Play Music's v5.8 rolled out last month with a slew of fixes and improvements to make the app fit better with Material Design's guidelines and provide some added functionality like biography and history for artists, and a previous song button in the collapsed notification. The app has since seen a few incremental changes, but the latest v5.8.1836R got a rare treatment from Google: an official changelog. So it must be something important, right?
A fresh release of Play Music is going out to devices, and it brings a bit more consistency to another one of Google's apps. Now the navigation menu that extends from the side of the screen will reach up through the notification bar.
Left: Old, Right: New.
That's not the only element of the interface that's reaching upwards. When you go to play a track, you will find that the album artwork extends to the top of the screen as well.
Android 5.1 seemed like a very minor update when it was announced, but there are actually a lot of cool little changes throughout the OS. For example, you can now (finally!) change the system volume while you have audio playing. Google added a new button to make this happen.
Left: 5.0 volume, Middle: 5.1 with volume button, Right: 5.1 changing system volume
Samsung has been pushing its fancy new Milk brand hard lately, adding video and teasing virtual reality. But before today, listeners' biggest barrier to access was the fact that the app was only available on their Samsung-branded phones and tablets. That changes this morning with the launch of Milk Music for the web, accessible from desktop and Chrome OS browsers at milk.samsung.com. Log in using your Samsung account and you'll have access to the same songs and stations that you do on mobile.
Google still doesn't have a Play Music API for third-party apps, so I'm essentially forced to use the official app for streaming my music. If I had the option of using any music app and still getting my cloud tunes, I'd use Shuttle—we've even recommended it a few times. This app is feature-rich and has a slick design, but it's getting even better today with a big update to v1.5. This is the second phase of the developer's material redesign, and it's looking great.
Google is always coming up with deals to get people to try its All Access music subscription (which now includes YouTube Music Key as well). After offering free trials when the service first launched or with every Chromecast purchase, it's now discounting a 3-months subscription to a total of $3, i.e. a mere Washington per month.
As the deal's terms state, this offer is only valid for new subscribers, but exactly who qualifies as a "new subscriber" remains up in the air.
You don't need to understand the lyrics to like a song, but sometimes it helps. Musixmatch is a slick way to sing along with your tunes or have an impromptu karaoke party, and now it's about to get even better. There's an updated version of it in the Play Store beta channel with some new features and a full material redesign.
A couple of weeks ago, I shared with you a selection of lesser known music players for locally stored media that had some special powers and functions. However, playback and streaming aren't the only functions a music aficionado looks for, especially when your favorite app sometimes lacks a certain functionality. So how do you fill this void, or how do you improve on your basic listening experience? Here are 10 utilities that can be used in conjunction with your preferred music apps to complement them.
So you want to spin some virtual turntables, but you don't have five bucks for djay 2? No problem, there's a free version of the app now courtesy of Algoriddim. You won't get all the goodies available in the full version, but it's a good way to try the app out and see if you're any good at it.