Apple is beefing up its Music app for Android, with the latest update bringing a widget, better playlist management, and usability improvements.
The release of an Android app for Apple Music raised quite a few eyebrows last year. Many viewed it as a silent admission that Android is just too big and too prevalent to ignore, even for a company as powerful and rich as Apple. While Apple clearly wanted to put its best foot forward with Music for Android, the app itself arrived as a beta.
Following the addition of microSD card support last month, Apple is now taking advantage of another Android-specific feature. Version 0.9.7 of Apple Music finally adds functionality that many users have requested since the beginning – a homescreen widget. The widget is a basic 4 X 1 unit with just the essential playback controls, album art, and song title. It looks quite similar to Spotify’s widget and it works as expected, save for the favorite button, which sometimes didn’t depressed when I clicked it a second time (though this issue could be due to my Nexus 6P running Android N).
Apple Music vs Spotify vs Google Play Music
Another big feature in the update makes it easier to create custom playlists, as you no longer have to add tracks to your library before you can insert them in a playlist. You can also tap the name of the currently playing song to jump to the album, and get a peek at what’s on the Beats 1 station from the Radio tab. If you have iTunes gift cards, you can now redeem them from the app, instead of having to do it from the desktop – that said, you still can’t sign up for a family plan from the mobile app.
We have to give Apple credit for creating a real Android app, instead of porting the iPhone app with all its iOS design particularities. Apple Music still feels somehow slow in my use, but it’s good to see Apple adding new features and generally treating Android as a first class platform.
You can try out Android Music free for three months. Download it below.