Earlier this week, Google launched a minor update for the Play Music application, and while the official changelog mentioned only some unspecified bug fixes, it appears that version 8.5.6542-1.Y has done away with a gesture that allowed users to remove songs by swiping them. This particular feature earned a lot of notoriety from many Play Music users who have accidentally deleted songs from their playlists, and over time amassed quite a number of negative reviews on the Play Store. Nevertheless, after numerous Play Music users recently took to Reddit to highlight the issue, Google was fairly quick to respond with an update that seems to have removed the swiping gesture entirely.
Google Play Music users who have encountered this problem before should be aware that a song’s deletion could have been reversed by pressing the Undo button shortly after performing the swiping gesture. However, this feature didn’t prove to be that useful because the Undo button was visible only for a short period of time, and in most scenarios, this has caused more frustration rather than helping users recover their deleted songs. Having said that, it’s quite evident that Google’s intentions were to provide a convenient way for users to manage their playlists and remove items with simple swipe gestures, but while the idea may have had the user’s best interest at heart, in practice it seemed to have lead to more headaches for a vocal part of the user base. Fortunately for these users, the swiping gesture has now been removed with the recent ‘8.5.6542-1.Y’ update, even though Google hasn't really highlighted this change and made no mention of the swiping gesture being phased out in the latest changelog.
Google has been working on improving the user experience for music enthusiasts in more than one way, and as readers may be aware, the Pixel 2 series comes with a unique feature called ‘Now Playing’ which allows the two flagship phones to detect and match music playing in the user’s surroundings based on their locally stored knowledge library. It works similar to services such as Shazam, only it's "always on" so it doesn't connect to a cloud database in order to match songs and instead relies on a local playlist which updates every week in accordance with the most popular songs in Play Music.