Searching visually

iTunes cover search

It’s been quite difficult to find much to love about the latest version of Apple’s iOS.

The 24 hours it took to install iOS7  in the autumn, not to mention the diminished touchscreen responsiveness it arrived with, certainly don’t help.

(And I prefer not to dwell on the necessity of wiping my phone, only to find that not restoring from a backup was the one way I could get my phone up and running again.)

But one small addition I do appreciate is the ‘visual search‘ now offered by the Music app, when albums are presented only by their cover artwork and scrollable from left to right when the phone is turned on its side.

Stripping away the information that it could tell you, but which few listeners can find useful, provides a ‘cleaner’ search that also feels like a more effective one. (But maybe that’s just me – perhaps some people do think: Today I will listen to … The Bones of What You Believe, because it has 12 songs and lasts 48 minutes.)

And by increasing the amount items displayed on the screen, and tapping into the visual and emotional draw of album covers more than ever before, Apple looks to be thinking about music (and Music) in a more mobile-friendly way, even if the app’s update as a whole often feels like two steps forward six steps back.

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