Can Apple Music be shared with Android?

Apple Music is a music and video streaming service developed by Apple Inc. It was launched in 2015 as part of Apple’s ecosystem of products and services to provide iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, and Apple Watch users access to over 90 million songs as well as podcasts, music videos, and more.

Apple Music quickly gained popularity thanks to Apple’s huge existing user base and seamless integration with Apple devices. According to Statista, Apple Music had over 60 million paying subscribers worldwide as of June 2021, making it the second most popular music streaming service behind Spotify. Apple Music is now available on Android as well, further expanding its reach.

Apple’s Ecosystem

Apple is well known for having a “walled garden” or closed ecosystem when it comes to its products and services. This means that Apple tightly controls the hardware, software, services and apps that work within its ecosystem in order to create a seamless user experience. However, this closed approach also limits options for integrating and sharing with other platforms.

As the Europarl article explains, “Apple’s closed ecosystem is built to trap consumers”. Apple’s proprietary Lightning cables, app store restrictions, and proprietary file formats make it difficult to use Apple services on non-Apple devices. This closed approach creates friction for those trying to switch from iOS to Android.

According to the WSJ, while Apple’s walled garden results in excellent products, it also “keeps you locked inside Apple’s world” and makes it hard to integrate with other technology and platforms. This can limit options and compatibility for Apple users.

Sharing Outside Apple Devices

While Apple Music is designed to integrate seamlessly within Apple’s ecosystem of devices like iPhones, iPads, and Macs, sharing outside of Apple devices presents some challenges. Apple uses proprietary technology to encrypt files and communications between devices, making it difficult to share content with non-Apple devices.

For example, if you want to share your Apple Music library or playlists with friends who have Android phones, you’ll run into limitations. Apple Music’s DRM encryption prevents you from simply emailing song files or playlists to non-Apple devices. Additionally, collaborative playlists created in Apple Music can only be edited by other Apple Music subscribers, excluding non-Apple users.

Family Sharing can also be problematic across Apple and Android devices. All family members need to have an Apple ID account in the same country to participate in Family Sharing of Apple Music and other services. This restricts the ability to share content across family members’ devices if they are a mix of Apple and Android (1).

While not impossible, sharing Apple Music outside the Apple ecosystem often requires finding workarounds to limitations intentionally put in place by Apple. The proprietary nature of Apple’s platforms aims to encourage using their devices exclusively within their ecosystem.

Using Apple Music on Android

Apple provides an official Apple Music app for Android devices (Apple Music Android app free) that can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store. The Apple Music Android app provides access to the full Apple Music catalog of over 100 million songs, playlists, music videos, radio stations, and more.

According to 9to5Mac, the Apple Music Android app is set to receive an updated music player in a future update, bringing it closer in parity to the experience on iOS. Features like synced lyrics and live-updating Now Playing widgets are coming soon.

While the Apple Music experience on Android may lack some iOS-exclusive features, the core functionality like streaming the Apple Music library, creating playlists, listening to radio, and accessing recommendations is on par between platforms.

Sharing Your Library

One of the key features of Apple Music is the ability to access your full music library across devices. This includes being able to share your library with Android users as well. When you subscribe to Apple Music, your entire library is stored in iCloud and can be streamed across devices.

To share your full Apple Music library with Android users, you first need to enable iCloud Music Library. This syncs your library between devices and stores it in the cloud. On your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > Music and toggle on iCloud Music Library.

Once enabled, your full library including playlists and recommendations will be available in the Apple Music app on Android. You can download music for offline listening just like on iOS. Apple notes that some features like smart playlists may not sync properly to Android [1]. But overall, you get access to your Apple Music collection on Android.

This makes it easy for Android users in your family to enjoy your shared Apple Music library. As the library owner, you can also control what gets shared by hiding content in your library. So Android users only see the music that you want them to.

Collaborative Playlists

One of the best features of Apple Music is the ability to create collaborative playlists that can be shared and edited by multiple people, even if they are on different platforms like iOS and Android. This makes it easy to build playlists with friends by adding your favorite tracks.

To start a collaborative playlist, open the Music app and tap the + button to create a new playlist. Give it a name and description. Then tap the Collaborators button at the bottom and start adding friends to share it with by entering their names, phone numbers or email addresses [1].

Anyone you add as a collaborator can view the playlist on their own Apple Music app, whether they are on iPhone or Android. They can add, reorder or delete songs just like a regular playlist. You’ll see updates in real-time when they make changes.

Collaborative playlists make it seamless to build shared music libraries with friends across different platforms. It provides a way to crowdsource great tunes from your group.

Family Sharing

Apple Music allows families to share a subscription plan together, allowing up to 6 people to access the service through Family Sharing [1]. This can be useful for families where some members use iOS devices while others use Android.

To set up Family Sharing, the family organizer (with an iPhone) initiates the process and sends invitations to other family members. Those family members can accept the invitation on their Android devices through a link sent via SMS or email [2]. Once set up, all family members will have access to the shared Apple Music subscription, even those on Android devices.

There are a couple limitations to note. Family members on Android won’t have access to some Apple Music features like offline listening. Also, the family organizer must have an iPhone in order to set up and manage the Family Sharing group.


While Apple Music can be used on Android devices, there are some limitations around sharing with Android users compared to sharing with other Apple devices [1]. The main restrictions are:

  • Android users cannot be added to a Family Sharing plan as an organizer – only iOS/iPadOS/macOS devices can be organizers [2].
  • Android users have limited access to shared libraries – they can only see and play the shared songs but not edit playlists or make changes [3].
  • Shared listening (listening along with others in real-time) is not available for Android users.
  • Music availability may be more limited for Android users in some regions due to licensing.

So while Apple Music access is possible on Android, the experience is restricted compared to Apple device users. The sharing and social features are reduced, which could limit enjoyment of Apple Music for Android listeners.


While Apple Music and Family Sharing does not natively work between iOS and Android devices, there are some workarounds users have found to still share Apple Music with Android users in your Family Sharing group.

One workaround reported on Apple’s support forums is to use the “Open with” menu in the Share sheet on iOS. You can open the Apple Music app from this menu and then sign in with your Apple ID to access the shared library. This gives read-only access to the library without full native integration.

Some users on Reddit also suggest making collaborative playlists that both iOS and Android users have access to. While you won’t have access to the full shared library, you can manually add tracks to a collaborative playlist.

Overall, while Family Sharing between iOS and Android is limited, these workarounds help provide partial access and sharing capabilities between devices and users.


While Apple Music does have sharing limitations when using Android, there are some workarounds. To summarize: 

  • You cannot share your full Apple Music library with Android users
  • Collaborative playlists will function across Apple and Android devices
  • Family sharing allows up to 6 users to share an Apple Music subscription, even on different platforms
  • You can use AirPlay as a workaround to play Apple Music on an Android device
  • Apps like SongShift can help transfer playlists between Apple Music and other services

Overall, Apple Music is designed to work best within Apple’s ecosystem. But with some effort, Android users can find ways to access and share Apple Music content.

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