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play music


Google improves Play Music experience on Wear OS, adds shuffle functionality

Google rebranded Android Wear as Wear OS last week, but the change didn't bring any new features with it. The reason behind the rebranding wasn't stated explicitly, but it may be that Google wants to make the wearable operating system seem more platform agnostic — last year, one in every three new Android Wear watch owners also used an iPhone, so dropping the 'Android' from the name of the platform might help even more people realize that Wear works with iOS devices, too. However, development on Wear OS continues regardless of changes in name, and Google has announced today that it's improving the Google Play Music experience on Wear watches.

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YouTube Music v2.21 prepares to add streaming audio quality settings for Wi-Fi and Cellular, possibly first step toward absorbing Play Music [APK Teardown]

It's no mystery that YouTube will be absorbing Google Play Music – that much we've known since July – but it's seven months later and we still don't really know any details outside of some rumors about a rebranding to YouTube Remix. The latest update to the YouTube Music app might shed a little bit of light on what we can expect regarding the apps we'll actually be using.

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Google Play Music v8.7 adds option to disable album art on the lock screen [APK Download]

If there was any one common statement to be made about the subjects of music and smartphones, it's that they're both very personal to each of us. In the same way that some people prefer listening to metal, there are also those that insist on a very sparse homescreen. We might listen to EDM just like we might set up our wallpaper to cycle every hour. If you've taken the time to tailor your phone experience, you might not be happy about a common feature of music players that allows them to temporarily replace your lock screen background with album art.

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New Google music streaming service YouTube 'Remix' could launch in March 2018

It's clear Google sees a benefit in owning a music service to rival Spotify and Apple Music, but making it happen is proving incredibly difficult. Google Play Music hasn't exactly captured the imagination, in no small part due to its terrible app, and YouTube Red (previously YouTube Music Key) hasn't fared much better. Fear not, another attempt is on its way.

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Play Music v8.5 drops 2 MB of dead weight by unbundling Wear app and fixes app shortcut adaptive icons [APK Teardown]

A new version of Play Music is available this afternoon and it's making a big leap in versions from 8.0 to 8.5. This update doesn't come with the redesign that had seemed likely after last month's visual refresh to Play Music on Android TV. But cosmetic touchups were in the cards as the adaptive icons for app shortcuts were fixed in this release. Additionally, Play Music lost some megabytes after unbundling its Wear app.

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Play Music v8.1 appears with dedicated Android TV app and a significantly new look [APK Download]

The Play Music app on Android TV has remained mostly unchanged since the platform launched three years ago. If you've grown tired of the wall of orange and all of the completely original Material Design components that were used when Android TV first launched, you'll be happy to see that Play Music is now sporting a new look. A new Android TV-specific variant of the Play Music app is rolling out through the Play Store with a completely redesigned look.

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Play Music v7.12 adds an option to prevent external devices from auto-playing music [APK Download]

Smartphones have become a critical component for many of the things we do in our lives. There are still plenty of bugs and weird little things that don't quite work right on our phones, but it's when they have to connect to other devices that many of the strangest behaviors start to crop up. For years, one particular issue has been plaguing users as they connect a phone to their car stereos, headphones, or other audio output devices. Moments after a connection is made, the phone will suddenly and unexpectedly begin playing music – and anecdotally, they're always quite loud. Google Play Music is often blamed for this behavior because it's the app most likely to respond, but there's now a toggle to prevent that from happening.

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Google Play Music is testing a new search UI, with album art and play button for top results

Google recently made some significant changes to its Play Music app for Android, adding a search history and notification channels for use with the upcoming Android O release. That was followed up with the addition of New Release Radio, a personalized mix of recent releases similar to your own collection. Thanks to a couple of tips, we've also become aware that Google is testing a couple of small improvements to search in the app, namely a play button and album art for top results.

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New Release Radio on Google Play Music gives you a customized daily mix of the latest releases

Following an early access test for the Galaxy S8, Google has now released a new station for users of Google Play Music: New Release Radio. It's a daily mix of recently-released music based on your own tastes. Whatever you are into, each day you'll be able to check out the latest songs by your favorite artists. 

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Google Home can now play uploaded and purchased tunes from Play Music

Google Home launched with a number of missing features, some of which have been addressed. Not all of them, though. You still can't set a reminder, but you can finally tell Home to play songs that you've purchased or uploaded to Play Music. The preference it gives to that content will vary based on your account status.

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