We already know that Apple Adaptive Audio for AirPods Pro 2 is coming in a firmware update along with the anticipated full iOS 17 roll out in September, but there are seemingly new Apple Music features being explored by app developers who have access to a limited beta release version of the app ahead of the official launch.
Here's everything we know so far about the new features coming to Apple Music with iOS 17.
I'll cut to the chase and say that Crossfade is one of my favorite Spotify features. It's a very useful playback tool that blends the ending of one song with the intro of the next. Despite the feature being available on several rival streaming services, it's one that's been missing from the Apple Music streaming platform so far.
If you're anything like me, there will often be times when you don't want gaps in between tracks breaking up the pace and mood of an upbeat playlist and leaving you wondering what the next track coming up will be. Although we have no idea about Apples Music's crossfade feature implementation with the iOS 17 update, I hope it will be incorporated with some form of AI that selects appropriate tracks and the point at which they transition from one to the other so that we get seamless crossfades just like a DJ.
According to 9to5Mac, once users have upgraded to iOS 17 the Apple Music app tells you about Crossfade after launching it for the first time. To enable crossfade go to Settings > Music > Crossfade and turn on the corresponding toggle.
2. Collaborative Playlists
Collaborative Playlists is another popular music streaming feature that's been on rival music streaming platforms for a while. The feature that's coming to Apple music with the iOS 17 upgrade sounds similar to Spotify Blend, which allows users to combine their favorite songs with those of a friend's in a single shared playlist.
According to MacRumors, the ability to share playlists on Apple Music is one of the most requested features. Much like Spotify Blend, Apple Music's new Collaborative Playlists feature will enable subscribers to invite friends to add and edit songs in a shared playlist. When a person adds a song to a Collaborative Playlist, their profile picture appears beside the track.
Playlist collaborators will also be able to react to their favorite songs using emojis, but unlike Spotify Blend there's no mention of a Spotify-like taste match scoring system to enable collaborators to see how well your musical preferences match with the tastes of others.
3. SharePlay for CarPlay
Apple's SharePlay for CarPlay neatly navigates those tricky situations where passengers want to take control of what's playing on the in-car audio system, but you don't want them twiddling with the dials on the console while you're trying to concentrate on the highway and navigate the rush-hour traffic.
With the iOS 17 update, SharePlay will still connect one iPhone to the car audio system as as normal, but passengers will be able to connect to it using SharePlay and have their say of what Apple Music tracks (as well as content from any other streaming services they happen to be subscribed) everyone listens to.
It's expected that SharePlay for CarPlay control will work by accepting a notification or scanning a QR code, so soon even passengers in the back seat will be able to play their favorite music and contribute to what's playing. Additionally, given that iOS 17 will integrate SharePlay with the new AirDrop update that's activated by bringing iOS devices closer together, it should be easier than ever to get everyone connected.
4. Camera support for Apple Music Sing
Apple Music Sing is the streaming service's karaoke feature that launched in late 2022, and is available to all Apple Music subscribers except those on the Apple Music Voice plan. Usable on all iPhones and iPads that have the app, plus the Apple TV 4K, it builds on Apple Music's lyrics feature to make it easier to sing along, while also adding a toggle to turn down the vocals of a song to replace them with your own.
When the iOS 17 update finally lands, wannabe performers will be able to watch themselves perform their favorite songs thanks to the tvOS 17 Continuity Camera support. I look forward to trying this one out when the update finally arrives.
5. Updated Apple Music UI
Given Spotify's recent redesign it's reasonable to expect that Apple Music will also be getting a new look. Although there's not a whole lot of additional information around about it, MacRumors says we can expect the Apple Music app to introduce "some nice quality of life improvements and design tweaks" to its app.
The streaming service has slowly been improving the look and feel of its music playback offering, and the music player and expected new feature additions include full-screen animated artwork on supported albums that blend into the media playback controls at the bottom.
In addition, when you minimize the Apple Music a depth effect will make it appear as though the music player is hovering over the rest of the interface as you navigate through the app. Lastly, we understand that Apple is making non-synced lyrics easier to read with a larger font size.
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As a former editor of the U.K.'s Hi-Fi Choice magazine, Lee is passionate about all kinds of audio tech and has been providing sound advice to enable consumers to make informed buying decisions since he joined Which? magazine as a product tester in the 1990s. Lee covers all things audio for Tom's Guide, including headphones, wireless speakers and soundbars and loves to connect and share the mindfulness benefits that listening to music in the very best quality can bring.