Apple Music is the world’s second-biggest music streaming service

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Apple Music
But Spotify is still way out in front.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

With a 15% share of the market, Apple Music is now the second-biggest music streaming service in the world, according to the latest data. It remains significantly bigger than rivals like YouTube Music and Deezer.

However, Apple Music will have to fight to stay ahead of Amazon Music, while catching up with Spotify will be an incredibly difficult task.

Shazam offers up to 5 months of free Apple Music

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Apple acquisition meant that Shazam turned a profit in 2018
Sign up before January 31, 2022.
Photo: Apple

If you’re yet to try out Apple Music, now’s your chance. Shazam is offering five months of free and unlimited access to new subscribers who sign up before January 31, 2022. Some existing subscribers can get two months free.

You’ll need to use your iPhone (or an Android smartphone if that’s what you’re into) to redeem the offer.

Apple tests improved Music app for Mac — here’s how to try it out now

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Apple Music
It's a lot faster than before.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple is testing an improved version of its Music app that’s built to run entirely natively on Mac. Parts of the app, such as the music library, were native on macOS before, and now the rest of it is catching up for improved performance.

You can try out the new Music app now by installing the macOS 12.2 Monterey beta, which is available to all through Apple’s public Beta Software Program.

Mac gets SharePlay in macOS 12.1 but Universal Control delayed again

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Mac gets SharePlay in macOS 12.1 but Universal Control still missing
Easily watch videos with friends thanks to SharePlay in macOS 12.1.
Photo: Apple

macOS 12.1, the first major update to Monterey, went out Monday. The major new feature is SharePlay, but there are some other enhancements. But it does not include the much-anticipated Universal Control.

It comes on the same day as the release of iOS 15.2, iPadOS 15.2 and watchOS 8.3.

iOS 15.2 brings new privacy features, Apple Music Voice Plan

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Apple tests Legacy Contacts to allow loved ones access your data after you pass on
Legacy Contacts are among the features debuting in iOS 15.2 and iPadOS 15.2.
Photo: Cult of Mac

iPhone users can now upgrade to iOS 15.2. The update adds a cheaper Apple Music option, plus there’s a new App Privacy Report, and parents will be alerted if their children send or receive nudes.

iPadOS 15.2 is also available with these same updates. And there’s overlap with the just-released watchOS 8.3 and macOS Monterey 12.1.

New iPhone security features are almost here

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New iPhone security features are almost here in iOS 15.2
Devs can start testing iOS 15.2. The full release is expected by mid-December.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple seeded the iOS 15.2 release candidate to developers on Tuesday, along with the iPad equivalent. When released to the public, iPhones will alert parents if their children send or receive nudes, there’s a new App Privacy Report, and users will be able to look for AirTags that might be tracking them.

The macOS 12.1 RC and watchOS 8.3 RC also went to devs on Tuesday.

Apple Music subscribers get ‘exclusive gifts’ over the holidays

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Apple Music offers exclusive gifts for the holidays
Starting with a special EP from Coldplay.
Image: Apple

Apple Music subscribers will receive “exclusive gifts” as part of a new holiday promotion. The gifts include a special EP from Coldplay — exclusive to Apple Music — as well as playlists and other “goodies” from A-list artists.

Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, Elton John, and DJ Khaled are a few of the names who are onboard. Gifts will be rolled out every day over the next week, and you must have a valid Apple Music subscription to receive them.

Apple marks 15 years of fighting AIDS with Product Red

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ProductRed iPhone 13 and Apple Watch Series 7
Apple is going all-out for this year's World AIDS Day.
Photo: Apple

To mark World AIDS Day, Apple celebrated 15 years of fighting AIDS with Product Red on Wednesday. The company also outlined new ways customers can support its ongoing efforts — like buying Red versions of iPhone 13 and Apple Watch Series 7.

Through December 6, Apple will donate $1 to the Global Fund for every purchase made with Apple Pay at an Apple Store, through the Apple Store online and in the Apple Store app.

The Weeknd and Olivia Rodrigo win big in 2021 Apple Music Awards

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The Weeknd picks up 2021 Apple Music Award
The Weeknd picked up the coveted Global Artist of the Year award.
Photo: Apple

The Weeknd and Olivia Rodrigo are among the biggest winners in the 2021 Apple Music Awards. This year, Apple Music also added Regional Artist of the Year awards, which recognize “artists who made the greatest impact culturally.”

Apple called the past 12 months “a remarkable year for music.” You can watch its Awards celebration through Apple Music and the TV app on December 7.

Spotify brings Apple Music-like synchronized lyrics to all users

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Spotify lyrics roll out to all
Just like Apple Music's
Photo: Musixmatch

Spotify’s new synchronized song lyrics — much like those we’ve enjoyed inside Apple Music for a while now — are now rolling out globally. The feature is available to both free and paid users across almost all devices.

Lyrics were one of the most requested features among Spotify users, the company said. They first entered testing among a smaller number of customers early this year, and now everyone can enjoy them.