Why is Apple Music not working on Android?

Apple Music is a popular music streaming service developed and maintained by Apple for iOS, MacOS, Android and the web. It offers access to over 90 million songs and 30,000 music playlists, and also live radio stations and music videos in some locations. However, some Android users report issues with the app such as missing features, account and connectivity problems, and occasional bugs and crashes.

Apple Ecosystem

Apple Music is designed as part of Apple’s closed ecosystem, which seeks to lock users into Apple devices and services through tight integration and optimization for iOS. Apple utilizes proprietary technology to create a seamless experience between Apple devices, while often neglecting integration with third party platforms like Android (1). This ecosystem lock-in makes switching away from Apple’s products difficult and encourages customers to stay within the Apple universe to get the best experience (2).

For example, AirPods pair effortlessly with iPhones and other Apple devices, but lack certain features when used with an Android phone. Apple prioritizes optimizing Apple Music for iOS and Apple products rather than focusing on cross-platform functionality. As a result, Android users of Apple Music may encounter issues like laggy performance, streaming problems, and missing features compared to iPhone users (3). The app is not designed equally across platforms.

App Optimization Issues

One of the main complaints from Android users of Apple Music is that the Android app is not as well optimized compared to the iOS version, leading to various performance problems. Apple dedicates more resources towards optimizing the iOS app given the majority of Apple Music subscribers are on iPhone. However, this results in the Android version of Apple Music suffering from lag, crashes, and other issues.

Many users on Reddit and Android forums complain that Apple Music runs slower on Android compared to iOS in areas like searching, browsing, and loading playlists [1]. Basic actions like scrolling can be choppy. There are also consistent reports of the Android app crashing unexpectedly or songs failing to load properly [2]. Overall, the Android version feels unpolished.

Apple seems to dedicate minimal effort towards optimizing the backend and codebase of the Android Apple Music app. Consequently, Android users often get a subpar experience plagued by performance issues. Apple could improve satisfaction by allocating more resources to optimize the Apple Music Android app.

Missing Features

One of the main issues with Apple Music on Android is that it lacks many of the key features that make the service great on iOS devices. Apple has not optimized the Android app to take full advantage of the platform, so it is missing integrations and functionality that iOS users enjoy.

For example, Apple Music on iOS has tight integration with Siri, allowing users to control playback, queue songs, and search the catalog simply using voice commands. Siri intelligence is completely absent from the Android version.

Another missing feature is Handoff, which allows seamless transitioning between devices. iOS users can start listening to music on their iPhone and pick up right where they left off on their iPad or Mac. This convenience is not available to Android users.

Lyrics, live radio stations, and Chromecast integration are other useful parts of Apple Music that Android users cannot access. Even basic functions like queues and playlists sync less reliably cross-platform.

While Android users can stream the full Apple Music library, the experience feels hollow without core iOS features that amplify the service. For the premium subscription price, it’s reasonable for consumers to expect parity between the two platforms.

Account and Subscription Problems

One of the biggest issues that Android users run into with Apple Music is managing subscriptions and accounts across Android and iOS. Apple Music subscriptions are tied to Apple IDs, which creates complications for Android users who may also have iOS devices.

When setting up Apple Music on an Android device, users have to sign in with their Apple ID. This allows them to access the same Apple Music library and recommendations across devices. However, problems arise when users want to manage their subscription or account settings. This has to be done through iPhone or iTunes, since those tools don’t exist within the Android app. As TunesFun notes, Android users with an active subscription will see it “expire” in the Play Store because it is actually managed by the Apple ID.

Likewise, any changes made to account details like payment info or subscription plan will apply across iOS and Android but have to be made in the Apple ecosystem. This fragmented experience can be frustrating for Android users. It also makes fully integrating Apple Music into the Android platform more difficult. Overall, managing subscriptions and accounts remains a pain point when using Apple Music on Android devices.

Connectivity and Streaming Problems

One of the most common issues that Android users face with Apple Music is problems with connectivity, streaming and downloading songs. Apple Music relies on a stable internet connection for streaming audio and downloading music for offline playback. However, many users complain of songs pausing unexpectedly, not loading at all, or taking too long to start playing (Source).

