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Apple's iTunes Remote app updated with new, iOS 7-inspired design [u]

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
Apple on Monday released an update to its iTunes remote control app for iOS devices, bringing a new visual design and adding support for iTunes 11.1.

New Remote app


First spied --?in the form of a
redesigned icon --?last month, Apple's Remote app has been updated to version 4.0, just the second refresh for the app this year. Apple says the update requires iOS 7, and is optimized for iPhone 5.

Apple chose to keep the feature list for Remote the same, aside from the version-bumped iTunes support, but rather focused on updating the app's user interface. Users can still control every aspect of iTunes playback on their Mac, and those with an Apple TV maintain the ability to use their iOS device as a remote control and keyboard for the living room media streamer.

The new visual direction matches that of Apple's other iOS media playback apps, namely Music and Videos, and sports a slightly darker blue hue for buttons and list controls. The app also features the same new, flatter icon seen earlier.

Remote's update leaves iBooks, iTunes U, Find My Friends, and Keynote Remote as the only first-party App Store apps that have yet to receive a visual overhaul for iOS 7, release just over one month ago. Keynote Remote is particularly neglected, having not seen an update of any kind since 2011.

Update: Apple on Monday also updated its AirPort Utility app with 64-bit support to take advantage of the iPhone 5s' A7 processor.
post #2 of 33
Why the darker hue of blue? Are they still experimenting with the new UI design? Interesting. I hope this isn't just a matter of the left hand ignoring the right hand.
post #3 of 33

There's a lot wrong and missing in this version.

 

1. I can't find iTunes Radio. It still controls iTunes Radio if I start it from my computer, but there's no way to start it from my iPod Touch.

 

2. The colors for the track information and the time remaining bar are very odd. They are somehow based on the album cover, but they also fade from one color to another. This makes the information much harder to read.

 

3. AirPlay icon next to the volume control? I thought that they were banishing that icon to the Control Center?

post #4 of 33
I hope Find My Friends is next. It was ugly when it first came out but it's now it's just so much worse in comparison to the clean and modern iOS 7.
post #5 of 33
It's alpha!

Extremely buggy.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #6 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oakwine View Post
 

There's a lot wrong and missing in this version.

 

3. AirPlay icon next to the volume control? I thought that they were banishing that icon to the Control Center?

That Airplay icon is to control the remote device's (e.g. the Mac your are controlling) AirPlay setting. It's not for setting Airplay on the iOS device you are currently using. It's a remote app, remember.

post #7 of 33

I'm a bit surprised that Apple would prioritize the Remote app over iBooks for iOS.

post #8 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post
 

That Airplay icon is to control the remote device's (e.g. the Mac your are controlling) AirPlay setting. It's not for setting Airplay on the iOS device you are currently using. It's a remote app, remember.

D'oh. You are correct.

post #9 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolfactor View Post

Why the darker hue of blue? Are they still experimenting with the new UI design? Interesting. I hope this isn't just a matter of the left hand ignoring the right hand.

Indeed. It's a very woosy, lame design with the darker blue.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #10 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by jetlaw View Post

I'm a bit surprised that Apple would prioritize the Remote app over iBooks for iOS.

Different people are working on it and it was less work. That said this feels very like pre-release software. It's terribly buggy. Shoddy by Apple's standards I would submit.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #11 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


Apple chose to keep the feature list for Remote the same,

This is surprising.
Usually they choose to remove features.
post #12 of 33

The iPad version is terrible and clearly shows why having text as buttons is a fishy concept. Once you connect to a library Remote only shows Music, no option to change to movies or TV shows, not even under "More...". You have to tap the text label saying "Music in ..." to show these options or change the library or device. Design is now about how it does not work.

post #13 of 33
Biggest issue I had was that it wouldn't find any of my existing libraries. I had to delete and re-add them.
post #14 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oakwine View Post

There's a lot wrong and missing in this version.

