Apple updates website nav to emphasize services including TV+, News+
By Matt Collins Article may include affiliate links
After its Oct. 18, 2021, product announcement event, Apple redid the navigation bar on its website.
Prior to the event, the navigation went like this: Home (Apple icon), Store, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Watch, TV, Music, Support, followed by a search icon and shopping bag.
Apple notably added back the “Store” link to its main navigation earlier this year after it went missing for a while when it opted to simply direct users to product pages with “buy” links instead.
Now, however, the text size of the main navigation bar as been bumped down 2 pixels on desktop views to 12 pixels, making it a bit of a strain to read, depending on how good your eyes are.
The new nav reads like this: Home (Apple icon), Store, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Watch, AirPods, TV & Home, Only on Apple, Accessories, Support followed by the search and bag icons.
It’s not surprising that AirPods got moved into the primary navigation consider that the third generation was a key product announcement Oct. 18.
By merging the “TV” and “Home” links, Apple is able to emphasize the connection between its HomePod mini and Apple TV streaming box, which both, in addition to streaming content, can serve as smart home “hubs.”
It’s also a way for the company to plug its Apple TV+ streaming service in the larger, secondary navigation bar that appears under most main sections of the website.
Meanwhile, “Only on Apple” is an interesting additional in that it’s basically a portal of information about the company’s subscription and service based offerings, including the aforementioned Apple TV+, plus its subscription music, fitness, arcade, news and iCloud products.
Also listed in the secondary navigation are podcasts, Apple Books, the Apple Card and Apple Wallet.
The new “Only on Apple” page appears to strongly emphasize Apple TV+ shows, with a large hero image showing clips from its content and encouraging users to sign up.
Going down the page, customers are, as of this writing, then shown Apple Music, Fitness+, Arcade, News+ and iCloud+ offerings.
News has a free edition for anyone with a compatible device, as does iCloud, but the rest of the services require a paid monthly subscription either to each product or Apple One, the company’s bundled subscription offering.
Apple Music is also coming out with a cheaper, $4.99 a month plan that users control via Siri, though no launch date has been set.
Apple is already immensely profitable by selling everything from $19 “polishing” cloths to $6,000-plus computers, but the company has identified subscription based services as a key focus to keep the bottom line healthy, so it’s no surprise these services are getting more prominent placement and presented together and as Apple exclusives.
It likely would have been tricky to get all of the services Apple now offers in the navigation bar, but it’s also interesting that the company
Perhaps the most jarring change is removing “Music” from the main navigation — given that the service and its accompanying iTunes software are two of the most familiar brands the company offers (even Windows users can use iTunes).
While Apple has heavily promoted its news, fitness, arcade and TV services, both free and paid, they haven’t quite reached the household name status that Apple Music and iTunes has.
Apple TV+ is still prominent features at the top level of the navigation thanks to that “TV & Home” link and perhaps a similar approach could have been used to create an “AirPods & Music” link, though, in fairness, that does take up even more room in what appears to be a very tight space.