Opinion: Apple Watch + Music show intuitive software should be top priority for Apple’s new VP of UI Design

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Like many other people, I signed up for Apple Music yesterday because it was intriguing and free. Having skipped earlier subscription music services, I didn’t have Spotify playlists to worry about losing or importing, and I hadn’t experienced truly unlimited access to a giant music selection before. Apple Music’s sign-up process turned out to be great: attractive, simple, and just personal enough to learn my tastes without feeling creepy. It’s also likely to win long-term customers: sign up your family, and after 3 months, someone’s going to insist on keeping Apple Music (or just forget to cancel it).

But once the sign-up process is over, Apple Music repeats a mistake that Apple made earlier this year with the Apple Watch: throwing users into the deep end of a big new pool without adequate guidance. Despite all the talk of importantly human-curated content, Apple Music is oddly and robotically silent when it should be actively guiding new customers through a brand new service. In prior years, Apple held back products until they were polished enough that anyone could use them immediately. These days, Apple releases major products with enough rough software edges that customers and reviewers are (rightfully) complaining about learning curves and unintuitive interfaces.

As of today, Apple has a new VP of User Interface Design, Alan Dye, who is taking over software-side responsibilities from Apple’s vaunted design chief Jony Ive. In light of the Apple Watch and Apple Music launches, both of which were criticized for unnecessarily complex user interfaces, I’d respectfully suggest to Mr. Dye that fixing this problem should be a top priority…

Apple Watch honeycomb

Although a handful of people have claimed — often obnoxiously — that only idiots will struggle through the first two days of using an Apple Watch, the wearable device was justifiably dinged for clunky initial performance and a sub-par setup process by reviewers and users. Even if you put aside the Home screen’s clutter of tiny, unlabeled circular icons, you still have glances and notifications to sort through, prune down, and figure out. Farhad Manjoo at the New York Times said it best: there’s a big learning curve for the first couple of days with an Apple Watch, then something clicks, and you’ll start to like or love it. It goes without saying that this wasn’t Apple’s style; when asked, I’ve explained to the (many) holdouts I know that the Apple Watch makes a bad first impression, but rapidly becomes something you don’t want to take off despite its obvious limitations. Waiting for a second- or third-generation version is, in my view, as much for improved software as hardware at this point.

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It’s tempting to write off the rough first couple of days and focus on how good the experience later becomes, but that’s not the way Apple products are supposed to work. Regardless of whether you characterize the learning curve as “steep” (like Manjoo) or “shallow” (like some others), the very existence of a learning curve is the barrier between mainstream success and failure. It’s also the major historic difference between Apple products and dozens if not hundreds of alternatives. Early adopters are a small group of people who are willing to suffer through rough patches, but the large mass of mainstream users people get frustrated with unpolished products and often won’t come back. That’s why Apple always used to err on the side of shipping fully usable products minus desired features rather than ones that compromised intuitive usability. Steve Jobs’ Apple was literally defined by the philosophy that it was better for a product to do a few things wonderfully than a lot of things poorly.

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Apple Music suffers from the same lack of polish as the Apple Watch, except here, the major issue is sprawl. For some reason, pieces of the new service are scattered across four separate tabs. On the iPhone, I was initially dropped into the least important tab, Connect, a timeline of tweet-caliber posts from artists. Beats One, Apple’s new and much-discussed global radio station, is nestled within the Radio tab. A section called “For You” houses personalized (but seemingly not particularly deep) music recommendations. And the one thing I really wanted to see, a catalog-like view of the 30-million-song Apple Music collection I’d signed up for, appeared to be hidden inside a tab called “New.” But if you really want to find individual songs in the catalog, it turns out that the easiest way to do it is… a search. 

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Apple Music’s features feel even less conspicuous in iTunes 12.2, which already has so many icons and tabs that the new features just blend in. Unfortunately, they don’t blend in a desirable way. It goes without saying that Apple Music could have just dropped you into the iTunes Store and let you go to town downloading tracks, but instead, Apple built a parallel interface that looks and acts just different enough from the Store to be confusing. For instance, it’s easy to see just how popular an artist’s individual tracks are within the iTunes Store. But in Apple Music, you can’t. A team of people went through the trouble to build this second UI to browse largely identical content, but it barely adds anything. And for some reason, my MacBook Pro’s fans start spinning whenever Apple Music features load.

