Tom 2016-05-09 11:33 pm
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iTunes 12.4 UI Facelift Includes Updated Sidebar

Apple is completely aware of the user interface problems found in its own apps such as iTunes, say Apple’s top management in the form of Craig Federighi and Eddy Cue while guest-starring industry insider’s John Gruber’s latest podcast. Exciting new things are in the pipeline, while improvements to iTunes and other apps are also in the works. New screenshots of a still unreleased software update to the iTunes software have surfaced and we’re pretty happy to see that Apple has finally attacked one of the major design flaws: The dreaded iTunes sidebar.

Screenshots: Minor usability improvements in iTunes 12.4

It’s far from being a revolution, but Apple is addressing much-needed solutions in this minor usability update. The mini player now displays the “up next” track and we get a persistent sidebar which will improve navigation in iTunes, especially between different types of media. The new sidebar is also customizable, unneeded entries can be hidden easily. Another change would be the overall menu structure, which gets multiple tweaks in this update.

Our colleagues at MacRumors have published several screenshots detailing the changes. Surprisingly, there are no changes to Apple Music, which has also been a concern to friends of usable interfaces with little inherent frustration.

The upcoming major release of iTunes 13.0 might feature a strongly redesigned interface both on the iPhone and the Mac / PC. We are of the opinion that this should happen sooner than later, but it would be naive to put too much optimism into this change. Apple has a long history of providing users with a lackluster experience when it comes to iTunes, which some of the users even actively seek to avoid and replace with third-party software, while few are completely happy with the app. But hearing that Federighi and Cue from Apple’s very top of the management are dropping remarks on the state of iTunes definitely signals hope.