Google jumped the gun just a little bit and shipped tomorrow's version of Google Music today, which means we've got about 12 hours to spoil even more of the surprises Google has in store for us at their "Breakfast with Sundar Pichai" event. Let's get to it.


Music ships with all sorts of support for something called "Chromecast." It's basically Google's version of Airplay. Check this out:

<string name="error_start_session_failed">Unable to start a session with the Chromecast device.</string>
<string name="error_session_ended">Lost connectivity with the Chromecast device.</string>
<string name="error_ramp_command_failed">Failed to control the media.</string>
<string name="error_no_session">Not currently connected to the Chromecast device.</string>

Connect to a remote device, and start playing media! Cool. "Chromecast" was briefly listed on the Google Play devices support page earlier today, so it sounds like Google will be releasing some kind of hardware device for your existing audio gear.

<string name="cast_error_sideloaded_content">"Unable to play the song. Can't play a sideloaded song remotely."</string>

This string gives us a good idea of how Chromecasting works. Sideloaded songs, that is, songs that reside on your device (and not in the cloud) are not supported. This means the Chromecast device has an internet connection of its own, and Chromecast is really just pushing a URL to the device. The device then goes out and fetches the media from the internet on its own. It's exactly the way the Nexus Q, YouTube, and GTV work. Contrast this against Apple's Airplay, which sends local media over Wi-Fi to a device.

mr_ic_media_route_on_0_holo_light - Copymr_ic_media_route_on_1_holo_light - Copymr_ic_media_route_on_1_holo_lightmr_ic_media_route_on_2_holo_light - Copymr_ic_media_route_on_2_holo_lightmr_ic_media_route_on_holo_dark - Copy

This is the button to start Chromecasting. It seems to work (and look) exactly like the YouTube "Send to TV" button. Keyan X, the guy who scored the APK, even had it pop up in the app for him because of his bluetooth speakers.

The only question that remains is, why on earth is this called "Chromecast"? That's a terrible name. What does it have to do with Chrome? This makes it sound like it is only compatible with Chrome, but here we would be going from Android to [Google hardware device] with no browser involved. Why not call it something like "Google Play Push"?

Presumably, they're going with this as a unified brand, so expect the implementations in YouTube and GTV to be updated.

SD Card Support

And now for something completely different:

<string name="sdcard_dialog_title">Download Storage Location</string>
<string name="sdcard_no_cards">No SD cards found</string>
<string name="sdcard_internal_storage">Device Storage</string>
<string name="sdcard_error">Unable to use your storage location.</string>
<string name="sdcard_space_formatting">%1$s %2$s / %3$s %4$s</string>
<string name="units_bytes">B</string>
<string name="units_kilobytes">kB</string>
<string name="units_megabytes">MB</string>
<string name="units_gigabytes">GB</string>
<string name="units_terabytes">TB</string>
<string name="sdcard_removed_dialog_title">Storage unavailable</string>
<string name="sdcard_removed_dialog_message">The selected storage device has been removed. To keep music, please insert the storage device or select a different download storage location from Settings.</string>
<string name="sdcard_missing">Storage device removed</string>

Oh snap! SD card support is finally happening. You'll be able to store your music on the SD card instead of on internal storage... someday, at least. Not right now, because there is no link in the settings to activate this. You'll have to wait for another update to enable it.

Ok, fine, don't want to wait? Do this: have something like Apex or Nova Launcher installed, so you can launch activities. That's long press on home screen -> shortcuts -> activities.


Scroll down to Google Play Music, expand it, and pick "ui.SDCardSelectorActivity." Tap the new shortcut on your homescreen, and you should get a list of storage locations for your music collection. I picked "card" and it seemed to work.

I'd be interested to see what happens to someone that has a large amount of music already and switches options, does it copy everything over, or just add music to the new location from now on? Let me know in the comments if you try it. My primary phone is a Nexus 4 which means no SD card fun for me.


Rollouts suck. If you want the update right now, we've got you covered.

That it for now, see you at breakfast!

Thanks to Keyan X for the APK!

Ron Amadeo
Ron loves everything related to technology, design, and Google. He always wants to talk about "the big picture" and what's next for Android, and he's not afraid to get knee-deep in an APK for some details. Expect a good eye for detail, lots of research, and some lamenting about how something isn't designed well enough.
  • Johnathan Rodriguez

    At the rate things are leaking, we'll know what's for breakfast before this event.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Eggs and bacon, coffee, pastries.

      • Johnathan Rodriguez

        Gonna need a teardown of this once it's been digested.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          I'll give you a system dump.

          • Johnathan Rodriguez

            I just hope the linco-...change log isn't too big!

          • lordmerovingian

            Oh lawd Mr. Artem. Was that a double entendre or a bad innuendo..? "system dump" hahaha..

