If reports are to be believed, Cupertino, California-based technology company Apple Inc. is apparently fixing to have its music streaming service called Apple Music, launched on Android. The makers of the iPhone lineup of smartphones and MacBook range of laptop computers has been notorious over the years for fiercely guarding the exclusivity of its software products, and while its desktop apps like the Safari internet browser and the iTunes music player have been available on Windows for ages, its mobile apps have been missing-in-action on rival platforms like Android and Windows Mobile as part of a concerted effort to preserve their exclusivity under co-founder and former CEO, the late Mr. Steve Jobs. However, under the seemingly pragmatic new chief executive, Mr. Tim Cook, the company is looking to get away from such dogmatic approach, and introduce platform-agnostic services to Android, in a move straight of Google’s service-oriented business model.
Talking about the source of the current report, German website MobileGeeks has now published a bunch of screenshots which purportedly shows the beta version of Apple Music for Android. From what can be seen from the screenshots, the Android version of the app does not seem to be handicapped in any significant way as opposed to its iOS counterpart. What’s actually interesting is that the Android version seems to have some new features which aren’t at the moment available on the iOS version of the software. One case in point would be the option to manually choose on how much storage space to assign to the app to store offline music. While Apple may well introduce the feature on iOS at a later date, it isn’t available on Apple’s own platform right now. From whatever we can see, most of the standard features on the iOS version of the app will be available to Android users as well, from the looks of it. One of the screenshots appear to show Beats 1 radio, while another seemingly shows the “For Me” recommendations page. Yet another seems to indicate that the ‘Apple Music Connect’ feature will also be built right into the Android version of the app, just like its iOS counterpart. So far, it looks as though Android users won’t be getting a step-motherly treatment from Apple.
The one interesting thing to note here, is the fact that unlike Google apps on the iOS platform which look to recreate the material design philosophy thereby giving users the exact same experience irrespective of the platform, Apple looks to have incorporated the Google design language for the most part when designing the app, by making use of the UI elements built into Android rather than looking to replicate the exact look and feel of the iOS app. The only exception seems to be the “For Me” recommendation page, which looks almost like a carbon-copy of the page on the iOS version of the app.
During the WWDC 2015 keynote, Apple had announced that it would be launching its music streaming service on Android, to compete with existing platform-agnostic services like Spotify, Pandora and Tidal among others. Back in August, the company also posted a job listing on its site, seeking Applications Software Engineers experienced in developing Android apps. While not a core app like Mail, iMessage, Maps or calendar, the introduction of Apple Music to a non-Apple platform still signifies a significant move forward from the CEO, who had announced in 2013 that he’s got no issues in porting iOS apps to Android if that made business sense. It remains to be seen if Android aficionados embrace Apple’s offering in droves, but if they do, it will signify yet another revenue-stream for the company from a direction hitherto unexplored by the tech giant.