Does Android have a music app like Apple music?

Introducing Android and Apple Music Apps

Android and Apple both have their own pre-installed music apps that allow users to stream and download music on their smartphones. The Android operating system comes preloaded with apps like Google Play Music or YouTube Music, which provide access to millions of songs for streaming or downloading. Meanwhile, Apple’s iOS devices include the Apple Music app, Apple’s music streaming service with over 90 million songs in its catalog.

The purpose of these proprietary music apps is to give Android and Apple device owners seamless access to licensed music directly on their smartphones. By integrating music services into their mobile operating systems, Google and Apple aim to provide a convenient all-in-one platform for people to discover, play, and manage music.

Users can access curated playlists, customized stations, exclusive content, and other features through these apps. Both platforms also facilitate music purchases for downloading. A subscription unlocks full access to the massive catalogs of songs to stream on-demand.

Android’s Main Preloaded Music App

The main preloaded music app on Android devices is YouTube Music. YouTube Music replaced Google Play Music as Google’s flagship music streaming service in 2020 ( YouTube Music offers many of the key features of Google Play Music along with some additional benefits.

Some of the main features of YouTube Music include (

  • Access to over 60 million official songs, albums, playlists, and artist radio stations for streaming
  • Ability to upload up to 100,000 personal songs to the cloud for storage and streaming
  • Offline listening for downloaded songs, playlists, and albums
  • Personalized recommendations based on listening history and preferences
  • Support for Google Cast so you can control playback on Chromecast devices
  • Integrated access to all official artist videos on YouTube
  • Audio quality options up to 256kbps

Overall, YouTube Music provides a robust music streaming experience on Android devices with both an extensive catalog and personalization features.

Third Party Android Music Apps

There are many excellent third party music apps available for Android beyond the preloaded Google Play Music or YouTube Music apps. Some of the most popular and highly-rated Android music apps include:

Spotify: Spotify is one of the world’s most widely used music streaming services, with over 381 million monthly active users. The Spotify app for Android allows you to stream over 80 million songs, save music for offline listening, and build playlists. Key features include Spotify Connect for listening across multiple devices, human-curated playlists like Discover Weekly, and Spotify Premium for ad-free listening.

SoundCloud: SoundCloud is a popular social music platform, allowing users to upload, promote, and share original music. The Android app gives you access to a catalog of over 250 million tracks from emerging and established artists. You can stream music, discover new artists, create playlists, and more. SoundCloud Go+ offers an ad-free experience.

Other options like Amazon Music, Pandora, Tidal, Audiomack, and Bandcamp give Android users diverse choices for streaming major label music, discovering indie artists, listening to customized radio stations, and more. There are also more specialized Android music apps like podcast players, karaoke apps, guitar tuners, and DJ software.

Apple Music App Overview

Apple Music first launched in 2015 as Apple’s music streaming service to compete with Spotify, Pandora, and other streaming platforms. It offers access to over 90 million songs that can be streamed on demand, as well as curated playlists, online radio stations, and music videos (source).

Some of the key features of Apple Music include:

  • Ability to download songs, albums, and playlists for offline listening
  • Personalized recommendations based on listening history and preferences
  • Exclusive album releases and music content
  • Integration with Siri to control music playback by voice
  • Family Sharing plan allowing up to 6 users access
  • Access across iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, Apple Watch, CarPlay, and Windows

Apple Music aims to provide a seamless, intuitive and integrated music experience across Apple’s ecosystem of devices. Since its launch, it has amassed over 60 million paying subscribers globally as a major force in music streaming (source).

Comparing the Android and Apple Music Experiences

When it comes to the core music listening experience, Apple Music works very similarly on both iOS and Android devices. You can access your library, search for artists and albums, create playlists, listen to curated playlists, and take advantage of features like lyrics.

However, there are some key differences in the experience across platforms. On Android, you don’t have access to Apple Music Voice Plan, which allows Siri voice commands for music control on iOS. The social features like sharing playlists or seeing what your friends are listening to are also more limited on Android. Additionally, Android users miss out on Apple exclusives like spatial audio and lossless audio quality.

On the other hand, Apple Music on Android allows uploading your own song files to the cloud across devices, something not possible on iOS. Android users can also take advantage of Dolby Atmos Music and Universal Windows Platform integration. Overall the core functionality is very similar, but each platform offers some unique features.

