The computer giant named after a piece of fruit announced a shiny new iPhone 5 in San Francisco today, one that comes with a .5-inch larger screen, better camera... and blah. Doubtless people are most excited (or not!) about the new iPhone, but for music fans -- at least those of us still bound to vast libraries of MP3s -- some smaller, but still significant news was also dropped today: A new, simplified version of iTunes.
So how much is different? Apple is promising a simpler, more responsive experience in the notoriously slow application, according to CNET, but the biggest changes so far appear to be visual: There's a big carousel browser at the top of the screen, with more icons below, and a new "Up Next" feature that shows you what's about to play -- something iTunes has needed for a long time. The app is getting updated for all three formats -- desktop, iPhone, and iPad -- and the desktop version will have a new miniplayer.
Hypebot has run-down of the new feature list for iTunes, which include:
- If you double-click on a song, it plays!
- Share easily with Facebook and Twitter!
- You can now preview a song in the iTunes store and keep browsing!
- Playlists are easier to work with!
All of which sounds cool, but the emphasis is clearly on looks here. And at least judging by these screen shots, the new iTunes will be pretty gorgeous. (Wonder how it'll look with libraries that don't have universal cover art? Us, too.) The real question, though, will be whether the program works without the frustrating delays and wheel-spinning that plague current versions. As for when we'll find out, Apple is being cagey, saying only "late October," according to Engadget.