The multi-platform, Web-based interface for the Apple Music streaming service exited beta and officially launched today. It lives at music.apple.com and is accessible through any modern Web browser.
In many respects, the design and layout of the site closely resembles that of the native Mac app. The layout of store pages is similar, and the visual language is the same. It has the same player controls at the top, and it also has the left-aligned navigation bar with “For You,” “Browse,” and “Radio.”
It’s interesting, though, that the website prominently features “open in Music” (in Safari on Apple devices) or “open in iTunes,” depending on the platform. This suggests that Apple still sees the website as a supplement to the native app experience, not a full replacement for it. Also, the Apple Music Web app lacks some of the personal library features that were grandfathered into Music from iTunes on Macs.
The website was first introduced with a beta label in September, so today concludes a fairly lengthy beta period. This follows some efforts by Apple to bring more of its services to the Web. The company recently debuted a mobile version of its iCloud website, and the desktop Web version of that site has gradually received more apps over the years, like Find iPhone and Find Friends.
Apple also offers a little recognized or acknowledged Web version of its TV app, aimed specifically at serving up Apple TV+ content. The desktop version of TV also offers features to aggregate content from partner networks and services that Apple calls channels, but that’s missing from the website. With that app as with the Music one, you get the sense that it’s a secondary experience to the desktop or mobile apps.
As a company, Apple has long argued that platform-native applications should be the primary experiences for most apps and services, in contrast to competitors like Google that put a heavy emphasis on Web apps. That’s primarily because the two companies have very different business models; Apple is primarily trying to sell hardware and content, whereas Google is seeking to dominate the Web.
Listing image by Samuel Axon