In case you missed it, Vevo has completely redesigned its lagging iPhone and iPad application in the App Store. I watch music videos from Vevo artists on YouTube on my desktop. On mobile, not so much and I blame Vevo’s hopelessly outdated design, inconsistencies and complicated features for that.
Bumped to version 5.0, the new Vevo experience starts with a black-and-white logo and a matching app icon.
The headline change here is an all-new interface—it gets out of your way, unlike Apple’s own Music app, and sports a tremendously useful mini-player. It’s almost too weird to say that Vevo’s new iOS app is a lot easier and way more fun to use than Apple’s stock Music app has ever been, but it’s true.
Bold new look
After logging in with your Vevo account (or Facebook or Google+), you’ll be asked to choose a few artists that you like. Just tap the checkmark on gorgeous full-bleed pictures of those artists and swipe left or right to add more artists to your ‘liked’ list. This lets Vevo understand your musical tastes and tailor the feed just for you.
Next, optionally accept receiving notifications when your favorite artists post new releases or Vevo has recommendations for you. Don’t worry, the settings interface lets you individually disable notifications for new releases and recommendations.
Now you’re ready to use the new Vevo in all its glory.
As the screenshots attest, the redesigned experience is based on a rather dramatic black look with big, high-quality imagery and conspicuous lack of buttons. This is by design as Vevo puts the spotlights on music in the form of an endless stream of videos.
At the top, you have your Options (the gear icon), Spotlight (that’s your main feed), Favorites and Search—and that’s about it!
Gone are the previous sections such as Top Videos, Featured Videos, Genres and more. It takes some time getting used to Vevo’s minimalist appearance but in my personal opinion, it’s light years ahead of the cluttered design in the old app.
In Favorites, you can access liked artists (or add more artists to your liked list), check out your playlists (with options to delete or share a playlist, copy the URL and edit its name) and access your watch history in case you want to go back to that song you heard on Vevo and have been humming all day long but can’t quite recall its title.
To hear a song, just tap any thumbnail and it instantly starts playing. Left and right arrows on the edges let you quickly jump to the next or previous video in your feed.
Mini player and other perks
To go full screen, just turn your device upside down. Even better, pull down on the video and it gets reduced to the new mini-player at the bottom, much like Apple’s Music app. This lets you browse Vevo while listening to songs uninterrupted, which is awesome.
You can like a song by tapping the heart icon (hearts are now the new likes!) or hit a tiny hamburger-like icon next to each song in the list to add it to your playlist, create a new playlist, copy the YouTube video URL to the system clipboard, jump to the artist’s page or access iOS’s multi-purpose Share menu.
Again, all of the previous sections and various buttons have been ditched for a much more focused experience that I think people will feel much more at home with: you move between Settings, Spotlight, Favorites and Search by swiping left and right or tap the hamburger icon next to an item to access contextual options.
The user interface is so cleaned up and subdued that it becomes inevitable, especially for first-time Vevo user. This is especially evident if you do a kind of side-by-side design comparison of the new Vevo and YouTube’s overwhelming app.
Summing up, you’ll spend far less time searching and finding your way around the interface and a lot more time actually enjoying music with the new Vevo app. My only complaint is lack of support for background audio playback though you can AirPlay videos to the big screen through your Apple TV.
This new experience is available in Vevo’s iOS application in the United States, but the company has pledged to roll it out to other platforms and markets soon, including the new Apple TV which continues to use Vevo’s now defunct design.
If you’ve always loathed Vevo’s mobile app and were on the lookout for a legitimate way to stream music videos, I wholeheartedly recommend giving the refreshed Vevo app a second chance.
Seriously, just do it!
Vevo 5.0 requires an iPhone, ion iPod touch or iPad with iOS 7.0 or later and is localized in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish.