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iTunes to receive major update in October, includes Facebook integration and redesigned UI

With all the updates to their products and software that Apple unveils on a pretty consistent and frequent basis, it’s a wonder that iTunes on the Mac and PC has lagged behind for so long. Over the years, iTunes has undergone very little changes in the way of aesthetics and UI, but that’s about to change when Apple releases the update for the app in October.

On Wednesday, it was revealed that The iTunes, App Store, and iBookStore on the iPhone and iPad will get an overhaul on its Featured Page.  The iTunes for Mac and PC will get a similar treatment.  Continuing the iOS-ification of its product line, iTunes has undergone some UI fixes to look similar to the App Store. The Featured page in iTunes now looks quite familiar, and you’ll find that Featured page from the App Store is where it derives its inspiration. Also, there are other elements of iTunes that are pulled from it’s iOS counterpart, creating a more streamlined experience for users who are used to iOS’ layout.

Now there is a split-screen view that will give you the option to view your library in the midst of adding songs so you can see everything you have. Other UI tweaks include an edge-to-edge design on the desktop application, and clicking on an album will expand that album to reveal the songs and info, similar in looks to expanding a folder in iOS.

 

One of the relative failures of iTunes over the years has been Ping, the integrated “social network” that was barely used, even by the most ardent of Apple supporters. Something the iTunes update will reveal is going to effectively kill Ping, and that’s a deep integration of Facebook. Now you’ll be able to “like” apps, books, music, etc. that you’re downloading, and see what your friends have “liked” as well. In addition, you’ll be able to share  what purchases you’ve made with your friends on Facebook, as well as your followers on Twitter. Something that some users might find interesting is that artists on iTunes may now choose to share photos, giving you an inside look at what they’re doing, further enhancing the social media aspect Apple is going for.

Lastly, something that has this particular author excited is iCloud syncing when watching movies or TV shows. If I stop a show on my iPhone, I can pick right back up where I left off on my MacBook Pro. That’s a pretty nifty feature, and one I’ll probably use quite a bit.

There are a number of other tweaks and additions, and it’s nice to see Apple invest a little more in one of its oldest, most popular applications; especially one that’s as integral as iTunes.

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