Last year multiple reports claimed Apple was working on a “Spotify-like” web radio service, and Bloomberg pegged the debut in the first three months of 2013. Now, some eagle-eyed iPad users may have found some clues that Apple is getting closer to making the service a reality.
Using a new jailbreaking software for iOS 6, bloggers from 9to5Mac say they were able to have a look around the files in their iPad, and in there found some so far unused icons in the Music app:
The files are called some variation of “radio button” with an icon that looks similar to the radio icon that used to be in iTunes for Mac (it was traded for a more prominent top location in iTunes 11 without the antenna tower). The iPad music app currently doesn’t have any radio functionality, so our first thought was that Apple would be adding an iTunes-like ‘traditional’ streaming radio to the iPad. Notably, jailbroken iPhones don’t contain these files in the Music app.
More interestingly, the name of these button files and are labeled with “buy” in the filename.
The images they found, below, are not currently in use. Nor, as mentioned above, are there corresponding images found in the iPhone’s Music app.
It’s still not entirely clear how such a service would work, but Apple has been said to be in talks to license music from major labels to allow its iTunes users to pay a subscription fee to stream channels of music instead of one-off purchases.
If Bloomberg’s earlier report is correct, we should be hearing much more detail about the service sometime in the next two months.