Apple Music is getting 6 new features in a free update – here's what's coming

Two friends stand in front of a TV singing along to lyrics with Apple Music Sing
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple Music subscribers are set to see several new free features when they update to iOS 17 later this year, including the ability to finally collaborate on playlists, discover new insights about the artists they listen to, and more. 

While some of these changes and new features were announced during the WWDC 2023 keynote, Apple has since released a bit more information about all the updates that Apple Music subscribers can expect in the coming months.     

From being able to see yourself on one of the best TVs for karaoke night using your iPhone’s camera, to collaborating with your friends and family to organize the perfect playlist for games night, here’s everything that you can expect to be added to Apple’s music app later in 2023 (most likely in September). 

Collaborative Playlists, at last 

An iPhone with the Apple Music app open

(Image credit: Apple)

One of the most-anticipated updates coming to Apple Music is the Collaborative Playlists feature, which will finally give subscribers the ability to invite each other to add and edit songs in a playlist.   

This feature is something that many have been (patiently) waiting for, especially given that rival music subscription services have offered it for a while now and it’s one of the 9 mistakes everyone makes with Spotify by not enabling it. The rival music streamer even offers a Spotify Friends Mix and Spotify Blend playlists, which allows you to co-create mixtapes with your favorite artists. 

Apple’s latest update is a step in the same direction in expanding the community part of its offering. Collaborative Playlists will also have some more interactive features such as giving subscribers the ability to add emoji reactions to certain songs.

Take over your car’s radio with SharePlay

An iPhone with a Share Play notification

(Image credit: Apple)

Another collaborative update that’s coming to Apple Music is the ability to interact with what’s playing in the car using CarPlay. Through SharePlay, multiple people in the car will be able to take over the music line-up with an iPhone or iPad much easier, giving you options to play, pause and skip. 

It will be interesting to see how this new feature stacks up against using Bluetooth pairing in your car, which can be cumbersome when switching between multiple devices – plus who wants to do what when you’re on the move? Apple's system sounds much easier, as long as everyone's got an iPhone, of course.

Apple Music Sing gets a camera   

Two friends stand in front of a TV singing along to lyrics with Apple Music Sing

(Image credit: Apple)

For those unfamiliar with Apple Music Sing, it is a fairly recent feature that was added to the music streaming app in late 2022. It’s essentially a karaoke mode that lets you stream songs with real-time lyrics and hardly any vocals on top so that you can be the star of the show. 

And later this year, you’ll also be able to see yourself rocking out to all your favorite songs thanks to Continuity Camera, which allows you to use your iPhone or iPad as a camera by pairing with your Mac or Apple TV 4K via Wi-Fi.  

Continuity Camera for Apple TV was one of four great Apple TV 4K features announced at WWDC 2023, because it also makes it possible to make FaceTime calls on your TV, and it’s smart to see it being rolled out so quickly to other areas of the Apple ecosystem. 

Go backstage with Song Credits  

Apple also announced a new feature called Song Credits, which enables subscribers to access more "comprehensive data about the artists who contributed to their favorite tracks, including their role and the instrument they played," according to Apple.

While there was no preview of how this new content would be displayed and look like, or how much more detailed it would be, it’s likely that we’ll see something perhaps possibly similar to what Spotify has with bios. 

Access all Apple Music radio shows 

An iPhone with the Apple Music open showing radio shows

(Image credit: Apple)

If you haven’t listened to Apple Music’s radio shows, just know that it's got a growing catalog of flagship shows including The Zane Lowe Show where the New Zealand DJ and producer interviews artists such as Harry Styles, Ed Sheeran and Metallica. 

The reason why I’m telling you this is because the full Apple Music radio shows catalog will be available later this year after you update to iOS 17. It will be added to the Apple Music app, where you will be able to follow radio shows, which will automatically start downloading on your phone so you’re up to date, more like podcasts – and, in fact, they'll be available as podcasts too.  

Apple’s radio shows and radio stations have proven to be hidden gems in our experience. We previously wrote about how an Apple Music new radio station was the perfect nostalgia trip for ’90s kids

Apple Music’s new look and other small updates

An iPhone with the Apple Music open

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple Music is also getting a new look as part of the update, with a fresh design for Now Playing and Apple Podcasts’ shows, episodes and Up Next, as well as “enhanced controls for managing” songs in the queue.

Finally, you can also expect more connectivity among the apps that you frequently use, with new functionalities to connect subscriptions to shows with apps like Bloomberg and Calm. You’ll also be able to listen to audio stories from Apple News Plus on Apple Podcasts. 

If you’re considering which music streamer is better out of Apple Music vs Spotify, then this recent update closes the gap between the two services a little further by adding more crossover features.

Amelia Schwanke
Senior Editor UK, Home Entertainment

Amelia became the Senior Editor for Home Entertainment at TechRadar in the UK in April 2023. With a background of more than eight years in tech and finance publishing, she's now leading our coverage to bring you a fresh perspective on everything to do with TV and audio. When she's not tinkering with the latest gadgets and gizmos in the ever-evolving world of home entertainment, you’ll find her watching movies, taking pictures and travelling.