The Scoop on iOS 8.4

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The most anticipated new feature in the iOS 8.4 update is the new music app, which as has been completely revamped. There have been numerous usability and visual enhancements to the music application that will make listening to your favorite tunes much more enjoyable.

The most notable difference is the bottom row icons on the main menu, which have been simplified and replaced with only three icons for My Music, Playlists, and Radio.

Under the My Music menu, you will see your most recently added songs displayed at the top and enhanced with large album art. You can easily scroll through the album art to find and play your favorite newest jams. There will also be new album art headers for the various artists in your library. Album art is clearly playing a large part in the new music app making it more visually appealing than ever.

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A new magnifying glass in the upper right corner of the music app acts as a universal music search bar. The magnifying glass allows you to search through all of your music or search iTunes radio for the perfect tune from any page in the music app.

Playlists have become easier to enhance and to manage. In iOS 8.4 you can add a title, description, and even a photo to the playlist from your camera roll.

One of our favorite new features that have graced the music app is the mini player. While playing music, the mini player stays docked near the bottom. This gives you easy access to playback controls at any menu in the music app. Tap the mini player for the full Now Playing page. Included in the Now Playing page are the usual buttons for shuffle and repeat, plus new control features. Newly featured is a button for “Up Next” songs. Here, you will be able to easily reorder and delete songs from your Up Next playlist for quick song organization.

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No longer will you have to swipe up the control panel to access the AirPlay menu. Another great feature included on the Now Playing page is the ability to AirPlay music directly to your Apple TV with the press of a single button.

The complete renovation is most likely going to be the precursor for Apple’s Beats streaming audio service/native music app integration.

The last notable enhancement in iOS 8.4 is the new placement of audiobooks. No longer will audiobooks be found in your music library, but more logically located in the iBooks application.

iOS 8.4 Release Date

As of right now the music player seems to be the forefront of iOS 8.4 enhancements. Expect bug fixes and other new features to be included when iOS 8.4 is released to the public later this year. Apple didn’t say when they would be releasing the iOS 8.4, however sources are pointing to summer time. Apple is expected to announce several new features at their WWDC 2015 in June, so it’s possible an iOS 8.4 release will take place somewhere after a few weeks inside Apple’s beta program.

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iOS 9 Release

It seems that after the release of iOS 8.4, Apple will release iOS 9. Early iOS 9 rumors have been stating that the new operating system will be ready in the Fall, however we might see some new software at WWDC 2015 ahead of a release of the new iPhone. We know that Apple is already testing iOS 9 in small capacity, and that the focus will be on fixing bugs and providing more stable performance. As WWDC draws closer, we should be hearing more rumors about what iOS 9 will include.

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We have herd that iOS 9 beta will be approached the same way as the iOS 8.3. Apple’s iOS 9.3 beta was released to paying developers first before it was given to the public. The iOS 9 update is also expected to be included in Apple’s public beta program and would allow for thousands of iOS device users that aren’t registered in the beta program to try the software ahead of the fall arrival.

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