1. I can't find iTunes Radio. It still controls iTunes Radio if I start it from my computer, but there's no way to start it from my iPod Touch.

the remote app never "played" itunes radio. the remote app controls itunes on your desktop/laptop (and controls apple tvs).

if you want to play itunes radio from your ios7 ipod touch, use the builtin Music app.
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appleinsider's mike campbell, august 15, 2013
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post #15 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by richard4339 View Post

Biggest issue I had was that it wouldn't find any of my existing libraries. I had to delete and re-add them.

no issues here. multiple ios devices, multiple libraries.

did you have to go so far as to go through the pairing process again (i.e., did you have type in an access code on each of the machines you wanted to control?) yikes.
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appleinsider's mike campbell, august 15, 2013
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appleinsider's mike campbell, august 15, 2013
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post #16 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


Different people are working on it and it was less work. That said this feels very like pre-release software. It's terribly buggy. Shoddy by Apple's standards I would submit.

and maybe a catchup version... like all those shoddy podcast releases... 

 

I was hoping for more... but then again, I'm hoping for a completely new interface that 'reverse airplay's' the navigation of appleTV to the iDevice Screen... 

 

We do have to remember, there are a few million lines of code Apple is maintaining now for 'free.'  I'm hoping release quality won't suffer from that decision.  

post #17 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooch View Post


the remote app never "played" itunes radio. the remote app controls itunes on your desktop/laptop (and controls apple tvs).

if you want to play itunes radio from your ios7 ipod touch, use the builtin Music app.

I know that Remote controls iTunes. 

I like to play music over the big speakers streaming from iTunes, and I want to be able to control all of it through Remote app on my Touch. I can't change Radio stations from my Touch, and I should be able to. It does give me the "star / pause / skip" trio, which is a step up from the last version of Remote, but that's not what it should be able to do.

 

I don't play Radio on the Touch directly, because it loses connection to my AirPlay speakers when in my pocket.

post #18 of 33
This does not look like IOS7 UI. Looks nothing like the iPod player in IOS7.
They also missed the iTunes Radio control.
They should include headphone support. Say you play a movie on Apple TV, and you use Remote and your IOS device to use headphones wirelessly. Should work with multiple users as well.

Apple need to get a handle on Remote.
post #19 of 33
Bit weird how I can browse and play my iTunes in the Cloud music via the iOS interface, but not my podcasts, movies or TV shows. The gestures (they're new right?) are alright I suppose.

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post #20 of 33
Its been a few years since Ive used the remote app. Did the iPad version look like itunes before?

Im surprised how similar they both are, given that ones for touch and the others a mouse. Apples said a lot about UIs needing to be different, so it seems odd that the iPad screen shot looks almost identical to itunes on osx.
post #21 of 33
Ugh.

Text as buttons is my least favorite part about the new design direction. They were going for clarity but most everyone I know has found it to be confusing. This is a classic example of it at it's worst.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post

The iPad version is terrible and clearly shows why having text as buttons is a fishy concept. Once you connect to a library Remote only shows Music, no option to change to movies or TV shows, not even under "More...". You have to tap the text label saying "Music in ..." to show these options or change the library or device. Design is now about how it does not work.
post #22 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by timgriff84 View Post

Its been a few years since Ive used the remote app. Did the iPad version look like itunes before?

Im surprised how similar they both are, given that ones for touch and the others a mouse. Apples said a lot about UIs needing to be different, so it seems odd that the iPad screen shot looks almost identical to itunes on osx.

That happened with iTunes 11 and the album view from what I recall. I love having it on the iPad personally as it's among my favorite new iTunes features.
post #23 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by hydr View Post

This does not look like IOS7 UI. Looks nothing like the iPod player in IOS7.
They also missed the iTunes Radio control.
They should include headphone support. Say you play a movie on Apple TV, and you use Remote and your IOS device to use headphones wirelessly. Should work with multiple users as well.

Apple need to get a handle on Remote.
Interesting idea with the headphones. Like AirPlay the audio back to the device essentially? But it definitely does look like iOS 7 UI and is very similar to the iTunes app, at least on the iPhone. I haven't compared on the iPad. Are you sure you've upgraded???
post #24 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by richard4339 View Post

Biggest issue I had was that it wouldn't find any of my existing libraries. I had to delete and re-add them.

