It’s been six months since Apple unveiled iTunes 12, the latest version of its multimedia mega-app. Updates since then have been few and far between, but today Apple released the first big one: iTunes 12.1, which introduced a swank new media control widget for Notification Center.
As you might expect, the Notification Center widget allows you to fully control iTunes without switching directly to the app. It includes the usual back, forward, pause and play buttons, as well as a time scrubber, the name of the artist and the title of the track. And if you’re playing iTunes Radio? You can favorite songs and purchase the currently playing song with a single click.
In look and execution, it’s a lot like the media controls on the iOS Lock Screen. Revolutionary? No. But anything that stops you from having to look at the bloated and confusing iTunes app is probably a net win.
The iTunes 12.1 update is available for both Windows and Mac, although obviously you only get the Notification Center widget on Mac. Other additions include syncing speed improvements for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. You can update your software to the latest version through the Updates tab on the Mac App Store.