Apple has been promising an Android version of its new streaming service ever since it announced that it would adapt Beats Music into its own branded alternative. Today is the day: after publishing a cheeky "switch to iOS" app and a Beats speaker management app, Apple Music is now on the Play Store. Be sure and get your quips about pigs flying and infernal snowballs in while you can. Read More
We already knew that Apple is working on an Android app for its new Apple Music service (the descendant of Beats Music, which Apple acquired along with the headphone maker last year). We've also heard that it's due sometime this fall. If screenshots posted by German site MobileGeeks can be believed, work on the Android version of the Apple Music app is progressing nicely. We can't verify the shots, but they seem to line up with Apple Music on iOS. Read More
It looks like budget-focused Sprint subsidiary Virgin Mobile USA is taking a page out of T-Mobile's book. Starting on Friday, the carrier will allow users to access certain streaming music services without taking the requisite hit to their data caps. The selection is a bit paltry at the moment (and notably lacking in both Google Play Music and Apple's Music service), but fans of Pandora Radio, Slacker, and iHeart Radio should be glad to hear that they can listen to practically unlimited amounts of music while they're out and about without incurring an extra charge.
Virgin Mobile is also reshuffling its phone plans. Read More
Today is about more than new Nexus devices. Google has also announced a new plan option for Google Play All Access. Rather than paying for multiple individual accounts, family members can now share a single family subscription for $15 per month. We posted this rumor yesterday, and it's now confirmed. Read More
Take a moment to consider the plight of poor app developers. In order to evade the fury of Android users, they need to check their apps every few months to make sure they work with incremental updates. Then every once in a while they need to add support for new phones with weird manufacturer skins or new chipset architectures. And if that wasn't enough, Google keeps adding entirely new product categories - Android Wear on smartwatches, Android TV for televisions, and Android Auto for cars. I'm not saying that developers shouldn't make every effort to keep their apps current, just that we should take a moment to recognize what a hassle it is. Read More
Microsoft has a music app. No, really, they do! It may have escaped your notice with the launch of a new service from a certain other company and the continuing dominance of Spotify, but the Xbox Music service is still going strong. Sort of - apparently Microsoft didn't think that brand name was strong enough, so they changed it to Groove. That name hasn't made it to the official Android app, for some reason.
But some other much-needed changes have been implemented in version 3.0, specifically the ability to access your Microsoft account and stream music stored on your OneDrive cloud. Read More
Joining an ever-growing group of popular apps with beta communities, Spotify has introduced one of their own. The most popular on-demand streaming music service will undoubtedly draw a lot of interest from its users, though, so it is not wide open like many beta programs are. To join, you must first send in an "application" and wait for approval.
It's not exactly a resume, since you only have to give them your Google email address, Spotify username, and community forum username (why these are not the same thing is beyond me). Judging by my own experience and the responses to their announcement, they are not simply rubber-stamping every single request as soon as it's received, either. Read More
There's no nice way to say this: May kind of sucked for new apps. There were a lot of notable updates to major existing apps (including a slew of Material Design updates), but the biggest news of the month came from Microsoft, of all places. Oh well - a short field just means it's that much easier to pick your bets. Here in no particular order are our top picks for the month of May, and a few runners up.
Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
The biggest apps to drop on Android in May are from Microsoft, the company's Holy Trinity of Office apps, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Read More
Amazon's Prime Music service is demonstrably behind competitors like Spotify and Google Play Music. Maybe that's why it's thrown in with Amazon Prime (which most people get for the shipping discounts) as a freebie. But never let it be said that Amazon rests on its laurels when it comes to new features: the latest update to Prime Music adds streaming music stations, like... well, like just about every other music service at this point.
The new stations are available in version 4.4. It's rolling out in the usual slow Play Store way, but a tipster sent in the APK and we've uploaded it to APKMirror for you to download at your leisure. Read More
The Amazon Echo, as a sort of physical embodiment of the functionality that voice-controlled services like Google Now offer, is an interesting idea. But without a screen or much in the way of direct input, its utility is limited by the number of services that it ties into. For example, before today the Echo could only access music from iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and Amazon's own cloud music service. The latest software update enables much-needed support for Pandora.
To use Pandora music with the Echo, open the Echo app on your phone and add your Pandora account details in the Music Services section of the Settings menu. Read More