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The iTunes Store shows popularity in a clear way

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Apple Music presents the same content in a less useful way

There are a lot of nits to pick with the way Apple integrated Beats Music into iTunes and iOS, but the bigger picture issues are more important. First, someone at Apple was OK adding a bunch of new tabs into iTunes and the Music app without giving customers even a brief first-use explanation of how they worked. Second, no one stopped a minor feature such as Connect — a retread of a previously highly unpopular feature, Ping — from getting one full tab within the iOS Music app when the old iOS Music app was getting uncomfortably shoehorned into another tab. And iTunes, an app that has long been criticized for bloat, now has actually gotten to the point where it’s employing two user interfaces to browse largely similar content. Given Apple’s supposed list of “a thousand no’s for every yes,” it’s hard to see how these items wound up in the “yes” column.

Today’s top-level user interface leadership changes at Apple present a fresh opportunity for the company to return to the user-friendly software releases that made it famous. A little extra UI polish — particularly when thinking about what both first-time users and experienced users of brand new software will be thinking — will go a long way towards making major new Apple releases as magical as their predecessors.

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Comments

  1. yojimbo007 - 8 years ago

    Yes .. Yes and Yes… Big time..
    Simple and intuitive.
    Though i dont think apple music is all that confusing. Its huge.. But its not all that confusing.

    But i agree with the emphasis on simple and intuituve ! Everywere.. Osx, ios, watch , all softwares .. Etc..

    Apple, dont make UI a hide and seek game.. …

    • irelandjnr - 8 years ago

      It is confusing.

      • rnc - 8 years ago

        Apple makes computers, mobile devices and software for advanced users. Sorry if it’s not for you…

      • Nathan Woods (@4wdphoto) - 8 years ago

        RNC said, “Apple makes computers, mobile devices and software for advanced users. Sorry if it’s not for you…”.

        That is a HILARIOUS statement here in 2015. Up until 2011, there was some potential that this comment was true, at least in software, but that all changed when Apple released Final Cut Pro X, which started the wave of dumbing down all their professional grade packages into consumer level crapware. Apple is far more interested in “pretty” and “simple” over Powerful.

    • Not confusing? Play Beats 1. Now try and add the currently playing song to your music library.

      • RGGnDFW (@yentrog31) - 8 years ago

        3 dots then 3 dots. Click on any 3 dot ellipsis to get a menu. Music is new and a learning curve for sure, but confusing? Nah

  2. kjl3000 - 8 years ago

    I really had trouble already with the new iTunes UI and it’s nonsense logic, but with apple music, I’m lost.

    • rogifan - 8 years ago

      Apple Music is a hot mess. But I’m not sure what polish is missing from the watch…other than some feel there shouldn’t be an app launcher screen and apps should just be launched from a complication on a watch face.

      • rnc - 8 years ago

        Then you would need to have that complication always showing…

        But, IMHO, the friends should be in a “Summary”, and that button should be calling the launcher instead…

  3. NQZ (@surgesoda) - 8 years ago

    iTunes itself needs a re-design IMHO…there are way too many things that are useful that are hidden, and way too many things that aren’t useful that are front and center. The new iOS music app isn’t that bad though, I kind of like it.

    • taoprophet420 - 8 years ago

      iTunes is nearly a decade past time for an overhaul. It’s never really add an adequate update since apps and videos have taken hold.

      It needs remade from scratch, but feel the elements of the iPad Music app would be a good start.

  4. j0hnf23 - 8 years ago

    that’s funny because I thought the same. it’s not possible to add a song to my playlist with 1 click.

    I have to click on the album to get the option to add the song to my playlist. it’s not possible to add a song to my playlist from the search results…wtf? maybe I will stay a little bit longer with spotify

    • taoprophet420 - 8 years ago

      All you do is click the …to the side of results to add to playlist or offline. Is pretty simple.

      • DamoTheBrave - 8 years ago

        But the ‘…’ Doesn’t always have the add to playlist option. You need to go to the song and then click on the next ‘…’ Then add to playlist.
        It takes forever. Making a playlist in spotify or in particular adding a song you’ve just searched for takes a fraction of the time.

      • taoprophet420 - 8 years ago

        Any song you search for has the add to playlist option. Searching for a band then song then sometimes you don’t have the option.