          • Christopher Theofilaktos


          • Mastermind26

            Hey guys! What's new.....

            .....backs away slowly, closes door....

      • Ror

        The twist is they're all Jellybean flavored.

  • hotshotz

    Just wanted to say android police rocks and u are my defacto site for android news.

    Love the work u guys do!

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Thanks :)

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    Out of nowhere, a wild Ron teardown appears at 11pm.

  • Keyan X

    Thanks for the shout outs Ron

    • Passy Hearst

      I see he said it allowed you to connect to a Bluetooth speakers. I'm assuming you can then cast from tablet/phone to a GoogleTV then?

  • Casin

    Please have a new nexus q or a chrome key.

    • Wyatt Neal

      I agree. A thumbsized android JB key that plugged into my TV and got me access to Google Play Music / Movies ... I would buy that so hard Google Wallet would crash ... which wouldn't be all that hard to crash, but I mean it would like set a data center on fire crash for how hard I would buy that.

  • http://www.ScienceProUSA.com SciencePro

    Does this mean it will work with the Nexus Q once again?

    Mine is running CM at the moment...will have to flash it back to stock and give it a try.
    Play Music All Access with my Nexus Q is all I want Google, pleaaaaseee...

  • guest

    any tweaks to lower the data usage? I love the new UI since the redesign and all access is awesome, but damn if it doesn't chomp through my data like nothing else. Pandora uses less than 10% of what it does in a day.

    • ddpacino

      I believe they addressed this one or two updates ago?

    • CoreRooted

      They have a switch in settings already to lower data usage. Set media quality to Low or Normal.

  • Peter

    Pressing the Chromecast button brings up a menu with my Netgear PTV3000. I'm not at home at the moment to see if it works.

    Streaming music over miracast to the PTV3000 is generally terrible though. Needs some sort of buffering on the device to prevent glitches.

    • clettiere

      Why would you stream it? Why not just use the native Play Music or Pandora apps?

      • Passy Hearst

        I have a GTV and the native app is clunky and not very good to navigate with a remote. If I can use my Nexus7 as a remote for the GTV to output the music I will be super ecstatic as this is a feature I've wanted for months now.

        • shades

          I have the revue and faced the same problem. Solved thanks to cheapcast.

  • mrjayviper

    seems Apple's airplay is better than this feature at least for my situation as all of my media (music, movies/etc) are stored locally. Also, with airplay I can "stream" my own personal videos? -winks-

    • bustedagain

      DLNA app. I can stream anything anywhere (which is essentially what AirPlay is).

      • mrjayviper

        Was comparing to Google's implementation which should be the de facto standard in the android world

        • Balthazar_B

          Know how Cloud Print virtualizes local resources (in this case, printers)? What if Chrome could serve up both local and online media resources in a way that could be Chromecasted to an A/V system (for instance, this would be a way to serve up high-quality FLAC content which as of now most -- all? -- online services do not support). The bones are already there to make this happen, and it shouldn't be rocket science to connect the dots.

          • mrjayviper

            the pieces are in place but Google still didn't make it happen. Aggressively pushing for online content I guess :/

      • KanishkSingh

        DLNA is not exactly airplay. If you have to compare Airplay, Intel Wi-Di is an apt comparison. I use it with my Lenovo laptop and LG Smart tv 2012.
        DLNA is where you can access media library on another device but you cannot directly mirror your PC or mobile devices.

  • SWOT

    Does this new feature only support Audio?
    What about video ?!

    • CoreRooted

      Since when has Google Play Music played videos? As for the Chromecast, most likely it will support video, but that would be determined by which app Google deems as the official video player for Android. Most likely, it'll be Gallery. Of course that decision will send people into a fit.

  • cabbiebot

    this is not a leaked apk place, people. god just wait for it to hit your device /Ruddock

  • James

    wow. had nova launcher prime for almost 2 years now, never knew you can use it this way. Just updated the app. way faster download of the song, but unfortunately, don't help you move the old ones.

    The files names are also simply numbers

  • cabbiebot

    glad yall are linking to the apk :)

  • blubb

    It seems they use UPNP/DIAL to discover the chromecast device on your local wifi network. This is also supported in the chrome browser on the Desktop so it seems that the chromecast device would be controllable by the Chrome Browser on the Desktop.

  • Robert Castles

    Neither of the download mirrors appear to work for me with chrome beta for android. Some small apk file appears to download but they aren't valid.

  • Grimmjow

    you guys are just killing it lately.

  • FvonDoom

    It still seems to be saving music to device for me. Anyone else fair better?

  • Russ

    Ooh, a clear cached music option... I'm pretty sure that's new.

    • Melissa Peterson

      No, that's been there.

      • Russ

        Damn, I must be blind then!

  • Emp

    Will my Nexus Q be brought back to life? Please. Please. Please!