Music Streaming vs Downloads

There are pros and cons to both music streaming services and downloading music directly to your device. Some key differences include:

Streaming Pros:

  • Access to vast libraries of music, often millions of songs
  • Ability to discover and listen to new music through curated playlists and recommendations
  • No need to store large music files locally – streams directly from the cloud

Streaming Cons:

  • Requires an internet connection, limiting offline listening
  • Monthly subscription fees, though often at a low cost
  • Limited control and ownership over music library

Downloads Pros:

  • Full ownership and control over your music library
  • Ability to listen offline once songs are downloaded
  • No recurring costs after initial music purchases

Downloads Cons:

  • Large storage space required on device to store music files
  • Upfront cost to purchase songs and albums
  • Limited music discovery features

Overall, streaming services provide portable access to a vast music catalogue while downloads allow full ownership of purchased songs. The best option depends on each user’s listening habits, budget, and connectivity.[1]

Audio Hardware Compatibility

When it comes to playing music on your smartphone, the hardware you use can greatly impact your listening experience. A key difference between Android and iOS is support for different audio hardware and connections.

Most modern Android devices still include a 3.5mm headphone jack for wired listening and analog audio output. This allows you to plug in your existing wired headphones or speakers without any adapters. However, newer flagship Android phones are starting to remove the headphone jack, following Apple’s lead.

In contrast, Apple started removing the headphone jack beginning with the iPhone 7 in 2016. So most recent iPhones require an adapter or wireless Bluetooth headphones. The advantage is that removing the jack allows for a slimmer device profile and improved water resistance.

Both platforms fully support wireless listening via Bluetooth headphones and speakers. High quality Bluetooth audio codecs like aptX and AAC ensure great sound quality without wires. So you have excellent options on both Android and iOS.

Android’s retention of the headphone jack ensures backwards compatibility with existing audio gear. But Apple’s push towards wireless may better future-proof their devices. Ultimately personal preference and your existing headphones will likely determine which is better for your audio needs.

Music Discovery Features

Apple Music’s latest innovation in music discovery is the Discovery Station, which provides a personalized, curated playlist of music recommendations [1]. The Discovery Station learns your musical tastes and refresh daily to serve up an eclectic mix of favorites and new tracks to explore [2]. Users have found the recommendations surprisingly accurate, though some feel it leans too heavily on tracks already in their library [3].

In contrast, Android’s Google Play Music relies more on algorithmic recommendations based on your listening history and playlists. The “Discover Mix” playlist provides a selection of recommended tracks each week. However, some users report the recommendations can feel repetitive. While solid, Google Play Music’s discovery features may not be quite as advanced as Apple’s Music Station for surfacing hidden gems.

Third party Android apps like Spotify offer discovery features more on par with Apple Music, such as personalized playlists updated regularly with a blend of familiar and new music. Overall, while Apple Music’s Discovery Station stands out, Android users still have access to robust music discovery through Spotify and other apps.

Music App Prices and Billing

Apple Music and the main pre-installed music apps on Android like Google Play Music offer different pricing models for subscriptions. According to Apple’s website, Apple Music offers the following monthly subscription plans:

  • Student – $5.99/month
  • Individual – $10.99/month
  • Family – $16.99/month (up to 6 accounts)

There is also an annual Individual plan available for $99 per year. Apple Music subscriptions can be paid for via credit card, PayPal, or through an Apple ID account. There are often promotions available for free trials for new subscribers.

On Android, the pricing and billing for music subscriptions depends on the specific app. Google Play Music, for example, offers monthly plans similar to Apple Music. However, there are also free ad-supported music apps available like Spotify.

The Bottom Line

Yes, Android does have several excellent music app options that can reasonably rival or even exceed Apple Music in certain respects. The main preinstalled Google Play Music app offers strong core music playback, downloading, and streaming capabilities. Popular third party options like Spotify provide best-in-class discovery features and Spotify is also available on iOS. While Apple Music boasts tight integration and exclusives for Apple device owners, Android users have a wealth of alternative apps with comparable or better functionality depending on exact user needs. With multiple free ad-supported tiers available, it’s easy for Android users to find a music app that suits their preferences.

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