Is Apple Music better in Android?

Apple Music launched on iOS in 2015 and was later released on Android in 2016. Since then, Apple Music has become available across multiple platforms, including Android, allowing Android users access to Apple’s massive music library and streaming services.

Overall, the Apple Music experience is quite similar between iOS and Android. Users can access the same library of over 90 million songs, playlists, radio stations, and more. However, there are some key differences in features and performance between the platforms.

This article examines if Apple Music is better on Android compared to iOS. While the streaming service works well across both platforms, there are certain advantages and disadvantages unique to the Android version. We’ll compare factors like library integration, interface, audio quality, and more to determine if Android users get an enhanced or inferior Apple Music experience.

Music Library

Users report that the size of their Apple Music library is the same on both iOS and Android devices. For example, one user on Reddit states that they uploaded their entire CD collection to their iCloud Music Library and it took up 112GB of space across their iPhone, MacBook Pro and iMac (Source). This indicates the full Apple Music catalog is available on both platforms. Some users note that enabling iCloud Music Library can initially cause their iPhone storage usage to spike as it uploads and matches their local music to the cloud, but it eventually stabilizes (Source). Overall, Apple Music’s library size and song availability appear identical on iOS and Android.


Overall, Apple Music is more deeply integrated into iOS devices than Android. The music streaming service was built into iOS before becoming available on Android, so the experience feels more seamless on iPhones and iPads. According to users on Reddit, the search and playback functionality works similarly across platforms, but certain iOS-exclusive features don’t translate to Android.

For example, Android users cannot access Apple Music’s Song Recognition feature, which automatically identifies music playing around you using Shazam technology. This is built into Control Center on iOS but not available on Android versions of the app (Reddit).

The ability to ask Siri to play songs and control playback is also missing from the Android experience. Since Siri is exclusive to Apple devices, this voice assistant integration remains an iOS advantage. Overall, Apple Music feels a bit more natural and tightly integrated on iPhones thanks to Apple’s end-to-end control over software and hardware.

User Interface

The Apple Music user interface differs slightly between iOS/iPadOS and Android. On iOS devices, Apple Music adopts Apple’s standard UI design language with rounded corners, transparency effects, and fluid animations. The now playing screen features large album artwork and access to lyrics. The library tabs are located at the bottom for easy access.

On Android, Apple Music feels more like a native Android app with standard navigation patterns and Material Design elements. The now playing screen is more condensed with smaller album art. The main tabs are located in a bottom nav bar, and there is a hamburger menu for library access. Overall the UI is optimized for each platform.

Both apps allow for light and dark mode. But Apple Music’s designs feel more polished on iOS versus Android. The iOS version seems to get UI updates and new features first. However, the core functionalities work consistently across platforms even if parts of the UI look different.

Offline Listening

One of the key differences between Apple Music on iOS and Android is the ability to download music for offline listening. On iOS, Apple Music subscribers can download any song, album, or playlist by tapping the download icon next to it (Source 1). These downloads are saved locally on the device storage. According to Apple’s support page, there is no limit on the number of times a user can download songs for offline listening (Source 2).

On Android, the ability to download music for offline listening is more limited. Users are restricted to downloading 100,000 songs total across all devices. There is also a limit of 10,000 song downloads per device (Source 3). The download functionality on Android is not as seamless as on iOS.

Overall, Apple Music on iOS clearly provides superior support for offline listening and downloading music, with no restrictions. Android users face tighter limits on song downloads.

Audio Quality

When it comes to audio quality, Apple Music on iOS is often considered superior to the Android version. The main reason is that iOS allows for bit-perfect audio output, meaning the music file is played back at its original bit depth and sample rate.

According to discussions on Reddit, iOS has lower audio latency compared to Android, allowing for more precise timing and playback. The latency on iOS is around 20-25 ms, while on Android it can vary greatly depending on the device, with figures as high as 150 ms reported. This can make music playback feel less responsive on Android.

There are mixed reports on whether the sound quality difference is noticeable to most listeners. However, audiophiles and those with high-end audio gear are more likely to hear a difference. Overall, iOS seems to have an edge in audio quality thanks to its bit-perfect output and lower latency.[1]

New Releases

One key aspect of any music streaming service is how quickly users can access new music releases. There has been some debate around whether Apple Music can deliver new releases as fast on Android as it does on iOS.

According to discussions on Reddit, the availability of new music is generally the same across both platforms. Users report being able to find and listen to new album releases at the same time, regardless of whether they are on an iOS or Android device (source).

However, some users have pointed out occasional delays in new music appearing on Android compared to iOS. This may be tied to app updates, as the latest Apple Music app version for Android (4.3.0 beta) contains features for more simultaneous new releases that were introduced in iOS 17 (source).

Overall, the availability of new music seems mostly consistent across platforms. Any differences appear minor and likely related to app update rollouts rather than intentional delays. Apple Music aims for parity in new releases for Android and iOS users.

Curated Playlists

One of the main selling points of Apple Music is its curated playlists created by music experts and algorithms. How do the curated playlists compare between iOS and Android?

On both platforms, Apple Music offers numerous handcrafted playlists for various genres, moods, activities, decades, and more. Playlists like Today’s Hits, Rap Life, Country Risers, Pop Hits, Chill Vibes, Rock Classics, and others can be easily browsed and accessed on iOS and Android devices.

The content and selection of playlists is identical, since they are served from Apple’s servers rather than locally on the device. Users have reported no noticeable differences in the playlist offerings between operating systems.

In terms of functionality, iOS and Android both enable downloading playlists for offline listening and allow adding playlists to your library. One minor difference is that on iOS you can ask Siri to play specific playlists by name, whereas this feature is not available on Android.

Overall, Apple Music’s hallmark human-curated and personalized playlists work similarly well across platforms. Users can enjoy the same library of expertly crafted playlists regardless of using an iPhone or Android device.

iCloud Music Library

One of the biggest advantages of using Apple Music on iOS is its seamless integration with iCloud Music Library. This allows you to access your entire music library across all your Apple devices. Any music you add, whether purchased from Apple Music or uploaded to your iCloud storage, is available on any iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV etc. signed into your Apple ID.

Android lacks this tight integration with iCloud Music Library. While you can access your Apple Music library on an Android phone, any music you’ve personally uploaded to iCloud is not available. So any songs not officially available on Apple Music will only be playable on your Apple devices.

For those with large personal libraries uploaded to iCloud, this missing integration is a major downside. You either have to manually download those songs to your Android device, or just accept you won’t have full access. Apple Music’s iCloud Music Library syncing gives it a big advantage over the Android experience in terms of accessing a complete personal music collection.


In summarizing the key differences between Apple Music on iOS and Android, there are pros and cons to each platform. The iOS version has tighter integration with the Apple ecosystem, including capabilities like Handoff, Siri integration, and Apple Music Radio. However, Android offers some advantages like the ability to upload your own music files to the cloud and integration with Android Auto.

Overall, Apple Music works well across both iOS and Android, with only minor differences in performance and features. For Android users who want a seamless music streaming experience, Apple Music provides a compelling option with its large catalog of songs, playlists, music videos and more. But iOS users will have a slight edge when it comes to platform specific integrations. Ultimately, music fans can enjoy Apple Music whether they prefer iOS or Android.

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