Like almost all of Apple’s built-in iOS apps, the Music app is capable but difficult to use. Apple’s habit of hiding key functions behind multiple button presses is in full effect here, and it’s getting worse. Want to “heart” a piece? Previously, you could do this from the lock screen reader. Now you need to go to the Music app’s share menu and find it there.
And what if you want to view your recently added items as a list or your song list as a grid? Difficult. On the other hand, if you use features like For You… playlists and Apple Music’s excellent More by… recommendations, many alternative music apps don’t support them.
The answer to this digital music conundrum is Marvis Pro, a year-old music app that offers everything you need – and nothing you don’t.
Why abandon Apple’s Music app?
The Apple Music app for iOS is a bloated mess that still seems to lack advanced features. The Browse section, for example, is like turning on the radio. It’s full of songs and artists that I have no interest in listening to. Of course, Apple Music, show me the new Justin Bieber. Why not?
You may already be familiar with the Apple Music app, but that’s not because it’s well-designed. It’s because you had no choice. You had to get used to it.
Want to look for something? No problem. It looks like it would be pretty quick and easy. After all, there’s a search tab permanently at the bottom of the Music app on your iPhone or iPad. And yet, if you hit that search tab, you may end up looking at your previous search results, with no search bar in sight.
This is because the app keeps the state of the search tab regardless of how you left it. If you look at an artist page, for example, and tap the For You tab, then tap Search again, you’ll return to the artist page from your previous search – with no search bar in sight. . You will need to go back to the top level of your previous search results to see the search bar again.
Try Marvis Pro
Now let’s look at Marvis’ search function. The app uses gestures to access an always-available menu. Simply swipe right from any blank space on any screen, and you will see the slide menu. Then, without taking a finger off the screen, swipe up or down to select an entry. Removing your finger from the screen triggers this input.
And when you trigger the search, you see your previous search, but you also see that the text cursor is already inside the search box and any existing search terms are already highlighted. You can just start typing, you can paste, and you can even copy. It is a perfect accomplishment.
Speaking of that side menu, it’s very customizable. You can easily add and remove sections you don’t want, unlike the Stock Music app. In fact, the entire Marvis app can be customized. There’s a huge list of settings, and you can also customize any view by tapping the kind button (two arrows, pointing in opposite directions). Take a look at what you can do:
Marvis music app: too many features
Marvis offers too many great features to list, so I’ll just mention a few of my favorites. The first is that you can see a list of your favorite tracks, which isn’t possible in Apple’s own app. Another is drag and drop. You can simply drag one or more songs/albums to the play panel at the bottom of any screen to add it to the queue. The play panel then changes to show the icons for play next, play later, play now, and shuffle. You can drop the song(s) to any of them.
And the other part that I like is the For you tab, which collects all your recent activities and recommendations. This is one of the features that I miss in other alternative music apps, and Marvis does it very well.
The only thing Marvis lacks is a way to modify the Up Next queue. According to Marvis Pro developer Aditya Rajveer, Apple does not make required data available to third-party apps.
If you want, you can bring up the Up Next list and use it to see what’s coming up, but you can’t edit the list itself. However, you can always add songs to the list using the previously mentioned drag and drop feature. So in reality, unless you swipe the queue to rearrange the songs in the Stock Music app, you won’t miss a thing.
I really, really like this app. It works much better than Apple’s lackluster efforts. Marvis is intuitive, smart, customizable and predictable. You can’t really say anything about the Apple Music app – except layer, I suppose.
To download: Marvis Pro from the App Store (iOS)