      • DamoTheBrave is right. You have to go into the album, or curated playlist, in order to add it into your playlist. Kind of a pain.

      • taoprophet420 - 8 years ago

        You don’t have to go into the album. Search for artist and look at list of albums and click the … And add to to playlist or the 7 other options you have.

      • Iven Tenz (@ivenalot) - 8 years ago

        DamoTheBrave is right, if you only search for a song and it comes up, it does show the “…” but it only adds to your music. Doesn’t show your playlist. But once you click the album ,where the song is listed in and then click on the “…” it lets you add to your playlist. I don’t understand that, maybe a bug.

      • taoprophet420 - 8 years ago

        When I search for a song I’m given the add to playlist option.

      • Dr. Light (@pc_doc80) - 8 years ago

        You can add “Albums” and “Songs” from the search results window to playlists by tapping the “…” to the left of the desired album or song. “Playlists” can not be added to a playlist because it, well is already a playlist. You can add a “Playlist” to “My Music” though.

      • j0hnf23 - 8 years ago

        you know I am (we are) talking about iTunes?

  5. crichton007 - 8 years ago

    I don’t think that the updated iTunes is that bad. And on the subject of introductions or walkthroughs the software provides one of those to the end user (oddly enough) the second time they open iTunes after upgrading.

    • Jeremy Horwitz - 8 years ago

      The iTunes Quick Tour for 12.2 appeared to be broken until mid-day today. It provides very bare guidance on using Apple Music (and iTunes as a giant app), but yes, at least it’s something.

  6. rogifan - 8 years ago

    This is interesting as we know Dye was heavily involved with Apple Watch. But from what I’ve read it sounds like iTunes has its own software & UI teams. That begs the question….just how much software design is under the authority of Dye outside of the operating systems? Did he have to sign off on the new Music and iTunes apps? Or does final signoff rest with Eddy Cue?

    Also I noticed that Apple has not yet updated their executive page with Jony Ive’s new title. Lisa Jackson’s new title was updated the same day Tim Cook’s memo was sent to employees. Isn’t that a bit odd?

  7. rogifan - 8 years ago

    Also, just a clarification, Alan Dye didn’t take over software UI from Jony Ive. When Ive was given human interface responsibilities he started building a new software UI team. Alan Dye was part of that team and that team eventually merged with the old Scott Foretall UI team after VP Greg Christie retired. Dye has been involved with iOS 7/8. watchOS and OS X Yosemite/El Capitan. Dye still reports to a Jony Ive.

    • Jeremy Horwitz - 8 years ago

      Yes re: the specifics, but Dye is now the VP responsible for day-to-day management of the software UI team. It’s a gain of official responsibilities relative to his prior role, and Ive is basically handing off the software + ID details so he can focus on other projects and big picture issues.

      • rogifan - 8 years ago

        Right, I just wanted to clarify that Dye is not new to the software UI team. The bigger question is when Tim Cook says Jony Ive is responsible for all design just what does that mean? Do the user interface designers for iTunes report up through Dye/Ive or are they under Eddy Cue’s organization? My guess is it’s the latter. If so I’m hoping this reorg will allow design to be in one place where the team can really focus on consistent and intuitive interfaces and not these dotted lines to different organizations within the company.

      • Smigit - 8 years ago

        As of about a month ago when most of this was already set in stone. Who knows what influence he had.

    • o0smoothies0o - 8 years ago

      I’m just glad you know the inner workings of Apple.

      • rogifan - 8 years ago

        Hey it was all in that New Yorker piece ;-)

  8. Cody Walton - 8 years ago

    Agreed. Apple has lost it’s way without Steve. iTunes is bloated Frankenstein that needs to be broken apart and redesigned badly. I’m sticking with Spotify for now, which is soooo much easier to use.

    • rogifan - 8 years ago

      To be fair iTunes was bloated before Steve passed away.

      • Cody Walton - 8 years ago

        Very true. But do you think Steve would have been OK with what iTunes has now become? This last update is particularly egregious.

    • rogifan - 8 years ago

      I don’t think Steve would be okay with what iTunes has become. But iTunes falls under Eddy Cue not the VP of user interface so the buck stops with him.

    • amazingrugs - 8 years ago

      Can people please stop theorizing on what a now dead man would be ok with? This is the same person who knowingly shipped a phone where if you held it “wrong,” it would cease to function as a phone.

