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App is expected to drop within the next month, appears to support all the same features that iOS users enjoy

When Apple, Inc. (AAPL) launched its Apple Music service back in June of this year one of the more interesting and somewhat overlooked caveats was its declaration that it would eventually be offering its arch-rival Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android OS users the service as well.

From a market-wide perspective this wasn't unusual.  Google and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) have increasingly sought to offer their services across all major platforms, including support for Apple's iOS and OS X.  Even Apple has offered Windows iTunes and iCloud apps.  But the announcement was somewhat unexpected as to date Apple has refused to develop apps to give its primary rival mobile operating system Android access to its services.

But that appears to poised to change.  Newly leaked photos from Germany's MobileGeeks.de indicate that Apple Music for Android is indeed real.

Apple Music for Android main menu
[Image Source: MobileGeeks.de]


I've translated the menus (see above) for those interested.  Notably it appears users will have robust options to control their data use (an essential for this kind of streaming content app).  Also, there's an interesting setting that allows users to filter out explicit songs (makes sense, again, for a streaming music service).  You also see menu options that should look familiar to iOS users -- namely the "Radio", "New", "For You", Playlists, Connect, "My Music", and "Settings" sections

translated menu for Apple Music for Android
[Image Source: (translations) Jason Mick/DailyTech LLC]

These images appear credible and are likely the real deal.  It appears Apple has put a fair amount of TLC into its historic first serious service app for Android.

Apple Music for Android
"New" and "For You" sections in the leak of the Apple Music app for Android are seen.  Note the graphical menu of Android has been replaced by a more demure standin -- a drop down menu accessible via the icon in the upper left corner. [Image Source: MobileGeeks.de]

True the iOS 9 version with its graphical navigation icon tray inside the bottom edge of the screen is a bit prettier, but otherwise Apple has ported much of the iOS app's design language to Google.

Apple Music for iOS
Apple Music for iOS has similar features/options, but packs a prettier interface (see bottom menu).

Reportedly the app will be launching within the next month.  As a quick refresher Apple Music isn't free.  Typically it costs $9.99 USD/month.  For iOS users there's a free 90 day (3 month) trial, but it's unclear whether that offer will be extended to Android users as well, after the rollout.

Another minor unknown is whether the app will support syncing with the iCloud.  Currently Apple offers support for the iCloud on Windows, as mentioned, but offers no official support for Google's Android OS.  Lack of iCloud integration would be a bit of a blow to Apple Music, but shouldn't be a dealbreaker.

The new app should help Apple to expand the reach of its service.  Android has a massive user base of close to 2 billion active devices.  It hit 1 billion active devices in the wild in Sept. 2013.  And in line with Gartner Inc.'s (IT) predictions, over 1 billion Android devices were shipped to customers last year.  And it should be on pace to ship more than a billion more devices this year, as well.

That's a massive market, but it can also be challenging to support, given the 19,000+ kinds of currently active handsets and the existence of several widely used operating system versions.  That said, let's not forget that the fragmentation of the Android handset market both from an OS version and a device version standpoint isn't all that unusual given that Windows shows a similar plethora of targets.

Apple Music for Android

Clearly ~2B customers is far to big a platform to overlook -- support challenges aside.  It appears that Apple has finally awoken to that reality.

An interesting side note is that this is not, technically speaking Apple's first app for Android.  While it's previously all blacklisted the platform from a services standpoint, it did "graciously" offer a single app to Android users.  Wait for it... "Move to iOS".

Apple's Move to iOS

How magnanimous.

Sources: MobileGeeks.de, via GSMArena





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