a bouncing ball to keep you on track as you belt out the summer's hottest hits to your friends during a night out.

Don't forget to check the Settings app

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

There are some key options available in the Settings app surrounding Music.

Choose whether or not the Music app will add a song to your library after adding a Playlist. For example, prior to iOS 10 you could find a playlist in Apple Music and add it to your account. Then, every song on that playlist was then added to your My Music tab automatically and without a giving you a choice. A good idea in theory, but in reality it did nothing more than clutter up your music library with random artists and songs that meant nothing outside of that playlist.

Have iOS 10 automatically download content you've added to your Library, even if you added it on another device. Meaning, using your iPad on iOS 10 you can add an album to your account, and not only will that album now show up in your Recently Added section on another device, but iOS 10 can download that album to your device(s) for offline playback without you having to do a thing.

Tell iOS 10 how much space you want downloaded music to take up. If you get close to that limit, iOS 10 will delete any music you haven't listened to in a long time.

For more information on the ins and outs of Apple's new mobile OS, check out this guide to all things iOS10.

Editor's note: This post was originally published on August 3, and has since been updated to reflect the launch of iOS 10.

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