Apple's big iOS 14.5 update adds over 60 new features and changes to your iPhone, some of which are upgrades that audiophiles and even casual music listeners can appreciate. Whether you subscribe to the Apple Music streaming service or simply use the Music app for your own library of tunes, iOS 14.5 has a few things you should know about.
Before we jump right to the new iOS 14.5 features for Music, know that the new update is a big one, offering more changes than any software update since iOS 14 first came out. While the additions to Music are great, iOS 14.5, which came out April 26, is much bigger than one app. There's support for PS5 and Xbox Series X controllers, over 200 new emoji, and updates to 5G, to name a few.
Moving lyrics, introduced in iOS 13, added a fantastic, karaoke-like experience for Apple Music subscribers. With iOS 14.5, Apple expanded the feature, and we can now share groups of these lyrics with friends.
All you need to do is long-press one of these lyrics while listening to an applicable Apple Music track. When you do, you'll see a pop-up window appear, complete with your initial selection and the rest of the song's lyrics. Just tap other lyric lines to select them, up to five lines at a time (although you might not get that far if you exceed the character limit).
Once you share these lyrics, they appear in a unique window along with an Apple Music link to that track if the other end supports the feature. If not, you'll just see the lyrics in plain text next to the song.
In iOS 14.4.2 and earlier, Apple Music would show you the release year of a song or album below the album art and the copyright year and record label below the tracks. With iOS 14.5, you now see the exact release date for that song or album, and upcoming and unreleased albums you can view in Apple Music aren't left out.
The iOS 14.5 update also adds more record label information to Apple Music, including a convenient link to that label's entire catalog on the streaming service if one is available. As you can see below, Big Machine has an active Apple Music catalog link. However, take a look at the Weezer album from Feature 2, and you'll see Geffen Records has no such catalog yet.
In the past, whenever you were on the lock screen or in the Notification Center and had music playing, the music player would side-scroll the artist, album, and song names if they were too long to preview in full. It was a great way to see exactly what you were listening to, no matter how long the titles were. Unfortunately, that disappeared, and in many cases, we were stuck with static, cut-off music titles (see first GIF below).
Those issues are now resolved since iOS 14.5 brings back moving song information to the lock screen and Notification Center music player (see second GIF below).
The new update adds some interesting swipe gestures. Swipe right on a track in your own library or on Apple Music, and you'll see two options (left image below): a purple list button that adds a song to the top of your queue ("Play Next") and an orange list icon that adds a song to the bottom of your queue ("Play Later").
Also, when it's an Apple Music song, you can swipe left on it to see a gray plus (+) button, which lets you add that song to your library (right image below).
In a small but fun change, iOS 14.5 introduces floating context menus stemming from the ellipsis (•••) options menu icon on select pages (left image below), bringing it in line with other apps in iOS 14. In previous versions, the menu appeared at the bottom of the display, much like the share sheet (right image below). Could this change imply some bigger context menu upgrades coming in future iOS updates?
City Charts is a feature first discovered hidden in the iOS 14.5's beta code, then later confirmed by Apple. Like Apple Music's "Top 100" playlists, this feature looks to offer Apple Music subscribers a look at the top tracks in over 100 cities from around the world. So if you want to know what the top 25 most-listened-to tracks on Apple Music are in Los Angeles or New York, you can finally find out.
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