I use home sharing and have never had an issue with it automatically finding libraries that way.
post #25 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolfactor View Post

Why the darker hue of blue? Are they still experimenting with the new UI design? Interesting. I hope this isn't just a matter of the left hand ignoring the right hand.

Darker than what?  It looks very similar to the shades of blue used for the Safari and Mail icons, or the Weather, or the App Store, or Keynote.  If anything they should have made it a different shade of blue just to help it stand out.

post #26 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oakwine View Post
 

There's a lot wrong and missing in this version.

 

2. The colors for the track information and the time remaining bar are very odd. They are somehow based on the album cover, but they also fade from one color to another. This makes the information much harder to read.

Welcome to iOS7!

post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oakwine View Post
 

There's a lot wrong and missing in this version.

 

1. I can't find iTunes Radio. It still controls iTunes Radio if I start it from my computer, but there's no way to start it from my iPod Touch.

 

iTunes Radio is in the Music app, not the Remote app.  Open the Music App and you will find iTunes Radio, with all the stations you created.

post #28 of 33

This app is great on the iPhone. But on the iPad? Holy shit. 

 

I don't understand. Does Apple not give a shit about their iPad apps anymore? Or any level of optimization? The app is buggy garbage on an iPad Air. Try to launch it, then rotate the screen. It cab barely manage a frame between rotations. Click settings on top right, and scroll through that short list. Stuttery and choppy as hell. On an A7, on a stock iPad Air. 

 

I'm not sure which possibility is worse: That the developers didn't do enough testing (by enough testing, I mean 30 seconds) to notice these obvious, consumer facing performance issues that are reminiscent of a pre-alpha product, or if they DID notice them, but decided to release the app anyway. It's not like there was some hard launch deadline- they could have taken any time that was needed to fix the issues and polish it a tad. This kind of shit is not what I expect from Apple- I know their standards are higher, which is why I have trouble getting my head around this. There's no excuse for the older version of this app running smooth as silk on an iPad 2, then being a choppy mess 3 generations later. Apple has been firing on all cylinders on the hardware/design/engineering front. On the software side? I'm noticing some things that are disconcerting. Hopefully it's temporary. 


Edited by Slurpy - 11/4/13 at 9:10pm
post #29 of 33
@hillstones

One cannot enable streaming to multiple AirPlay speakers directly from an iOS device. This is why I'd want to see iTunes Radio supported in the Remote app.
post #30 of 33
I wish Apple would update the Keynote Remote app.

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iPod nano 5th Gen 8GB Orange, iPad 3rd Gen WiFi 32GB White
MacBook Pro 15" Core i7 2.66GHz 8GB RAM 120GB Intel 320M
Mac mini Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz 8GB RAM, iPhone 5 32GB Black

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post #31 of 33
Great, now the remote app is just as ugly and dysfunctional as the rest of the iOS 7 core apps. See the menu bar at the top? It's extremely tiny and difficult to read, especially for people who wear glasses. See the gray text against a white background? Gray text against a white background is also difficult to read, and nothing short of idiotic. See the small static text underneath the buttons? This is also difficult to read for many people. See the iconography that looks like it belongs on the same page as my 4 year old's stick people? Absolutely hideous.


I can't say this enough times -- Jony Ive should be fired!
post #32 of 33
Great, now the remote app is just as ugly and dysfunctional as the rest of the iOS 7 core apps. See the menu bar at the top? It's extremely tiny and difficult to read, especially for people who wear glasses. See the gray text against a white background? Gray text against a white background is also difficult to read, and nothing short of idiotic. See the small static text underneath the buttons? This is also difficult to read for many people. See the iconography that looks like it belongs on the same page as my 4 year old's stick people? Absolutely hideous.


I can't say this enough times -- Jony Ive should be fired!
post #33 of 33
Originally Posted by zBernie View Post
See the menu bar at the top? It's extremely tiny and difficult to read, especially for people who wear glasses. See the gray text against a white background? Gray text against a white background is also difficult to read

 

Settings/General/Accessibility/Bold Text.

 
I can't say this enough times -- Jony Ive should be fired!

 

Good for you. Apple doesn’t care. Nor do hundreds of millions of others.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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