      Nobody is perfect. Not any man or woman. Nor any company.

  9. This is probably one of the best articles I have read on 9to5 in a long time…YES YES AND YES

  10. nickman55 - 8 years ago

    This was the first thing that I thought of after trying Apple Music yesterday. I feel like you should be given the option in the iTunes Store to either purchase or play any song that is streamable.

    • taoprophet420 - 8 years ago

      You can click on … by an album from your search and you have the options of:
      Play next
      Add to up next
      Start station
      Add to my music
      Make available offline
      Show in iTunes Store
      Share album and add to playlist

      • @tao where is Add to Playlist…? Or View Album, or View Artist? In Spotify these options are readily available anywhere a song is displayed.

      • taoprophet420 - 8 years ago

        Search for artist then go to where it says artist then it will have a bio on the right and similar artists and on the left top songs, top videos, top albums and all albums.

        In the general search for an artist it will have … And click to add to playlist.

  11. rogifan - 8 years ago

    iTunes is a disaster. And instead of redesigning music from the ground up it seems like Apple just went through a checklist of features and cobbled them together in one app. The New section of Apple Music has 15 freaking different subsections and it allows you to filter by 22 different genres. Discovery is difficult because there are so many different ways to discover something. And on the desktop they just bolted music on top of an already bloaded and cluttered app. Bad Apple.

    • amazingrugs - 8 years ago

      Wait. How is discovery difficult? You open the New page, and you have a ton of albums, playlists, and artists to listen to. Isn’t that discovery?

      Or you go to For You and have curated playlists and selected artists based on your likes. Isn’t that discovery?

      Or if you want to search for a particular artist, you can do that, and get lead to other artists through that.
      Isn’t that discovery?

      Why should there only be one way?

  12. Inaba-kun (@Inaba_kun) - 8 years ago

    I had expected Apple Music to simply convert all those price tags in the iTunes Store, into a load of play buttons.

    Instead we have this parallel universe thing where the store and Apple Music are completely detached. Perhaps this is simply the first step, or perhaps it is to mask the fact that Apple Music offers only a tiny sliver of the content on the iTunes Store.

    Whatever the reason, it’s a chore to be browsing the store and find something you’d like, then have to exit the store, open music, then manually search for exactly the same content I was looking at 10 seconds ago. Worse is that more often than not, the Apple Music search will return no results.

    It’s a bit of a mess.

    • amazingrugs - 8 years ago

      I think you’re right about it being because its less content, so they are treated like two separate worlds.

      My guess is in the next year or two, when people transition more to streaming, there will be a dedicated Apple Music app. That to me is the best solution, parsing out all the video/TV/and app management that is iTunes right now. This will take a bit because people still buy digital music, and Apple doesn’t want to get too ahead of itself right now and completely cut that opportunity out.

  13. Neither the watch nor Apple Music are hard to use…

    • chrisl84 - 8 years ago

      ….for you. Not everyone however, is you. Apple used to be intuitive to the point any one of any age could pick it up and master “immediately”. I assure you that is not the case with Apple Music or Apple Watch. If techies who are immersed in this world daily find it mildly difficult, anyone over 45 will be lost.

      • rogifan - 8 years ago

        I know several people who own am Apple Watch and they have no difficulties using it. The complaints they have are mostly around apps loading to slowly.

      • irelandjnr - 8 years ago

        rogi, you’re a geek

    • rogifan - 8 years ago

      Apple Music might not be that difficult to use but it is overwhelming and the UI is very cluttered. They’re trying to pack way too much stuff into one app. Music discovery is quite difficult when you have new releases, recent releases, hot tracks, Apple music editors playlists, Apple curators playlists, activities playlists. Genre radio stations, genre playlists and then of course you can create your own playlists or create a radio station based on an artist or song. IT’S TOO MUCH!

  14. tomtubbs - 8 years ago

    So how many hours has it been available?

    Give it some time.

  15. DamoTheBrave - 8 years ago

    The main reason I wanted it was for integration into iOS. When driving yesterday I said hey Siri play artist ‘y’ song ‘x’ Siri understood but brought up a button to open music. When I tapped on that button it opened the music app but did not play or even show that song.
    Overall I like it but think it has some major usability issues.

