With the latest update, Apple is beefing up its Music app for Android. Last year, the release of an Android app for Apple Music raised quite a few eyebrows.
Many viewed it as a silent admission that Android is just too big and too prevalent to ignore, even for a company as powerful and rich as Apple. While Apple clearly wanted to put its best foot forward with Music for Android, the app itself arrived as a beta.
Furthermore, Apple is now taking advantage of another Android-specific feature. Version 0.9.7 of Apple Music finally adds functionality that many users have requested since the beginning – a home-screen widget. The widget is a basic 4 X 1 unit with just the essential playback controls, album art, and song title. It looks quite similar to Spotify’s widget and it works as expected, save for the favorite button, which sometimes didn’t depressed when I clicked it a second time.
However, you can also tap the name of the currently playing song to jump to the album, and get a peek at what’s on the Beats 1 station from the Radio tab. If you have iTunes gift cards, you can now redeem them from the app, instead of having to do it from the desktop – that said, you still can’t sign up for a family plan from the mobile app. Apple Music still feels somehow slow in my use, but it’s good to see Apple adding new features and generally treating Android as a first class platform.
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