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article imageApple Music's Android app is now out of beta with new update

By James Walker     Aug 4, 2016 in Technology
Apple has officially launched Apple Music on Android, bringing its only major app for the platform out of beta. Apple Music for Android is now roughly equal to its iOS equivalent and viewed as a fully-fledged client for the streaming service.
9to5Mac reports the update is available now from the Google Play Store, bringing the version number up to a tidy 1.0.0. It's taken Apple 10 months to bring the app out of beta after launching it late last year.
In addition to the status change, the update also added a selection of new equaliser settings. The equaliser can be used to customise the timbre of the music to your taste, even on phones that don't necessarily include a native equaliser. On iOS, a system equaliser is built into the Settings app so there isn't one within Apple Music.
The Android app has a few other differentiating features. It supports several platform-specific capabilities, including a home screen widget that allows you to control playing music without opening the app. You can also download music to an SD card for offline playback, a small advantage over Spotify. Most other streaming services only support downloads to internal storage.
When Apple launched the Android version of Apple Music, it was significantly behind the iOS original. The company has used the extended beta testing period to bring it up to speed though, adding support for the full set of features. It is now leaving beta as a complete client app that includes the complete range of Apple Music capabilities.
It's now possible to sign up for family subscription plans within the app, for instance. There's also a music video viewer that was previously exclusive to iOS, letting you access the films that accompany your favourite songs. The feature set is now shared between both versions, making Android equal to iOS in a way that is unusual for Apple.
The company has just three Android apps, one of which is a tool to help when moving from Android to iOS. For its part, Google offers its full range of services as native iOS apps. Apple is famously reluctant to offer its apps on any platforms it doesn't control. In the past, only programs like Safari and iTunes have been available on operating systems other than iOS and Mac OS X.
However, Apple realised it would need to offer Apple Music on third-party devices if it is to succeed. Rivalling Spotify without an official Android app would be unthinkable so the company has been forced to build a fully-featured client. Apple also has a commitment to support legacy owners of Beats products, a company that always supported Android as a first-class platform before Apple acquired it.
Apple Music still isn't as widely available as Spotify and other rivals though. There is no platform-agnostic web app or desktop Windows app, notable omissions that could hinder its growth. Part of Spotify's popularity has come from its available anywhere nature, accessible from every device on every major desktop and mobile platform.
Apple Music for Android is available now from the Google Play Store. It currently has a rating of 3.3 stars, not a high score for an app from a vendor as significant as Apple. It pales compared to Spotify's 4.5 stars, accumulated from as many as 500,000,000 installs. Apple Music has acquired a maximum of 10,000,000 installs, according to the Play Store.
More about Apple, apple music, Android, Apps, Music
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