During the Web Summit in Dublin, Bono told the audience that Apple “let us into the labs,” which indicates that together Apple and U2 are working on some unreleased products and services. Bono also shared a story about his interaction with Steve Jobs:
To illustrate the kind of concepts U2 and Apple might be exploring, Bono told the story of being in a house in France with Steve Jobs a decade ago. Bono looked at a version of iTunes being displayed on a TV screen and asked Jobs if he liked design so much, then “why does that look like a spreadsheet?”
Bono said he had wondered why the album covers displayed on iTunes weren’t interactive or why they didn’t display archival photos, lyrics, or 3-D versions of band members: anything that would make for a more engaging visual experience with fans to complement the music.
Jobs replied that the operating system and the technology didn’t quite exist yet for such an experience.
“But it does now,” Bono said.
Because of the decline in music downloads Apple has recently launched iTunes Radio and music streaming service with Beats Music. With these launches it is quite clear that Apple is looking at the music business in a big way and this might also lead to a rebranding of iTunes and Beats Music based on some suggestions and advice from U2 who have been in the business for a long time.
At the summit Bono said U2 “wanted to work with the creative people at Apple, and that Jony Ive is a guy he’d like to be in a band with. He’d be like a bigger Edge.” He also spoke about the negative reaction due to the automatic download of the “Songs of Innocence” album to uninterested users for which he had apologised in October. “We got a lot of people who weren’t interested in U2 to be mad at U2. I would call that an improvement in the relationship.”