Apple Music for Android - Image Credit Google Play
On Tuesday, Apple released Apple Music for Android devices. Now Apple has a total of three apps on Google Play: Move to iOS, Beats Pill+, and Apple Music. Apple's first two Android apps were either an app to help Android users leave their current device in favor of an Apple one or an accessory companion app, thus making Apple Music Apple's first true Android app.
Apple Music for Android performs mostly the same way that Apple Music would on iOS, aside from a few missing features. One of the missing features is the ability to watch music videos, which is disappointing due to the fact that watching any music video on the Apple Music library is included in an Apple Music subscription. If the user wanting to watch the music videos has already surpassed the three month free trial period of Apple Music, this means that the user is actually paying to watch music videos, a feature that does not exist on the Android version of the software.
The other feature that is absent in the Android app is the ability to sign up for a family plan on Apple Music (allows you to use Apple Music on up to six different Apple ID's for $14.99 per month). The absence of this feature is peculiar since certain customers may refrain from purchasing an Apple Music subscription altogether unless they can buy a family plan, since it is a much better value for families versus the individual plan that only permits the use of Apple Music on one Apple ID for $9.99 per month. This could potentially cause Apple to lose money.
Although the lack of certain capabilities is annoying and most certainly not ideal, it can only be expected due to the fact that Apple Music for Android is in beta. With time, the unavailable features will likely appear in the app, but until then the current version of Apple Music for Android should be sufficient.
On a more promising note, the arrival of Apple Music on Android could signal that Apple is shifting its strategy to allow more of its service to be available on more platforms. After all, Apple Music is now available on iOS, Apple Watch, the new Apple TV, Macs, PCs, and Android. With this in mind, Apple may choose to follow in Microsoft's footsteps to reach more customers. Microsoft has made its popular Office productivity suite available on iOS (a rival operating system), something that it was initially reluctant to do, in order to expand the reach of its services. Hopefully Apple will do the same, as that is the only chance for some of its products to succeed.
For instance, Apple's iWork productive suite (essentially Apple's version of Microsoft Office), which includes Pages, Keynote, and Numbers is unlikely to gain any traction in the market already dominated by Microsoft Office without becoming more friendly to platforms that are not Apple made. Apple already made an effort to make iWork more cross-platform, but hopefully Apple is still in its early stages, since all that it has offered is web based versions of Pages, Keynote, and Numbers. There hasn't been any indication of native versions of these apps coming to Windows or Android.
It looks like we'll just have to wait and see what'll happen with Apple's cross-platform expansion, if it even continues. For Apple's sake, let's hope that they come out with at least a few more Android apps, to cater to the 1 billion Android users who could be potential users of Apple's various services.