Apple have been given a reputation of being at the forefront of mobile technology thanks to their marketing strategy of clever use of statements: “our most advanced iPhone yet” is a good example. This statement is meaningless in isolation, if factually correct. As a business, Apple is also ruthless and focused on pitching the iPhone as a sales accessory for other devices and services in the line up, such as Beats headphones, Macbooks, iPad tablets and the Apple Music service. To this end, the business has made some unusual decisions, such as switching from Google to Bing as its default Internet search engine on the device and persisting with Apple Maps. Today’s story concerns Apple not supporting the Chromecast Audio from the Apple Music service, which might be considered to be something of an unusual decision.
The Chromecast Audio is a new product Google announced yesterday, which is designed to convert a normal speaker into a smart, online-equipped speaker by using high quality audio over a WiFi network, much like the Sonos audio systems. The Chromecast Audio dongle is supported by a number of music services and applications including – as expected – Google Play Music, Spotify (the market leader), Deezer, Pandora and audio-book platform Audible. The technology is easily supported by the Apple iOS operating system but through Apple’s inaction, Apple Music does not support the Chromecast Audio device. The source website, TrustedReviews, asked Google if they had communicated with Apple to support the Chromecast Audio and Google replied with a simple: “we certainly have… So iTunes Music. We have an open SDK, and any developer can write to that SDK to support cast.”
It is not clear why Apple have not incorporated Chromecast Audio support into Apple Music as there are no barriers to using the system. It is possible that Apple are busy inventing their own take of the Chromecast Audio, or perhaps smart speakers as the Chromecast Audio is something of a technology bridge as it converts dumb speakers into connected speakers, and so to support the Google device might be seen as competitive. However, it is more likely that Apple simply haven’t gotten around to building support in yet, and do not see this as a priority. Apple have not responded to the question, so perhaps they are busy working on bringing support for the Chromecast Audio into Apple Music and iTunes?