Apple Music makeover may add lyrics, black-and-white design

Larger album art, more 3D Touch previews, and other changes could be on tap as a response to complaints about the streaming-music service's layout and navigation.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

Apple Music may be in store for an overhaul this year.


Apple Music will reportedly go through a design overhaul to make the app more appealing and less confusing.

Launched almost a year ago, Apple Music has earned a thumbs-up from some users for its content. But the service has also been dinged for what critics say is a cluttered and befuddling interface. To address that problem, Apple is expected to unveil several visual and layout changes to the app at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

The new interface will replace the current colorful, translucent look with both text and backgrounds painted in basic black and white, 9to5Mac reported on Thursday, citing people who have seen the updated Apple Music service. Apple will also enlarge the size of the album art so it becomes a more prominent part of the interface. One source told 9to5Mac that the greater focus on album art will make the service appear "bolder yet simpler."

Apple Music competes with Spotify, Pandora, Rdio and other services for a cut of the music-streaming business. But it's mainly a way to lure more users into the Apple ecosystem. Through Apple Music, the company aims to sell more iPhones and iPads. Selling more iOS devices means more people who potentially will buy items from iTunes and purchase other Apple products and services.

In late April, Apple announced that its music service has signed up 13 million paid subscribers, and CEO Tim Cook said the service continues to grow in popularity.

The revamp will integrate and display song lyrics for people who want to sing along to their favorite tunes. The "For You" feature, which recommends songs, albums and artists, will adopt a simpler interface and make use of algorithms to suggest more personalized content.

Also on tap is expanded use of Apple's 3D Touch to preview albums and other items. And Apple will enhance the use of its San Francisco font to make the text on the menus and tabs larger and bolder.

Finally, the New tab, which tries to offer a collection of top charts, genres and other items, will be jettisoned in favor of a new Browse section that tries to better sort all that information. The updates to Apple Music will also carry over to iTunes for Mac OS X, according to 9to5Mac's sources.

Apple did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment.