Apple releases iOS 8.4 beta to developers, complete with new Music app

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Apple has released the first developer version of iOS 8.4, following the official public release of iOS 8.3 in early April. Details on all the new features inside the latest version are slim, but the biggest alteration being reported at this stage is an all-new Music app.

Apple’s Music app has been given an entire redesign, which apparently makes navigation and search much easier than before. Playlists can be given their own image and description, while albums can be played directly from the album list. Those added recently appear at the top of the list, and tapping on the artwork starts playback.

An example of Apple’s new Music app seen in iOS 8.4 beta

music app

A new mini-player has been introduced, which stays at the top of the screen while users continue to browse the app, ready to be tapped for more information, or to access playback controls. Search has also been overhauled, and a shortcut added to all screens. It’s more clever than before, and recognizes iTunes Radio stations and users can access them right from the search bar.

iTunes Radio itself has been improved with a Recently Played section, plus a recommendation panel with featured stations. Finally, there’s an Up Next feature added to the Now Playing icon. Apple’s Music app will only operate on the iPhone in portrait mode, with all landscape functionality removed, but on the iPad there is a split screen view.

iOS 8.4 is in beta, and only available to registered Apple developers at this time.