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apple music

InBrief
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Apple Music adds tablet support in latest beta

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Apple Music is coming to Amazon Echo devices in December

Music streaming is a popular use for smart speakers, but the particular speaker you have dictates which services you have access to. Amazon's speakers are getting better in that regard in the near future, as the company has announced that Apple Music will be available on Echo devices later this year.

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Google Maps music integration and Commute tab begin rolling out

A few days ago, the Google Maps team announced a host of changes to its app, starting with a new Commute tab that groups driving and transit directions together, as well as a new media player integration while navigating. The changes have begun showing up now via a server-side update. We've spotted both features on Google Maps 9.88 beta, though it's possible you might see them on older versions of the app too.

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Google Maps adds Commute tab, in-app controls for Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music

In early September, we spotted Google Maps' new Commute tab — a section that takes over from the Driving and Transit tabs to provide a more robust view of your daily commute to work or school. That change is now rolling out globally on Android and iOS, along with several other updates to make routine travel easier, including in-app controls for three of the most popular music streaming apps — Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music.

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[Update: Leaves beta, available for all] Apple Music is privately testing Android Auto integration in v2.6.0 beta

It may not be the most loved music service on Android, but Apple Music is certainly an appealing choice, especially for those who live in countries where YouTube Music (né Google Play Music) and Spotify aren't available. When I reviewed it back in 2015, I loved a lot of its features, but I eventually had to give up on it because it wasn't compatible with many other things I often use: Android Auto, Chromecast, and Google Home. But there's hope on the horizon, at least for the first one of those three.

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Verizon is offering six months of free Apple Music to subscribers on unlimited plans

It still seems a bit weird that Apple Music is on Android, but some people swear by it. If you're one of those people, you should know that Verizon is offering six months of free Apple Music - double the regular trial period - to both new and existing subscribers on its unlimited plans.

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Music licensing fees paid by streaming services like Spotify or Apple Music to increase

The Copyright Royalty Board of the U.S. Library of Congress—which determines the licensing fees paid by streaming services to artists (and their publishers)—has reportedly increased the royalty rate from 10.5% to 15.1% of total revenues for the five-year period from 2018 to 2022. Streaming services rely on the compulsory license established under U.S. law rather than negotiate directly with publishers. For comparison, Netflix and Amazon must negotiate with studios for the use of programs, which is why their catalogs are not "all-inclusive" in the way that music streaming services are.

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Apple Music 2.2 adds user profiles and integrates better with Android: OK Google voice search, app shortcuts, one more widget

Apple Music had a lot of promise when it launched, but the app didn't stick well with the times, especially on Android. It seemed as if the developers behind it just didn't want to bother with anything specific to the Android platform, preferring to stick with the basic features and not making use of all the APIs that were available to them. But with the last release of v2.2, it looks like Apple Music is finally realizing some of its potential on our beloved platform.

But before we focus on that, the headline here is the addition of user profiles so you can now share your favorite music and playlists with friends and discover what they've shared as well.

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Apple Music for Android updated to v2.0 with a redesigned user interface

Apple Music doesn't have the best reviews in the Play Store. Some of that is clearly because Apple, but there were also some legitimate issues with the app that earned it mediocre reviews. In today's v2.0 update, Apple has reportedly addressed some of them with a revamped user interface.

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Apple Music is officially out of beta, adds equalizer settings in latest update

Scoff all you like, Google purists: there are a lot of people who double-dip Android and iOS/Mac platforms, and we have the analytics to prove it. Those of them who subscribe to Apple's paid Music service (which is built off the bones of ye olde Beats Music) will be happy to hear that the Android version is now out of beta. It was available publicly on the Play Store before, but now it's formally released for everyone. Huzzah.

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