July 13, 2015

High quality 4G streaming coming to Apple Music with iOS 9

Apple Music

Apple’s recently launched streaming music service, dubbed, reasonably enough, Apple Music, allows users to stream music over both Wi-Fi and 4G, but when using 4G the quality is lowered in order to use less data.

This makes a certain amount of sense, as many users will have data limits which could quickly get eaten up by high quality streaming and the experience could also be less smooth as songs may take longer to start playing (though if you’re somewhere with good 4G that’s not likely to be the case).

However it seems Apple will soon be giving users the choice of whether they want the quality lowered over 4G or not, as Apple Insider has spotted a “High Quality on Cellular” toggle in the iOS 9 beta.

Beneath the toggle it explains that enabling it will “always stream music at the highest quality. This will use more cellular data and songs may take longer to start playing.”

The option will be beneficial for anyone with high data limits and especially those with unlimited 4G data and it’s a feature that’s well worth having, since many people are probably likely to make use of Apple Music when they’re out and about.

Of course if you have a lower data limit you might want to think twice about enabling it and even with it enabled Apple Music is believed to stream tracks in just 256kbps, which is lower than the highest quality on Spotify (320kbps), let alone lossless services like Tidal, which can stream in up to 1411kbps, so if you have a good ear this may still not seem like super high quality music.

If high quality streaming over 4G is an option you’ve been waiting for you can get it now by downloading the iOS 9 beta, but as this won’t be a bug free version we’d advise waiting for the final release, which is likely to arrive in September alongside the next iPhone.

And if you’ve not yet tried Apple Music you’ve got nothing to lose by doing so, as Apple offers a three month free trial when you first sign up.