Apple Music Will Finally Be More Social With This Upcoming Update

Apple Music's collaborative playlist feature will be available in the iOS 17.3 update.
Apple Music’s collaborative playlist feature will be available in the iOS 17.3 update.

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After much delay, Apple Music’s collaborative playlists feature is now just a few days away.

Apple Music is set to introduce a new feature in its upcoming update: collaborative playlists with an emoji react feature. This eagerly awaited addition promises to transform Apple Music into an even more interactive and social platform, fostering a new level of engagement among users.

Apple Music’s collaborative playlist feature was first unveiled at WWDC in June 2023 and was initially expected to be part of iOS 17’s release in 2023. However, this was later removed in iOS 17.2’s fourth beta release.

Apple didn’t reveal the exact reasons why this was delayed but insiders claimed that it’s due to concerns about potential abuse and spam. These issues prompted Apple to rework the feature, incorporating new safeguards such as limits on how many “pending requests” a playlist owner can have.

The iOS 17.3 beta, released in December 2023, reintroduced support for collaborative playlists, indicating Apple’s ongoing efforts to refine this feature. The full public release is now expected by the end of January 2024, alongside the launch of iOS 17.3.

What the Apple Music Collaborative Playlists Is All About

Apple Music's collaborative playlist interface
Apple Music’s collaborative playlist interface

Collaborative playlists in Apple Music, allow multiple people to edit and control shared playlists.

Alongside that, the update brings the ability to react with an emoji to a song in a collaborative playlist. This addition enhances the interactive experience, allowing users to instantly communicate their feelings about a song with others in the playlist.

Previously, Apple Music’s sharing options were limited, restricting users to only sending playlists to others.

How to Create a Collaborative Playlist on Apple Music

To access this feature immediately, you’ll need to install the iOS 17.3 developer beta. Without this, you’ll have to wait for the official release.

You can do this by logging into the Apple Developer Center. Once logged in, navigate to your iOS Settings > General > Software Update > Beta Updates. Choose the iOS 17 Developer Beta option. Then, go back to Software Update, wait for the iOS 17.3 beta to show up, and start the download.

Once you’re all set, you can follow these steps to create a collaborative playlist on Apple Music:

  1. Open Apple Music and either choose an existing playlist or create a new one.
  2. In your playlist’s top right corner, find and select the option to add collaborators (this is an icon of a person with a ‘plus’ symbol).
  3. Share the collaboration link or QR Code with your friends. This code remains valid for seven days. But, you can simply create a new one when it expires.

    How to use Apple Music's collaborative playlists feature
    How to use Apple Music’s collaborative playlists feature
Collaborators only need to access the link or QR code to join the collaborative playlists. However, if you wish to restrict access, you can turn on the ‘Approve Collaborators’ option.

Once someone joins your playlist, you’ll see the songs they added along with their names at the end of the list.

To stop collaboration, tap the two-people icon and select “Stop the Collaboration.” Then, you can then remove songs added by others if you wish to.

How to React to a Song Shared on a Collaborative Playlist

Reacting to a song using the emoji feature is simple. Here’s how:

  1. While playing a song on a collaborative playlist, tap the emoji icon next to the “Favorite” button.
  2. Select one of the default emojis or tap “+” for more options.

    How to use the emoji feature
    How to use the emoji feature

You can view others’ reactions to the songs when you return to the playlist. Multiple reactions to a song will be shown collectively.

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