Apple Music Needed Some Attention at WWDC 2018

The keynote for this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference was pretty low-key for the most part.

There is always excitement on stage from the folks who get invited up to talk about new things, which was definitely the case this year. But even that seemed to be subdued when compared to previous years. Yes, Apple’s looking forward to the features it’s introducing in iOS 12, macOS Mojave, watchOS 5, and probably even tvOS 12.

But watching it unfold in real-time, it felt like even Apple was being realistic, too.

“This isn’t going to be as exciting as some previous years”, was the feeling I got. But, as I’ve articulated in the past, I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. We had heard rumors that this year was going to be kind of quiet on the software front, and, sure enough, that seems to be right on the mark. The most exciting part of the macOS announcement, for instance, was that beginning next year we’ll start to see iOS apps land on Apple’s desktop operating system.

Even Apple is making sure that at least some of our attention is already diverted to next year.

I’m happy enough with what I saw at WWDC’s keynote. I think system-wide dark mode in macOS Mojave is a welcomed change, as are the other new features and tweaks they’re throwing in. iOS 12’s new digital health features are a nice addition. There is quite a bit to like here, to look forward to. Even if we can all probably admit at the same time that it’s all pretty lacking in general spectacle.

All that aside, the one thing I was disappointed with this year was the lack of any news about Apple Music. The fact that we didn’t get a one-off tease about a dark mode in Apple Music for iOS surprised me, because I know that this is one of the most oft-requested features for the music streaming platform. After all, Apple Music is going to get a dark mode for macOS Mojave, technically.

But I also want new features. I want the ability to control Apple Music playing on my Mac from my iPhone, because right now they’re still two separate instances. (With Spotify, if I’m playing music on my Mac and I open the iOS app, I have the option to keep playing it on my Mac (but still able to control music playback from my phone) or to keep playing the content seamlessly from my phone.)

I want Apple Music to support a similar autoplay feature from Spotify as well. If you’re not aware of this feature, it works like this: Start playing an album or artist, and, once you’ve reached the end of that particular playlist Spotify will just keep playing music that’s similar to what you were listening to. I really, really like this feature, because while the majority of the music I hear with this autoplay feature is stuff I’m familiar with, and most of it’s even in my library already, it does bring up new music, too. It’s great for discovery.

Those are just two of the new features I want in Apple Music, and I’m disappointed that neither one of them appear to be coming to the platform any time soon. But, beyond that, I’m also a little disappointed that Apple Music didn’t get any attention at the WWDC keynote at all. Are we really not expecting anything from Apple Music this year, in terms of new features or tweaks to what’s already there?

I’ve still got my fingers crossed that maybe we’ll hear more about Apple Music at the September event later this year, though.

Were you looking forward to seeing something announced for Apple Music this year at WWDC? Or do you think the service (and apps) are good enough how they are? If you could add or change anything about Apple Music right now, what would it be?