Apple Music is truly Apple’s first foray in bringing one of its applications to Android. The company has brought a few other applications to Google’s mobile operating system, but they’re hardly worth noting. When it comes down to it, Apple Music is the first app Apple has brought to Android, and with it, they’re challenging the likes of Spotify, Google Play Music, and many others. Apple Music is generally accepted on its own home turf, but does it have what it takes to compete against its music streaming competitors over on Android?
Hit the break to find out!
It’s generally accepted that the design of Apple Music over on iOS is…interesting, to say the least. It’s cluttered, confusing, and some parts of the design just aren’t useful. It’s even worse over on Android, with many complaints coming from the fact that Apple hasn’t even tried to implement Material Design on the Android side of things.
And it’s true. Apple hasn’t done anything with Material Design with Apple Music for Android, and because of this, it makes it feel clunky and almost like it doesn’t fit in, per say. Granted, Apple Music for Android is still in beta and is very much a work in progress, but one thing Apple has always pushed is quality. They have a reputation to uphold, and so far, its foray into Android isn’t helping that at all.
The overall design is indeed awful, but it’s not all bad. In fact, there’s some areas that Apple Music does a lot better than other options out there. The two things that immediately impressed me was the Radio and For You sections. The Radio section largely because of how easy and convenient it was to find music you are interested in listening to. Instead of having to search for your favorite radio station, Apple has a lot of preset ones available with a single tap, and for the most part, they serve up the music you want to hear quite nicely.
The next section that was great to see was For You. Now, the frustrating part of this area is that I had to subscribe in order to access it. I used the three-month free subscription that comes with every new sign-up; however, it’s still a nice area where Apple Music is able to offer you recommendations based off your genre preferences and interests. In my two weeks of using it, it has been able to construct a lot of great playlists for almost any activity, whether that be work, on a Sunday drive, and so on. It’s quite impressive, and hasn’t been something Play Music hasn’t been able to do well. Spotify does it quite well, but goes to the other extreme, making users having to “dig” for the playlists they want.
While Apple Music has a few features that really sets it apart from Spotify and Play Music, performance is awful. I would attest this to be because of it still being in beta, but Apple Music experiences the same problems over on iOS. Loading up the app initially on both platforms is a long process. It’s even worse on Android, as users are met with a Apple Music logo for up to a minute at a time while the app initializes.
The problems don’t stop there, though. Streaming music seemed to have a bit of a processing issue, even when running them off of a solid Internet connection. The app is overall quite laggy, but once again, it has these same problems over on iOS. I sincerely hope Apple is able to fix these issues on both platforms, as it certainly doesn’t uphold to the company’s supposed standard of quality. In the meantime, it makes it very discouraging to use, and I usually get so fed up with it that I’ll instead use Pandora (for radio) or Spotify.
Apple sincerely needs to fix these issues, and quickly, as they’re immensely frustrating to many Android and iOS users. Apple can’t really afford to have these issues persist either. There are many services that are better than Apple Music, such as Spotify. And this is largely because Spotify has been around much longer, and as a result, they’ve been able to slowly work out issues over the years.
Apple seemingly hasn’t had this luxury, but it certainly makes it feel like Apple Music was never ready for prime time. Sure, it has an expansive library (more on that later), but it certainly doesn’t make up for awful performance issues. Apple needs to really get these fixed before users can seriously commit to the service.
Both Spotify and Apple Music are pretty matched when it comes to music catalogs. Both music streaming services boast of a library of 30 million songs or more. That said, most songs you want to listen to can be found on either service. The one thing to look out for with Apple Music is that it pulls its songs from iTunes. While that isn’t a bad thing, some songs from iTunes just can’t be streamed due to legal ramifications. That’s really the only issue you’re going to run into as far as streaming songs goes.
Another neat thing about Apple Music is that it will automatically add all of the songs you have on iTunes to your Apple Music library, whether they’re imported CDs, ripped songs, and so on. With Spotify, you have to add all of your songs manually, which can be a serious pain if you have a large library you want to carry around.
It really comes down to preference. Would you like the convenience of Apple Music (which is really only convenient if you’ve used iTunes in the past) or the stability of Spotify?
And that wraps up our review on Apple Music! Overall, it has a great foundation, but it’s truly struggling in some very pertinent areas. The only thing really keeping Apple Music alive is the brand name, as well as the expansive music library. Beyond that, there’s really nothing to write home about in its current state.
Have you used Apple Music for Android? What’re your thoughts?