    • bpmajesty - 8 years ago

      This particular issue will be resolved shortly: http://viptest.9to5mac.com/2015/07/01/apple-music-ios-9/

    • incredibilistic - 8 years ago

      Maybe first time jitters. I used it last night several times and it worked perfectly. Maybe try force closing the app, reopen it then make the request again.

      I have noticed that if you don’t have the Music app open and your on the lock screen she’ll tell you to open Music first. I feel like Siri should automatically open the app but since I rarely force close apps it’s no big deal to make sure the app is open before I start asking Siri to play something.

      I said, “play Jay-Z”, “play the top 10 songs from 1989” and a few other permutations and all of them came through without a hitch.

      My favorite was asking Siri to play the latest song from an artist. “Play Janet Jackson’s latest song” brought up “No Sleeep” without fail. Siri did, however, trip up on Pharrell for some reason. When I asked her to play his latest song it kept playing theme song to “Despicable Me”, the first movie; far from his “latest” but it’s okay. Still pretty cool to have Siri bring up songs by request.

      The coolest of cool feature was using my Apple Watch to make the same requests. I could even ask Siri to play a playlist! I was actually shocked she was able to start a playlist that I named as one word. I have a playlist called “danceLOUNGE” spelled exactly like that. I asked Siri, “play the dance lounge playlist” and she knew exactly what I meant!! Now if only I could get her to start music from my iMac rather than my phone. But still, pretty amazing.

      Overall a key differentiator from the competition. I’d like to think that Google Play Music can do the same thing but I doubt you’ll ever get that kind of integration from Spotify, Rdio or any other streaming music service.

  16. Mick Roberts - 8 years ago

    They could have just made the iTunes Music store prices change from $1.29 to GET and called it a day.

    • incredibilistic - 8 years ago

      To play devil’s advocate there’s a chance they were forced to separate the streaming from the purchase-able songs as a stipulation from the record companies.

      The good news is that it’ll only get better from here on out and what they have so far is great already. This is Apple’s first rodeo so I’m willing to accept early glitches in the beginning. If we’re still having this conversation 12-months from now then I might have a different opinion.

  17. charismatron - 8 years ago

    Yeah, this article.

    Back in the day (how old do you have to be to say that, anyway?) Apple was rickety-split and it’s done.

    These days, I just don’t have time to wrap my brain around what seemed to be effortless in days gone by.
    What seems to be happening is the problem Jobs laid out against competing MP3 players (as opposed to the iPod): every engineer of every stripe had to get their pet idea stuffed into the finished product.

    It resulted in precisely what we have with much of Apple today, as mentioned in the article, which is a lot of potentially great stuff that doesn’t work well. Contrary to popular desire, there’s only so much icing you can put on a cake.

    My guess is there’s just no one around Apple with the clout/leverage/insight to say “this is shit” when it really needs to be said.

    • amazingrugs - 8 years ago

      I highly doubt people at Apple are 100% happy with the state of iTunes. I think from an outsider perspective, its easy to say “Do this, do that” and the problem is solved. But in reality, UI and software design is much harder. We’d all be doing if it were easy.

      Also it is a fault of users in general. We want change, but at the same time we only want so much change. The truth is humans hate change. Yosemite was for the most part a fresh coat of paint, and people still had issues with it. Imagine if they did a wholesale redesign, that could potentially make it work better. Look at Windows 8 to see how that worked out.

      So now think of how the majority of users are used to how iTunes work (as bad as it can be), and have over the years learned a workflow, organization system, etc that works for them. Those are elements that need to be balanced when doing a redesign. The new Photos app is a prime example, where some things need to be cut for a time before they can be worked back and in. And what happened with that? Majority of users complained because it was “too different. I can’t find where things are.”

      I imagine as music streaming becomes the norm in Apple user’s workflow, they will spin off a separate Apple Music app focused only on music and streaming, but they need time to figure out how and when to do that.

  18. mpias3785 - 8 years ago

    I have a number of friends that run Windows and would never consider purchasing an iOS device simply because of the mess that is iTunes. I used to argue with them but over the past 5 or 6 years I’m seeing their point. Apple Music should have been made a separate app and not stuffed into an already bloated, buggy and confusing app.

    iWork is a suite of separate apps as is(was) iLife. Why isn’t iTunes a suite of apps? It’s become the software equivalent of the Ghostbusters marshmallow man.

    Let”s hope Alan Dye has a positive influence at Apple, these past few years have not been good.

