Apple Music in iOS 16 introduces playlist sorting and the ability to add favorite artists

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Although Apple didn’t focus on Apple Music during its WWDC keynote yesterday, there are a few changes to the app in iOS 16.

lock screen player

The changes to Apple Music begin on the new iOS 16 lock screen, where the Apple Music Now Playing widget now sits at the bottom of the screen. It matches iOS 16’s new approach of removing the lock screen and sending all notifications to the bottom of the screen, where you can choose to hide them throughout the day if you get too many.

apple music lock screen ios 16
For Apple Music, the lock screen player has all the requisite controls for playing and connecting to AirPods or other headphones. You can also expand the controls to full-screen view, which will expand the album art of the currently playing song and become your new iPhone lock screen image.

It’s part of iOS 16’s new “Live Activities” feature that aims to help people stay on top of things happening in real time through various app widgets on the lock screen. This includes tracking live updates on sports games, workouts, ride sharing apps, food delivery orders and more.

favorite artist

You can now add artists to your “Favorite Artists” list by navigating to your artist profile in Apple Music and tapping a new star button at the top of the page. After doing that, Apple says you’ll get better recommendations and notifications about new releases from that artist.

apple music zoom favorite artist

‌Apple Music‌ originally had a similar feature where you could follow artists and get updates on their music, and sometimes even updates on upcoming releases. The new Favorite Artists feature feels more streamlined and is focused on improving push notifications and recommendations about your favorite artists.

playlist ranking

Apple Music in iOS 16 lets you sort playlists in a few different orders: regular playlist order, title, artist, album, or release date. Plus, you can choose either ascending or descending order for each of these categories.

Apple Music Rating iOS 16

It’s a notable addition, considering that there’s no automatic sorting option in ‌Apple Music‌. Every time you add a new song to a playlist, it is placed at the bottom of the playlist and the oldest songs at the top. If you want to sort it, you’ll have to manually drag it to where you want it to go.

With the new feature, you can choose to reverse the traditional playlist order so that new songs appear on top. These sorting features are located in the ellipsis menu in the upper-right corner of the playlist screen in iOS 16h.

User interface changes

Lastly, there are some very minor UI changes that can be found in the full-screen player in the ‌Apple Music‌ app. Apple has subtly updated the user interface to feature slightly thicker playback and volume bars, among other small changes.

apple music player ios 16

Apple Music in iOS 16 (left) vs. iOS 15.5 (right)

We’re recap of all the latest news from WWDC, including iOS 16 facts and improvements coming to tvOS 16. For a full recap, watch our video breaking down everything Apple announced during the WWDC 2022 keynote in 13 minutes.

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