Apple Music, the music subscription application of Apple has finally hit the Google Play Store, though with a tag of Beta status for the time being. This is the first user-centric app that Apple has created for Android. This music service was already available for iOS and Mac users, and Android version was much awaited, since there are plenty of Android users who want to taste of one of Apple’s flagship services. The Apple Music for Android app is compatible for Android smartphones running version 4.3 and later, and it will work perfectly even on tablets.
If you’ve used this immensely popular Apple Music app on iOS, you’ll be quite familiar with its Android counterpart — nearly all of the service’s features are intact, and the user interface is a surprisingly tasteful blend of what Apple put together for iOS but still feels native to Android.
After downloading and installing Apple Music from the Google Play Store, you’ll be requested to either begin a free trial version or log in if you’re already a current subscriber. (If you don’t sign in, you still will be able to listen the ad-supported radio for free.) Once you’re set up, you will be redirected to the “For You” tab, which comes with the selected playlists and albums recommended based on your listening habits. There are loads of other ways to browse the huge amount of music on the service. The “New” segment features the latest music that you can drill down into by genre; there’s also a huge number of playlists to browse based on genres and activities that are created by the Apple Music editors and a number of contributors. The “Radio” segment features Beats 1 as well as genre-based stations that’ll continuously play and update depending upon your preferences. The “Connect” feature provides users a way to follow their favorite artists and see what they post — usually it’s Instagram-style photos, but they may also get the link to specific songs or playlists as well.
Finally, there’s the “My Music” section which shows everything you’ve added to your library, either via Apple Music or through songs that you’ve added to your iTunes account over the years. Playlists are helpfully distributed into their own genre rather than grouped under My Music as they are in iOS. Though Apple music looks complicated at the first glance but the new users will get comfy with it as the time passes by and there is a lot of good stuff to find out if you search it properly.
Apple Music for Android: What Does it Offer
In a few ways, in fact, Apple Music for Android app feels less cluttered and more streamlined than the iOS version. Coming with the service’s main content areas tucked away to the left of the screen under the standard Android “hamburger” button saves some screen space compared to the iOS app’s ever-present bottom navigation buttons. Also those plenty of three-dot icons throughout the music app that bring up more options, those menus have been mercifully trimmed down too.
Apple’s SVP of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue, said at the launch event “We’ve obviously been really excited about the response we’ve gotten to Apple Music. People love the human curation aspects of it, discovery, radio. But from the moment we got into music, many, many years ago, we’ve always wanted to do things for everyone when it came down to music. Part of that was letting you enjoy your music no matter where you were and what products you were using”. He further added “We wanted customers on Android to naturally be able to use it — what they’ve learned and how they interact is common. Things as simple as [that] the share icon looks like an Android share icon; the menu structure being where it is; these are things that most Android customers are familiar with. We wanted to make sure that they felt very familiar with Apple Music when they sat down to use it.” And that is why Apple made this music app a full native to look and feel like an Android app.
The main reason behind Apple’s new endeavor is that music is universal, and more importantly music is global. For Apple Music to reach the widest audience, it needed to enter the markets where Android still far outstrips iOS penetration. Apple Music for Android, which launches Tuesday in all of the countries Apple has Music for iOS in — except for China, where it will be launching a beta version ‘very soon’.
Apple Music for Android memberships costs $9.99/month for individuals, the same as Beats Music subscriptions which Apple Music replaces, after a three-month free trial period. One can also choose Apple Music family plans for up to five different accounts which is available through Family Sharing on iOS and Mac for $14.99/month.
Now the biggest question arises is whether Apple Music is any better than the many other music apps already present on Android. Apple Music for Android looks like a nearly feature-complete app when compared to its iOS version , but the biggest missing feature seems like is music video support, something Apple says will come soon. Also, though the app is well designed and contains the service’s most important features, its beta version does show up in the form of occasional app crashes if you start pushing your way through the UI too fast or too erratically.
Another major issue is whether or not Android users have any real reason to buy into Apple’s music service as all the major players are available on the platform, and each has its own strengths and weaknesses. If you’re someone who is a big fan of the huge collection in iTunes and wants to take advantage of that music on Android, Apple Music would be a smart choice. Also its curated playlists remain a unique differentiator and a truly fun way to find new music. Fortunately, Apple is still allowing new users three-months long trial version, so if you’re an Android user who hasn’t given Apple Music a shot, now’s the perfect time to find out whether it’ll work for you or not.