    • J.latham - 8 years ago

      Because Windows. I whole heartedly believe that iTunes for Windows is the reason it’s not broken up like iOS apps are.

  19. Terrence Newton - 8 years ago

    Compared to building playlists in spotify, building them in from Apple Music iTunes is pretty much a horrible experience. I’m talking about the desktop apps. In spotify, you can run a search search and view your results in a detailed list format, then just drag and drop the one you want into your playlist of choice, all of which are listed on the left sidebar. The display of the search results is also customizable. In iTunes, you start with search, and the results display in a kind of grid layout that isn’t as friendly for hunting down the version of the track you want. It shows you selections of ‘songs’, ‘albums’ and ‘artists’, but if you want to see all ‘songs’ for example, you have to click another link. When you click that link, it takes you to an even more horrible layout where information such as track length is not displayed, and it’s not easy to compare the different tracks to each other. You cannot customize any of these search result displays. I.e. you cannot say ‘show only songs not albums’ or ‘display as list’.

    Now let’s say your track does appear in the initial search results. From there you’d think you could just add it to your playlist. Let’s recall that at this point in spotify, it’s just drag-and-drop, one action. However, in iTunes, that doesn’t work. You cannot add tracks to your playlist from the main search result. You can add the song to ‘My Music’ but not to a playlist. To add to a playlist, you have to click on the song, which opens up the album. Then, you have to scroll through the list of tracks in the album to find your song again, because it will not highlight the song you clicked on in any way. Then, you have to click the little circle with the ellipses, click ‘Add to’ in the pop-up menu (it will not auto-expand), then click on your playlist.

    I plan on using Apple Music because it will allow me incorporate my purchased music, uploaded music and subscribed music in one place. Also, spotify for iOS tends to lose it’s place in my playlist if I leave the app for too long, so I prefer a built-in solution. At the end of the day, I’ll spend most of my time listening to music as opposed to building playlists. That being said.. the UI for Apple Music is horrible. It’s like Apple didn’t learn anything from any of the other products out there. The addition of a subscription music catalog to iTunes is something that calls for further streamlining of the software, but Apple has done the opposite of that in this case.

  20. I very much agree.

    iOS 8’s Health app suffers from the same lack of exploratory guided tour. Even the out-of-the-box, non-3rd party, activity tracking (pedometer step and distance metrics) that comes with iPhone 5S and beyond is buried deep within Health with no suggestion that it exists or how to enable those dashboards.

  21. TfT_02 - 8 years ago

    Pretty sure they will fix this soon, but you’ve got a valid point – it’s a bit messy here and there. I must say though, I still absolutely love using AppleMusic. Having all of my music in one app/place is just amazing.

  22. kpom1 - 8 years ago

    What’s so complicated about the Apple Watch? I think only tech writers have found it confusing.

  23. Troy Hollingsworth - 8 years ago

    Is this writer serious? You’d have to have an IQ of 10 to find any software Apple makes as confusing or complicated. If anything they dumb it down too much. Apple Music is ridiculously simple to understand.

  24. Atlas (@Metascover) - 8 years ago

    I agree. Those three big playlist buttons (Apple picks, activities and curators) should be put up front because they are very deep but also very good.

  25. Probably have to start filing everything under “Can’t Win for Losing,” because Apple is not going to be able to satisfy anyone anymore, especially the ones who insist “how hard can it be?” when naming what they don’t like.

  26. Ash Geary - 8 years ago

    One obvious problem is that itunes is not just about tunes. It’s movies, tv shows, syncing for your devices, podcasts, and ios app store. IMO, this is the same problem with the watch. It lacks the simple elegance of doing one thing well and tries to cram everything it possibly can into one interface.

  27. questionmewillyou - 8 years ago

    Unfortunately you can never please everybody. I’m confused by what this guy is confused by. Let’s see. You press the “For You” icon and you get music you said you liked when you did the setup. You press “New” and you see new stuff. You press “Search” and you search for albums, artists, etcetera…. You press “Radio” you get the radio channels you setup. You press “My Music” you get your music you purchased or that’s on your phone…. That is really confusing! I think I have a headache now.

    • Atlas (@Metascover) - 8 years ago

      Yes, I didn’t understand why he diminished the For You function. It works exactly like on Beats Music and it was the thing people loved the most because suggestions are great.

