Apple Music has taken its next big step in becoming a head-to-head Spotify competitor, now officially available to millions of Android users via an app on the Google Play store.
The move to offer Apple’s paid streaming music service to mobile devices for users outside the Cupertino cult is something that was promised at the company’s World Wide Developers Conference which launched Apple Music last June.
Everything about the Android app experience is meant to be virtually indistinguishable from the iOS version, and the service will be available in the same 100 countries for both Apple and non-Apple devices alike. The company will also offer free three-month trials to Android users who have yet to sign up for the service.
That said, Apple did adjust the look and feel of the Android app to conform to what native Android users are used to — everything from the look of icons to the location of the menu has been slightly adjusted for Google’s mobile OS.
“We’ve always wanted to do things for everyone when it came down to music,” said Eddie Cue, Apple’s head of internet software and services, in an interview with Techcrunch. “Part of that was letting you enjoy your music no matter where you were and what products you were using.”
Though the Android version of Apple Music is technically in beta right now, the only features unavailable to non-iPhone users at present are the ability to start a family membership via the phone (which users can still do online or via other Apple devices), and Apple Connect’s music video selection.
Subscribers who have another device with Apple Music already installed simply need to log into the service using their Apple ID and password, and all their saved playlists, songs, and other media will be accessible via the cloud.
While Apple Music has drawn some criticism for being cluttered — especially from Spotify fans, and those unimpressed by Apple’s offerings — the $10/month streaming service is hoping to hook at least a few new subscribers via the rollout. 6.5 million paid subscribers presently use Apple Music as their music software of choice, while 8.5 million or so are still enjoying Apple’s lengthy free trial.
Those numbers put the company in a strong position in the on-demand streaming market, second only to Spotify, which currently has approximately 20 million paid subscribers via apps for both iOS and Android.