Apple Music Drop Prices 50% On New Student Plans

Apple Music are adding a new subscription plan for students that slashes their monthly cost.

It’s been a big couple of weeks for Apple’s music streaming service Apple Music. Last week it was revealed Apple Music had reached 13 million subscribers, an exceptional number in less than a year. This week the internet’s been abuzz about a reboot coming to Apple Music’s design.

Making the most of their exposure Apple have introduced a new subscription offering. Students enrolled in eligible colleges or universities can now get a 50% discount, meaning the usual price of $9.99 a month in the US will drop to $4.99. The new plan is available outside of the US in the UK, Germany, Denmark, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand too. Though the price changes with the currency each student plan will be 50% off usual cost.

The discounted membership is available to anyone studying at college or university, regardless of degree (so yes, it includes Masters). The plan is available for up to 4 years which can be separated if, for example, you take a break and then return to your course/degree.

If you’re hoping to blag yourself a discount by signing up as a pretend student then you’re out of luck. Apple are working with UNiDAY to ensure that those signing up are enrolled at one of the supported campuses or schools.

This isn’t the first discounted subscription available from Apple Music but it is their first aimed at individuals. Apple Music’s family plan allows up to 6 people to share an account for unlimited streaming for just $14.99. It’s one of the best streaming deals available allowing you to add 5 people at $1 a head, as opposed to them spending almost $50 on individual accounts.

Having almost reached half of their biggest competitor Spotify’s subscribers, at 30 million, and with growth surpassing Spotify’s this new pricing plan will no doubt push Apple Music even further into the limelight, and strengthen their position as a major player in the new streaming landscape that is dominating the music industry.

Apple Music’s student plan is currently rolling out to available countries.

Apple Music’s Big Update Will Add Lyrics and B&W Theme Amongst Other Changes

Following rumours of a huge reboot coming to Apple Music the first changes have been revealed with a full announcement expected in June.

Yesterday certain insiders revealed that Apple Music is getting a big overhaul of its service following criticism of it’s build and user interface (UI). We’ve now gotten more information on what we can expect in the update thanks to a new report from 9to5Mac.

According to sources speaking to 9to5Mac the update will focus on a redesigned UI whilst adding some new functions and a few smaller changes. Whereas before Apple Music featured a colorful design, with backgrounds based on album cover colours, the design goes for a sleek, simpler look with a black and white theme that emphasises text by increasing the size and boldness of Apple’s San Francisco font.

With the focus moving away from colour Apple are keeping their successful music streaming service vibrant by making album artwork “huge” to keep the interface interesting. One of the sources close to the update said that the new focus on artwork makes Apple Music look “bolder, yet simpler”.

Apple Music update reboot
Unfortunately this isn’t the updated design as pictures haven’t been leaked yet

An exciting introduction to the service will be song lyric support when streaming music. Currently you can manually find and sync lyrics to Apple Music on Mac but it’s an arduous process that wasn’t worth the time. Apple has been working with labels to automatically integrate lyrics into Apple Music. It won’t be universal at launch but sources say that a “good amount” of songs will feature lyrics support.

Apple’s personalised ‘For You’ tab will see updates to make it easier to use whilst increasing its presence to promote usage. The algorithms used to recommend you music are reportedly staying mostly the same. One tab that won’t be getting an update is the ‘New’ section that featured the latest releases, charts, curated playlists, and genres. The ‘New’ tab will be totally done away with, to be replaced by ‘Browse’ that maintains the content of ‘New’ but better organises it.

Apple Music reboot update

The other change revealed is that 3D Touch support will be used for previews and sharing songs. No changes have been revealed for Apple Music’s successful 24/7 online radio station Beats 1, however more features and changes could be announced at the official reveal in June.

Apple will unveil their Apple Music updates at their Worldwide Developers Conference in June and it’s expected to launch alongside iOS 10 which releases later this year. Be sure to keep up to date with any news on Apple Music here on the RouteNote Blog.

