(Photo : iTunes App Store)
What has been available to Google accounts on the web and on Android for half a year is finally coming to iPhone: the Google Play Music subscription service has been released for iOS on Nov. 15.
Google Play Music on iOS provides almost all of the features that Android users have come to expect, including relatively recently added features like interactivity with the Chromecast TV dongle (as is apparent from the iTunes App Store screenshots).
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It also includes listening to any of the up-to 20,000 songs Google lets you upload to its Cloud for no charge. It also has a free radio feature that mixes those songs, much like Spotify. But for the real Google Play Music experience, you'll have to pay about $10 per month.
For that, you'll get (also like Spotify) "All Access" to Google's streaming music catalogue - which is about 20 million songs deep - and ad-free radio stations (with no penalties for skips and full radio station customization). However, a cool feature for its streaming radio that other radio apps don't have is the ability to add or delete songs from your radio queue ahead of listening to them. While most streaming radio will only let you approve or dislike songs as you hear them, this gives your streaming radio a little customizable clairvoyance.
However, according to The Verge, the iOS version of the Google Play Music app doesn't include everything the Android version offers. For one, you can't buy tracks for keeps on the iOS version of Google Play Music. On Android and the web, there's a "Shop" tab that lets you buy tracks to listen to, even if you're not on the $9.99 per month plan. But the shop tab is missing from iOS, at least right now.
Another missing feature is an old Google standby put to new use: the "I'm Feeling Lucky" radio station. This station builds a playlist based on your song, artist, and genre preferences, and it's absent from the iOS app at the moment. Still, according to Brandon Bilinski, product manager for Google Play Music, who spoke with The Verge, those features and a few others are coming to the iOS Play Music app soon.
Google's engineers are also working on a native iPad version of the app, and that's not all. Eventually, Google will tweak its streaming Music app to provide recommendations, not only based on your preferences, but based on your "context." That means if you prefer to listen to jazz ballads at night, Google's app will recognize that and provide more of that at the appropriate times. If you generally prefer jaunty wake-up tunes in the morning, Google will identify that contextual preference.
The Google Play Music app is available on iOS for iPhone, with high-quality 320 kbps streaming and AirPlay, Bluetooth, and Chromecast connectivity in 20 countries, with more likely soon to come.