Apple Music has dominated headlines since it was announced earlier this month at the Worldwide Developers Conference, but despite all the hype and controversy, few people have actually used Apple’s new streaming music service. That changes right now.
iOS 8.4 just rolled out as an over-the-air update for iPhones, iPads, and iPods. You can upgrade now by going to Settings > General > Software Update. Apple Music comes preinstalled when you upgrade your devices, and if you update to 8.4 right away, you’ll be one of the first to hear the service’s Beats 1 live radio station when it begins broadcasting at 9 a.m. Pacific/12 p.m. Eastern. To get Apple Music on your Mac, you'll need to update to a new version of iTunes, which doesn't seem to be live just yet. (We just updated to Yosemite 10.10.4, but iTunes looks the same.)
Remember: Apple Music is free for three months, so you don’t have to shell out any money to give it a spin.
Early word on Apple Music
Apple seeded a few outlets with the final version of Apple Music, and early reviews seem mostly positive. None of the journalists spent any significant time with the service, so these are first impressions rather than in-depth reviews, but overall it sounds like Apple Music is a decent alternative to Spotify and Rdio.
Mashable and The Loop’s Jim Dalrymple raved about the service’s curated playlists, which are lifted straight from Beats Music (and were also that app’s best feature). Apple Music starts to figure out what you like the more you listen to it and populates its For You section with personalized recommendations for more artists and playlists to check out.
The jury’s still out on Apple Music Connect, because artists are still building out their pages on the service’s social networking section and there’s not much to it yet.
And because Beats 1 isn’t live, all of the early reviews are missing a huge component of the service.
When you upgrade to iOS 8.4 and start playing around with Apple Music, let us know your own first impressions in the comments. Check back here throughout the day as we offer our own tips and thoughts on getting started with the streaming service.