  • jig1056

    I wonder if they are going to release Goole Play Music for iOS. I used it on the HTC One for about a week and I loved it. I use a third party app to access my music but it can't touch the native app that's on Android

    • z0phi3l

      Hope not, get an Android phone and ditch the locked down antiquated iOS platform

      • jig1056

        I did have an HTC One, it's a wonderful device and in many ways better than an iPhone but it just did not work for me. It does not work in my car, the bluetooth is flaky and it's not recognized as a mass storage device. I couldn't find a podcast app that is remotely as robust as iCatcher and Downcast. And the lock screen notification system is horrible. I get tons of notifications through out the day and I need to know quickly if it's something from ESPN which can't wait of if it may be an important text from my wife or meeting reminder from my calendar. I don't want to have unlock the phone and pull down the notification "menu" every time I get a notification. I really loved that phone and had all intentions of switching away from iOS but those 3 things were deal breaks from me. Maybe someone will develop a great podcast app and maybe the mass storage issue and improved lock screen notification will come with 4.3 but I really didn't have the time to wait and see.

        • Simon JB

          I find the notifications system (and especially lockscreen notifications) horrible in iOS, but here is another illustration that each person can have different needs and preferences...

          If you ever want to try an android phone again, I think you should keep in mind that most phones allow you to drop the notification bar without unlocking the phone (just swipe down from the top of the lockscreen). Also with lockscreen widgets such as Dashboard and a good notification plugin you can kind of emulate iOS' behaviour

          Pocketcasts also is a really great podcasting app, but having not tried iCatcher on iOS I can't say if it's better or not.

          Google seems to release all their major apps to iOS, so I think you should have an iOS version of Google Music pretty soon (or better, they could release open APIs and let 3rd party developers do their work : I'd love to stream music from Google Music on my Sonos system for instance)

          • jig1056

            I agree with you 100%, a lot of folks try to turn this stuff into a holy war but the bottom line it's about choice and preference. You like zig and I like zag. There's nothing wrong with that. Actually you are right the native lock screen notifications system on iOS stinks. My iPhone is jailbroken, I'm using an app called lockscreen info. It is absolutely perfect for my needs. It's a really well thought out application. I was really hoping that Android had something similar. See the screen prints below



            I did try pulling down the notification menu but if my phone is locked it doesn't work on the HTC One. That may just be any issue with their sense ui. ???????

            I did buy pocketcast but it really doesn't have many of the features that I find useful and from what I can tell its the best one I found in the play store. The developer keeps updating and adding features to icatcher.

        • yosh

          I have both downcast and doggcatcher, and I prefer doggcatcher over downcast. It gets no more robust than doggcatcher. I agree about all access on ios though I am about to ditch my ipad

      • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=iWizard Bikram Agarwal

        3rd party apps on iOS can play Google play music music. (whoa..!! Inception?). For example, the app GMusic. But none of the apps on Android have that access...!!!?? What the heck...!!

        • jig1056

          I have GMuisc but it can't touch the native Google Play app on Android.

  • itai_marom

    i never did anything inorder to play from sd
    and i play from sd from day 1 of this app
    xperia z

    • Hans Pedersen

      It's about the cloud syncing stuff. Google Play Music doesn't have an option to cache music to the SD card. Which is quite annoying as it's the most natural place to store music.

  • Robert Macri

    I would love to be able to change the song playing on my tablet connected to my avr from my phone. I don't think this is the solution but hopefully it morphs to that?

    • brnpttmn


  • NoneOfYourBizzness

    Not sure if I am understanding correctly. I have ALL of my music stored on the SD of my HTC Rezound. None is stored on the internal storage. It all copy's to Google Music just fine.

    • Huton Gergö

      It refers to music what you buy from playmuzic or was stored on cloud and downloaded

      • NoneOfYourBizzness

        Ah, i understand. That being said, mine is still downloaded and saved to my sd.....


  • http://www.stevenmattera.com Steven Mattera

    APKs does not work on Google TV. I've updated Music as much as I can on my Google TV and I have 5.1 installed on my S4. However, I'm still not getting the External Display icon like on the YouTube app in Google Music. This feature would be awesome, especially when friends come over. Also a separate cheap device that I could plug into my home system would be amazing!

  • Mark

    Google should leave everything SD card related in the past where it belongs. It is antiquated and responsible for a lot of complaints of poor or slow performance on the platform.

    • Mr E

      I can definitely see how it can be confusing or frustrating, but if you actually have a device with sd, a good card, and a little knowledge on the subject, it's incredibly frustrating not to be able to use it.

  • https://plus.google.com/u/0/108482452903817442299/posts Andrew Bone

    Control a computer with chrome logged in maybe, that would make sense.

