In a move that may surprise some, Apple has released an app to Android. This is one of only two Android apps released by Apple, the other being an app that helps users switch from Android devices to iPhones. Apple, however, is trying to take the streaming world by storm, and it can’t do that on its devices alone. What’s nice about this app is the fact that Apple isn’t leaving Android users with an inferior experience.
The Apple Music app on Android is very similar to the iOS app. Considering we’re talking about Apple, this makes sense, as the company likely doesn’t want to adhere with Google’s design standards for the iPhone.
Users are presented with the same main interface for setting up music tastes upon first entering the app. The same controls for music playback and music browsing are also shown. Despite this, there are a few changes to the app that Apple has made to make it better fit with Android. For example, some of the app’s sections are hidden in a menu off to the side rather than in tabs at the bottom of the display. Small things like the font have also been changed, making the app seem a lot more at home on an Android phone. One thing I really liked about the app is the fact that there was a search button on every page, enabling users to search for music wherever they are in the app.
Obviously the Android version of the app also doesn’t integrate as well with the Android ecosystem as it does in the Apple ecosystem. You can’t use Siri, for example, to access it on an Android device. You can tell Google Now to open the app, but that’s about it.
The main way that users change sections is through the left-hand menu. First up is “For You,” which essentially offers users a selection of music that Apple thinks will be good for them. The second menu item is “New,” which, as the name suggests, will offer newly released music.
The third item on the menu is “Radio.” While there are plenty of radio stations to choose from, the main attraction now is Beats 1, a radio station run by ex-BBC DJ Zane Lowe that offers a selection of both new music and relatively unknown but great-sounding tunes.
The fourth option is “Connect,” which is another new feature introduced by Apple that allows users to keep connected with their favorite artists. Artists can do things like post pictures or blog posts, much like any other social media network.
The final two menu items are “Playlists” and “My Music,” both of which are exactly what you would expect them to be. There is also a Settings option at the bottom of the display, which allows users to change things like whether or not the app can only download via Wi-Fi or whether or not it can use cellular data.
There’s really not much more to say about the app. Everything seems to work well, and while the interface can sometimes get slightly confusing, after a few days of use this should no longer be an issue. While it’s an interesting addition, Connect feels a little useless, but it doesn’t take away from the experience of the app and users don’t have to use it.
Apple Music is running into the music streaming business full steam ahead, and that means taking advantage of as many operating systems as possible. The Android app for Apple Music looks and works as great as would be expected from one of the only Apple apps available to Android and for those that use Apple Music on a Mac, for example, there’s no reason not to use the new app. My only issue was the fact that the app doesn’t work well with Google Now, but if you don’t use voice control that often it shouldn’t be a big issue.
As someone who actively uses things like voice control, I’ll be sticking with Google Play Music, however those that are looking for a streaming service might certainly want to take Apple Music into consideration, especially given the fact that there is a three month free trial available.