Google has updated the Android version of its Play Music app, adding in an offline setting for the All Access radio feature. It’s part of version 5.4, which although isn’t listed on the app’s Google Play page at the time of writing, has started to showing up on Android phones around the world. We’ll come to the other features soon, but first let’s take a look at the offline mode.
If you subscribe to Play Music’s All Access radio feature, then you’ll know it requires a data connection to work. Normally this isn’t a problem, but it can be if you’re on a plane, in an area with spotty reception, or on a limited data plan. The new feature provides a way around this, by adding in the chance to keep a radio station stored on your device. Tap the menu button alongside your chosen radio, and you’ll see a “Keep on Device” option. Tap it, and it’ll be downloaded ready to be listened to without using an data.
While All Access’ offline mode will most likely end up being used most often, it’s not the only new feature in the update. Hidden under the Music Settings menu is an option labeled My Devices, which shows all the hardware authorized for Google Play Music. Google has set a 10 device limit, which depending on how often you change your phone/tablet/computer, can be met surprisingly quickly. Removing devices from the list was possible through the web interface, but it can now also be done using the app.
Version 5.4 also adds a more comprehensive set of options in the sidebar menu, a refresh option to see your most recently added music, and both a Play Next and a Shuffle button has been added to the listening menu.