Let me be blunt – I agree with those who have been increasingly critical of the state of Apple’s software releases in terms of readiness. iOS 5 was patched almost instantly for some awful bugs, iTunes Match stumbled out of the gate late and feeling like it should have been later, Siri was beta at release but hasn’t made all that many strides, … and then there is Apple Maps.
So when the news that iTunes 11 was being delayed into November came out, I was actually relieved. I was glad that they hadn’t forced it to release for the iPad Mini event, and that they hadn’t forced themselves to meet the ‘end of October’ schedule. Now we just have to hope that this extra time is enough!
According to CNET:
“The new iTunes is taking longer than expected and we wanted to take a little extra time to get it right,” Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr told CNET. “We look forward to releasing this new version of iTunes with its dramatically simpler and cleaner interface, and seamless integration with iCloud before the end of November.”
Since it has been a bit since we heard the introduction, it is worth asking again: What is iTunes 11 supposed to bring?
•New library views
•improved iCloud integration
•Instant recommendations and know what’s playing next
All of this looks to help those looking for a less resource intensive app, and further push the ties to iCloud and iOS.
And what else might we get? Streaming. All signs (and a Bloomberg report) point to Apple working on an internet radio challenger to take on Spotify and Pandora and further push the iTunes brand as your one-stop source for music of all types at home or on the go. In fact, Computerworld has that very same speculation, wondering:
I know from watching how the company deals with those notoriously loose-lipped majors that discussions frequently intensify just before a service is launched: in an attempt to maintain a little secrecy, Apple likes to close deals with US majors just before a US launch. It did the same with the iTunes Store.
That’s why it’s interesting to take a look at the second paragraph of the Bloomberg story:
“Discussions are centered in part around how to share ad revenue and a deal could be reached by mid-November, with Apple starting service in the first three months of 2013, said the people, who sought anonymity because talks are in progress.”
Why wait till after Christmas?
After all, Apple has a raft of newly-introduced mobile devices (iPhone, iPad, iPad mini, iPod touch) all of which are hungry for music. There’s no doubt that iTunes music streaming would make these products even more interesting across the Holiday season.
My thoughts exactly … but whether it is for streaming radio or just to properly wrap up the software release, I think any move to slow up releases until they are ready is a good sign – and not just for Apple.