Update, December 14, 2018 (01:17 PM ET): Although we weren’t aware of a firm date that Apple Music would roll out to Echo devices, it appears the time is now. According to 9to5Mac, the Alexa app on both the Android and iOS platforms is starting to receive Apple Music compatibility now.
According to 9to5Mac, it appears there are certain features supported on the Echo that aren’t supported on Apple’s own HomePod, as well as vice versa. For example, you can set a song as an alarm tone on an Echo device (not possible with HomePod) but can’t play songs in your Apple Music library that you manually added (which you can do on a HomePod). Hopefully, these (and other) limitations will be addressed in due time.
Original Article, November 30, 2018 (04:52 PM ET): If you are one of the 50 million people who subscribe to Apple Music, you likely have been a bit miffed that you’ve so far been limited to Apple’s own Homepod for voice assistant integration within a smart speaker.
Well, at some point in December 2018, you’ll have one other option: Amazon Echo devices (via Deadline).
Amazon and Apple recently signed a deal together which would allow Amazon to sell more Apple products. It’s likely today’s reveal of Apple Music and Echo devices playing nice together is a by-product of that deal.
Apple’s main rival in the music streaming space is Spotify, which has over 30 million more subscribers than Apple Music. People who use Spotify can stream the service through all the major smart speaker platforms, including Google Home hardware. In fact, if you subscribe to a Spotify family plan before the end of the year, Spotify will literally give you a Google Home Mini.
Apple knows that if it wants to truly compete with Spotify, it’s going to need to broaden its horizons.
Does this mean Apple Music will eventually come to Google Home? It’s too early to tell for now, but it’s not completely out of the realm of possibility. If Apple starts to treat Apple Music as a standalone product and not something that is intrinsically linked to the Apple ecosystem, it would be crazy to not allow the service on as many platforms as possible.
However, this is Apple we’re talking about, so who knows whether or not the company will expand to other smart speakers. For now, just look forward to sometime in the middle of December for Apple Music to work with your Echo gear.