Last week saw the release of the iOS 17.2 beta 4, with a bunch of additional features — and one glaring omission. Collaborative Playlists had been removed for reasons unknown, and now it seems as though that was a deliberate move rather than some kind of bug.
Apple has released the iOS 17.2 RC to users on the developer and public betas, suggesting that the final version of the update could arrive pretty soon. Unfortunately the Collaborative Playlists feature in Apple Music is still missing. That means it won’t be debuting in iOS 17.2, as originally promised.
According to code seen by 9to5MacApple appears to have pulled the feature due to concerns about spam and abuse. Apparently the feature is still being developed, but there will be extra precautions to cut down on these kinds of issues. That includes limits on how many “pending requests” a playlist owner can have.
It’s not clear what sort of abuses Apple is trying to curb. The set up for a collaborative playlist did require users to toggle on a feature that lets them approve who can and can't take one part. Much like the trend of zoom bombing during 2020, not having this on means anyone with a link could access and screw up your playlist.
That could involve non-stop spamming of songs to the playlist, or choosing particular titles that are designed to upset or offend. Horrible people are nothing if not inventive with how they try to push your buttons. Though obviously Apple could prevent a lot of this by locking down playlists by default or offering extra features to block certain users.
It’s a disappointing piece of news, especially considering Collaborative Playlists was originally announced at WWDC back in June. It was never intended to be released as part of iOS 17 at launch, but it was supposed to arrive before the end of the year.
It doesn’t look like that’s going to happen, at least not for the general public. There’s a good chance that iOS 17.2 is the last major update of the year. If anything else is released before January 1, it’ll likely be for bug fixes or security-centric issues — not brand new features.
So maybe we’ll see Collaborative Playlists return as part of iOS 17.3, whenever that arrives.
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Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.