  28. Shalev Lazarof - 8 years ago

    My opinion, just what i was thinking yesterday.. itunes is a MASS, its past it time years ago and after apple music service you see it clearly, in the mac, you have the music service and the itunes store seperated, you need to move throght each other and its confusing as hell, on top of that all your ios apps stored in itunes, a music app…

    in ios, the situastion is worst, you can add music, songs and albums, directly to your music library throght apple music but you still have itunes store app that you can buy songs and add them to your library, not clear and not intuative, build it together in a way that a user can tell execly what he does.

    on top of that, in the itunes store you have movies and tv shows, if you buy them thay downloaded to another app called movies on the idevice, its like every thing need to move throught the itunes app and its just doesent work in this days

    what apple need to do is to tear it down to sections and built it in each app by its own, for music, built all the music expirence of itunes in the new apple music app, for movies and tv shows, redisign a new apple movies app and built all the movies and tv shows right in there, with buying, renting and i wish subscription based like netflix, after that, build a new app call apple TV where all the tv content will be on

    after that we will be left with 3 main apps, apple music, apple movies, apple tv, that in each of them the foundations of itunes will be build, like buying and renting on top of new features.

    and itunes can be finaly shut down after 2 decades, its time for that big move no doubt ..

  29. J.latham - 8 years ago

    Personally I wouldn’t call any of them “confusing”. Bloated? Yeah, sure I’ll give you that. The watch personally just has too much going on and not enough polish on what I use it for. I also though only use a handful of third party apps and barely use anything more than messages, photos, Safari, calendar, camera, and remote. Many of those things, personally, don’t need to be on the watch. That’s neither here nor there. Music has the same issue. New could be much simpler and built into the For You section. Playlists should have its own tab. And the extra menu “…” Needs to be reorganized on both platforms to match. I still don’t know why “add to my music” is so low on the list on iOS.

  30. Stewart Anderson - 8 years ago

    Intuition is based on experience. The watch is a new device, no one has experience of it or anything like it when they first use it, so by definition it can’t be intuitive. Simple yes. Learnable yes. It should be those things, and I think it is. To be confident in and be able to use the basics of a completely new device in a couple of days is impressive. It’s far from perfect, I think some of the features are unsafe (e.g. driving directions automatically buzzing on your wrist), but I’m impressed with how the pairing with your phone means it surfaces directions, messages, activity and more automatically – aiding discovery and learnability. I think the key to understanding the watch is to realise it is transient, used in fleeting moments, so it has to different to the phone, tablet, laptop. And it will take longer to learn and adopt. But it is nefarious in the way it is creeping into my life – I never miss alarms on my watch, cos I never leave it behind. I want to complete the circles on the activity app and get my awards. And dismissing notifications without taking anything out of my pocket. Checking my calendar without waking my phone and swiping down notification centre. Theres so much that it does that it brings to you – you don’t go the watch. And it will get much, much better with third party complications. Personally I think if you expect no learning curve on a completely new part of your life, then you don’t understand what you are talking about.

  31. David - 8 years ago

    Being a Spotify subscriber, I gotta give the Spotify folks props. It’s so much more usable. As an Apple stockholder, I really want them to hit it out of the park, but they have a lot of work to do to catch up, IMO.

  32. jpintobooks - 8 years ago

    I find it fantastic, easy to navegate, to find music, curators and friends. I think the article is missleading and present the view of those who dislike to discover. Learning by using and a bit of intuition.
    With the Apple Watch it took me minutes to mastered, naturaly weekes to discover the full platform and that is fun.
    Kudos Apple for the new service.

  33. vkd108 - 8 years ago

    Welcome to the new Microsoft LOL

  34. Chadbourn - 8 years ago

    On a side point brought up in your piece, my MacBook Pro runs hot whenever I use one of Apple Music’s features. Does anyone else experience this? Is it a bug?

  35. rogersentongo - 8 years ago

    This article speaks the fundamental truth! If only execs at Apple would read this

  36. Gord Bradford - 8 years ago

    I too have seen apple in the last several years lose it’s hallmark “Simple and intuitive” appeal, and admire journalists who expose this lose within Apple’s culture.

  37. João P. Rodrigues - 8 years ago

    I love you and you are so right

  38. The biggest issue for me with Apple Music is the song matching.

    I have countless songs in my library that Apple Music has incorrectly matched either to the wrong or the wrong artwork.