  • br_hermon

    I can't remember exactly, but one of the past leaked apks had different versions depending on your device (was it maps?). Anyways... in light of that and staged rollouts, how often are we going to have to question if the apk you guys post is going to work? (missing the older, simpler days...:( )

  • Bernhard Mähr

    I think the sdcard_space_formatting is mor interesting for me. Are the songs finally stored with artistname and songname inside the filename /path?

  • mechapathy

    I love this site so much. Thanks guys!

  • Disqus Won’t Let me Log In

  • http://thedangerbrain.com/ Alfonso Surroca

    Last week, Chrome team awesome dude François Beaufort posted an app that lets you remote control the Google Play Music web player from a Chrome extension on a different computer.


    Who's to say Chromecasting doesn't have the name "Chrome" in it because it will let you, for one, control your web player from your phone, etc.?

  • Darrien Glasser

    Alright, so I was curious about this whole SD card thing, so I tested it out on my Note II. I checked out my storage beforehand (for both the SD/Internal and how Google Music grouped everything). You can see those in pictures 1 and 2.

    I then made the switch to SD. (See Picture 3)

    I waited a couple of minutes to see if anything would happen, and checked Google Music again after a reboot. There was nothing. (Picture 4) So it doesn't.

    But what if we decided to download more music for offline use? (Pictures 5-8)

    Still nothing. In conclusion, this "Move to SD" option doesn't seem to be doing anything for me. If anybody has better luck, do tell.

    • akshay7394

      What font is that?

      • Darrien Glasser

        It's called Roboto Condensed, a special font in 4.3.

        For the life of me I can't find the thread where I got the .zip, but some guy made a universal installer (just flash it) and it's all yours.

        Personal link:

        • Jeremy Miller

          OMG I bookmarked that thread last night ND this morning it was taken down so I was literally googling it in a different tab thanks.

        • akshay7394

          Thank you SO much. It looks beautiful!

    • Sean Rancier

      If you change to SD storage, you can clear all app data and it frees up your storage. Just got back 4 GB of internal! Whoo Whoo. I love this update!

      • Darrien Glasser

        So you have to clear the data before it moves everything over is what you're saying?

        • Sean Rancier

          It will not "move" anything over. You will have to pin the music to your device again, but this time it places it on the sd card.

          • Darrien Glasser

            It works, hurrah!

    • dark_funk

      I installed this and pinned two albums, one uploaded from my own files and one from All Access. App info indeed shows no SD card usage, but using a file explorer I can see the files it downloaded. They show as .mp3 files with arbitrary file numbers, and the All Access files can't be played directly, but the ones I added myself can be played w/ any standard media player, just like I'd expect.


      • DineIn Belly

        Did u figure out how to make those mp3s work? I cant either. Bunch of mp3s with numbers

        • dark_funk

          I suspect that they're encrypted MP3s, since they're only licensed for use with All Access. Any music that you uploaded to the service, or music that you purchased through Google Music, should be unencrypted and playable anywhere.

  • Sean Rancier

    To get your internal storage back after changing the storage location using the Nova Actions, just clear the app data from the settings. I gained 3 GB of internal storage back!

  • Christopher Robert

    You guys killed it on this one nice APK tear down. Thanks for the update.

  • urandom

    you don't really need a custom launcher.

    just get into a shell and run am start -n "com.google.android.music/com.google.android.music.ui.SDCardSelectorActivity" -a android.intent.action.MAIN -c android.intent.category.LAUNCHER

  • Jona

    Hmm... odd. I have the micro sd card option on my TF300, but not on my s2. Very disappointing...

  • A Levine

    Am I the only one who noticed the "currently playing" panel is now missing from the notification pane? That was a feature I love and used regularly. My partner fortunately still had the older build with the panel present. (We're both on the Galaxy Note 2)

  • Dave

    Thank you for this!!! The link to the SD card setting is BRILLIANT!!!

  • David Leibowitz

    Looks like Google released an update that removes the sd card selector. if you want to keep the option, then you can't download the update. Which makes me also wonder whether the option to use an external sd really has a future or if it was some sort of developr/debugging option or even something for qa testers to use that will never go into production.

  • paul futch

    When I download either Apex or Nova launcher and go to shortcuts-actions-google play music, I don't see an option that says "ui.SDCardSelectorActivity"

  • Shimmy

    Can't install Apex or Nova, they're both unavailable for my device!
    Any way to launch that activity from console?
    Other workarounds please?

    Thank you!

  • https://www.cia.gov/index.html Clandestine Ops

    If you're a Google TV fan with 200 bucks burning a hole in your pocket, this one is a no-brainer. On the flipside, if you're not a Google TV fan there's nothing here to sway you in that direction. Until more content and developers get on board, there is no real lure or customer appeal. Without customer appeal and sales, there won't be much content or development. Google TV is still in the Catch-22 phase, and will need more than decent hardware from people like Sony to change any of that.