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YouTube Music reaches 500 million installs as it prepares to lay Google Play Music to rest

The YouTube Music app has been around for about half a decade now. It started out as merely a new way to watch music videos on YouTube, but was relaunched in 2018 as a full-fledged music streaming service with the eventual goal of replacing Google Play Music. As that objective draws closer to becoming a reality, YouTube Music has officially joined the likes of Google Contacts (among others) in crossing the 500 million install count in the Play Store.

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The first signs of Google Play Music's impending shutdown have arrived

The phasing out of Play Music has been in progress for a while, and the whole service is set to be discontinued this month. It doesn't come as much of a surprise, then, that Google has begun to transition the default music player on Assistant devices from Play Music to YouTube Music. This also means that most users are now getting ads in between their own songs.

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YouTube Music now lets you see which songs from an artist you've added to your library

Now that Google has officially announced the date of Google Play Music's funeral, the pressure is on to get YouTube Music as close to feature parity as possible. The streaming service added a Recent Activity section and a very limited Android TV experience earlier this week. Now another oft-requested feature is showing up: the ability to navigate to an artist and see only the songs of theirs you've added to your personal library.

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YouTube Music comes to Assistant and Android TV in a very limited capacity

The signs have been there for months, but now we know for sure that Google Play Music will be discontinued starting September in favor of YouTube Music (YTM). Fans of the older streaming service will tell you that the newcomer has a long way to go before it's as functional and featured, and nothing will change that — not even Google's announcement that YTM has seen some improvements on Google Assistant and Android TV. As expected, those are botched implementations.

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YouTube Music shows latest library additions for some

YouTube Music is slated to replace Google Play Music later this year. There are still some discrepancies and missing features, and Google is hard at work bringing over as much functionality to its new music streaming service as it deems feasible and necessary. As such, YouTube Music now tests displaying albums and playlists that you've saved to your library in the Last Played overview.

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YouTube Music is getting four new personalized mix playlists

YouTube Music is due to become Google's only music service by the end of this year. In anticipation of taking the spotlight, the platform has been rapidly adding features and making tweaks lately, such as the ability to swipe between tracks and start playback directly from the album art. Last month, four new Mix playlists were spotted in the wild, and now it looks like those are becoming more widely available.

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YouTube Music gains the ability to start playback directly from album covers on the web

YouTube Music may not have had the most auspicious beginnings, but the service is quickly adding features ahead of Google Play Music's impending shutdown. Earlier this month the Explore tab started rolling out on the web, then the Android app gained a new 'Related' tab, and just last week it added the ability to swipe between songs. Now YouTube Music on the web is gaining a small speed improvement to album playback.

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