Spotify Finally Suits iOS With Its Latest Update

Spotify have updated the design of their app on iOS bringing it in line with the appearance of Apple’s mobile operating software.

In a move sure to meet the applaud of many, Spotify have removed the hamburger menu from their iOS app. The much criticised menu design has been replaced in favour of a navigation bar running across the bottom of the screen, familiar from many apps on the Apple App Store.

With this update you will be able to access the 5 buttons at the bottom of the screen at anytime, without having to open an extra menu. From left to right the navbar features: Home, Browse, Search, Radio and Your Library buttons. The bar sits under the Now Playing bar when minimised and leaves the rest of the screen for browsing.

This change doesn’t apply to Spotify’s Android app, however Android has been a far bigger adopter of the three-lined hamburger menu, whereas Apple has always been a navbar type of OS. Even Android seem to be moving away from the menu now, in March Google told app developers to use navigation bars instead of hamburger buttons.

Spotify are keeping the hamburger menu (top left) on Android for now
Spotify are keeping the hamburger menu (top left) on Android for now

The update is being rolled out today to those in the US, UK, Germany, Austria, and Sweden. There’s no specific date for other countries but they say the new design will come elsewhere in the “coming months”.

A Giant Reboot Could Be Coming To Apple Music Soon

Apple’s hugely successful streaming service is approaching it’s first year anniversary and there are rumours the service is getting a big reboot.

In it’s first year Apple Music exploded onto the scene and took it’s place as one of the big players in music streaming. It recently surpassed 13 million subscribers, almost half of biggest rival Spotify’s 30 million, and with quicker growth than Spotify in the last quarter of 2015.

According to a report by Bloomberg with anonymous insiders, Apple are now planning to overhaul their service. This news should come as a pleasant surprise to many as the user interface (UI) and various other features of the streaming service have been criticised with no changes as of yet.

Apple are reportedly changing the UI in favour of a more intuitive design. The unnamed insiders who are “familiar with the product” also say that Apple are working to improve their integration of streaming and download businesses, presumably improving the connection between iTunes purchases and Apple Music.

The report also reveals that Apple are working on expanding their online radio service, which they restricted to Apple Music subscribers earlier this year. There was no info on any changes coming to Beats 1, the free 24/7 online radio station from Apple and hosted by popular artists and DJs. However Beats 1 seems to be the runaway success of Apple Music that has avoided criticism and built a strong audience with it’s quality shows and features, and free access.

The sources claim that Apple will reveal it’s updated design in June at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference. It will be interesting to see what changes are introduced in the reboot and how much it will improve the service. Any improvements will also likely increase competition between Apple Music and other streamers, their design hasn’t held them back yet – there’s plenty more to come.

Now You Can Watch Music Videos On Android With Apple Music

Yesterday Apple rolled out a new update for it’s Apple Music app on Android meaning you can watch music videos within the app.

Now Android users can watch music videos wherever they are on their Android smartphones. With a selection of thousands of music videos this update gives their music streaming service more content on Android, where some thought Apple might hold back to promote their own smartphones.

Apple are also adding the ability to sign up to a family subscription plan directly on the Android app. The family plan allows up to six people (Apple rather they be family) to access Apple Music using the same account for $14.99 a month, as opposed to the typical price of $9.99 a month.

Android app update

Apple Music’s new update means that their apps for iOS and Android are almost at an equal level. The Android app was released 5 months after the service was officially launched. Since launching their Android app Apple have updated it to allow saving songs for offline play on SD cards and even let you add an Apple Music widget to your homescreen, both things unavailable on iPhones.

Apple have been working on original video content for a while, recently teaming up with Vice for a docu-series about various, inclusive music cultures. It’s unclear whether they plan to make all their video content available on Android, including a rumoured upcoming show with Dr. Dre, but for now you can explore the thousands of music videos available through the app.