Apple has just released a major update to iTunes for Mac, bringing the media player and mobile device management app to version 12.1.
Most notably, the update introduces a new Today widget for iTunes. If enabled, the widget lets you quickly see what’s playing, skip ahead, and purchase music while listening to iTunes Radio right from the Notification Center, which is accessible from the right edge of the screen on OS X.
Note, though, that widget support is available only on OS X Yosemite. The iTunes widget is also separate from iTunes’ Notification Center notification banners and alerts, which include information on music playback and other activity.
The latest update to iTunes is also said to enhance the app’s performance when syncing with an iPhone, an iPod touch, or an iPad, which is a nice improvement indeed especially for those of us who still rely on iTunes for syncing songs, apps, and other content with our iOS devices.
Finally, iTunes 12.1 includes a quick tour that’s shown the first time the updated app is launched. It’s a welcome inclusion, although it should have been introduced when iTunes 12.0.1 was released alongside OS X Yosemite 10.10 in October to help users familiarize themselves with the substantially revamped app.
Version 12.1 of iTunes for Mac is available now to download from the Updates section of the Mac App Store.
It comes just a couple of days after the release of OS X Yosemite 10.10.2, which includes fixes to Wi-Fi connectivity and other improvements.
Apple is expected this year to integrate iTunes with Beats Music, the music streaming service that it bought as part of its $3 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics last year, amid intensifying competition with the likes of Spotify and declining figures in digital music sales.
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