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Hands on with the new iTunes Remote 3.0 app for iOS

With iTunes 11’s release last week, Apple also quietly updated the free Remote app for iOS, adding new functionality and a new look. iTunes Remote for iOS is a useful, yet little-heralded, app that allows users to control their iTunes library from their iOS device. Whether it be an iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad, Remote 3.0 lets users connect to iTunes or Apple TV libraries via Home Sharing.

The Remote app for iPad’s new interface looks just like iTunes 11, featuring the extended view feature Apple recently added to the updated version of iTunes. You can now tap an album name to see the tracks listed below the album, similar to what’d you see in an iOS folder. While you’re doing that, other albums will be visible in the background, which means that you can still browse through your albums while the track list for your selected album is still open. 

In addition, the “Up Next” feature from iTunes 11 has also been added to the iPad version of iTunes Remote. As you can see from the photo below, “Up Next” shows what music is playing next, which is very useful when listening to a playlist on shuffle. Also, “Up Next” lets users make impromptu playlists, remove songs using the Edit button, and view your history of recently played songs (it goes back to the last 20 songs you played). 

iTunes Remote also lets you view your movie, TV shows, podcasts, and even your iTunes U media, for playback on your computer. A “New” banner shows up for newly downloaded content, similar to the banner that appears when you download apps on iOS 6.

Another neat addition to version 3.0 is that you can now sort your music by artist in Songs mode. Previously, your only option was to sort by title.

Unfortunately, the app is not as refined on the iPhone. The iPhone version hasn’t changed much from its predecessor. As you can see from the photo to the right, the iTunes Remote app behaves a lot like the Music app pre-installed in every iOS device. Obviously, there’s not as much real estate on the iPhone as there is on the iPad. Since the screen is smaller, there isn’t very many ways Apple can change the iTunes Remote app. 

iTunes Remote for iPad is basically like a smaller version of iTunes 11, which, in our opinion, is a good thing. The user interface in iTunes 11 has drastically changed, and hopefully, future iOS updates will follow iTunes’ lead and change up the effective, yet boring, Music app that we are forced to use.