For a second there, it looked like Google was just about done with Wear OS. That was until the roadmap started unfolding with plans for, among other things, a new YouTube Music app and, later on, the big reveal of new Samsung smartwatches running the platform. Today, the plot has finally culminated with the soft launch of the new YouTube Music for the Galaxy Watch4 series.
There's nothing better than jamming out in the privacy of your own car (until you hit a red light and realize everyone in the cars around you noticed). Android Auto makes it easy to sort through your favorite playlists, albums, and more, but if the interface isn't straightforward and simple, it can take your eyes off the road. YouTube Music's current UI looks pretty dated, but a new design is starting to appear for some users.
Do you remember when YouTube Music was first introduced? Without the help of a Google search, I'd guess 2019 or maybe 2018... and I'd be off by a few years. The service dates back to 2015, but it didn't catch on in popularity until Google introduced the paid subscription plan, expanded its availability to dozens and dozens of countries, and eventually sacrificed Google Play Music at its altar. The app's download numbers have subsequently soared on the Play Store and have now reached the coveted 1 billion milestone.
If there's one thing that YouTube is really good at, it's recommendations. Google has done an excellent job training its algorithms to serve just what users would like to watch. Fortunately, this trait has also been passed on to YouTube Music that has a good hunch of what you might want to listen to next. In a bid to make it easier to find songs you may like, the service's Android app is getting a new way to "Start radio."
At the end of its long-drawn-out retirement, Google finally shuttered Play Music in December, passing the baton on to YouTube Music. There's still some time to transfer your music library to the new service, but the deadline is fast approaching. You only have a couple of weeks before all your Play Music data goes away for good.
Media and content companies really like previewing content as you scroll through their catalogs. Someone must've decided that this was more immersive and interactive at one point and now every app does it, from Netflix to YouTube, the Play Store, your Google Discover, and more. The feature is spreading to YouTube Music, but at least it only affects video thumbnails, not regular album art. And you can turn it off, obviously.
This story was originally published and last updated .
I've been a loyal Spotify user since what feels like the year the service launched, and a premium subscriber since 2014. Spotify premium has tons of great extra features, and I absolutely think it's worth the money if you're considering a paid music streaming subscription. But as I've been spending a lot more time at home of late, I've started watching a lot more YouTube, and the various pre-roll and mid-roll ads were starting to grate on me. Of course, you can remove those ads—by signing up for YouTube Premium. But that would also give me access to YouTube Music, meaning I'd technically be paying for two music services.
One of the coolest things Spotify gives to long-time users is Wrapped, a deep dive of the music they listened to throughout the year. Now that Google is concentrating its efforts on improving YouTube Music, the company is offering its users a similar — though much more basic — feature, along with a selection of new playlists celebrating the most popular songs of 2020.