Last night was the keynote for Apple’s annual WWDC event, which is an online-only affair this year. You can watch the full presentation on YouTube, and read about the new features coming to iPhone’s iOS software. But what about music?
One slide of new features shown during the keynote included an image of Apple’s HomePod smart speaker with the words ‘third-party music services’, which suggests the device will finally open up properly to Apple Music’s rivals – including Spotify, whose anti-competition complaint to the European Commission last year included HomePod in its list of grievances.
As for Apple Music, it’s getting some tweaks in iOS 14, including a new ‘Listen Now’ home tab; better search; an autoplay feature to carry on playing music at the end of songs and playlists; and better filtering for people’s libraries. There was no update on subscriber figures however.
In music-related news, Apple’s AirPods earphones will be getting ‘spatial audio’ and the ability to switch between different Apple devices automatically. And in anti-competition news, developers will now “not only be able to appeal decisions about whether an app violates a given guideline of the App Store Review Guidelines, but will also have a mechanism to challenge the guideline itself”.