There are a few factors that can contribute to connectivity issues with Apple Music on Android:

  • Slow internet connection or weak WiFi signal
  • Cellular data connection problems or data capped
  • High network latency causing buffering and delays
  • Apple Music app not optimized for Android hardware and software
  • Problems with specific Android devices, carriers or OS versions

To troubleshoot, first check your internet speeds and connection quality. Try switching between WiFi and cellular data to see if one works better. You can also try downloading songs over WiFi for offline playback. Make sure you have enough data allowance for streaming. Restarting your device and reinstalling the Apple Music app may help as well. If issues persist, it likely points to larger compatibility problems between Apple Music and your specific Android device that may require further troubleshooting or an app update from Apple.

Bugs and Crashes

Apple Music is known to be prone to bugs and crashes on Android devices, which can cause a frustrating user experience. Some of the common issues reported by users include:

Random crashing and freezing – Apple Music seems unstable on Android and tends to freeze or crash unexpectedly. This usually happens when opening the app, loading content, or skipping tracks [1].

Audio skipping and stuttering – Many users complain of frequent skipping, stuttering, and interrupted playback while streaming music. This points to optimization issues on Android [2].

Failure to download songs – The download function often fails halfway with a vague “error occurred” message. Downloaded songs also sometimes disappear from the library [2].

App crashes when casting – Attempting to cast Apple Music to external devices like Chromecast causes the app to crash frequently [2].

Frequent signing out – Many users report frustrating sign-out issues that force them to repeatedly sign back in [1].

Hardware Incompatibilities

One of the main reasons Apple Music may not be working properly on Android devices is due to hardware incompatibilities. Apple designs and optimizes its apps primarily for its own hardware ecosystem of iPhones and iPads. Porting Apple Music over to the wide diversity of Android hardware can cause problems.

For example, some users have reported issues with getting Apple Music to work properly on certain Android smartphone models from Samsung, LG, Motorola and others. There seem to be driver conflicts or firmware bugs on some devices that prevent Apple Music from running smoothly.

Additionally, the app may not be fully compatible with certain components like particular WiFi chipsets or Bluetooth drivers found in some Android phones and tablets. There can also be conflicts with certain Android skins and customizations done by device manufacturers.

Overall, while Apple Music aims to work on all modern Android hardware, the reality is that they have only optimized and tested it on a subset of devices. Older and cheaper Android models are more prone to having compatibility issues with Apple Music.

Customer Support

One of the biggest pain points for Android users of Apple Music is the lack of dedicated customer support from Apple for issues specific to the Android platform. Since Apple Music was designed primarily for iOS and Apple’s own ecosystem, Android-related issues often fall through the cracks in Apple’s customer support channels.

For example, when Android users try to get help via Apple’s live chat or phone support for problems like app crashes, missing features, or account issues, they often get directed to generic troubleshooting scripts rather than solutions tailored to the Android operating system. And with no direct avenues to get assistance from Apple for Android-specific bugs and problems, many users complain of long wait times, frustrating back-and-forth conversations, and issues that never end up getting resolved.

This lack of dedicated customer service and technical support tailored for non-Apple devices remains one of the most significant roadblocks for Android users trying to access Apple Music. Without the proper help channels, Android-related issues linger and negatively impact the user experience.

Alternatives for Android Users

For Android users who find Apple Music problematic, there are several strong alternatives worth considering that may provide a better overall experience. Here are some of the top options:

Spotify – With over 155 million premium subscribers globally, Spotify is likely the most widely-used streaming service on Android. It offers a very similar overall experience to Apple Music, with access to over 80 million songs, personalized recommendations, playlists, podcasts, and more. Spotify’s mobile app is highly polished and designed specifically for Android.

YouTube Music – As Android Authority notes, YouTube Music provides official songs, covers, and remixes, making it one of the most robust catalogs available. It also offers personalized playlists and recommendations powered by Google’s algorithms. The app is tightly integrated into the Android ecosystem.

Amazon Music – For those already prime members, Amazon Music comes bundled with many subscriptions. The catalog is comparable to competitors, and the app experience is generally smooth and functional on Android devices. It also includes features like offline listening. While not as popular as Spotify or YouTube Music overall, it remains a very usable option.

There are many additional streaming services on Android worth considering as Apple Music alternatives, depending on one’s needs and preferences. But Spotify, YouTube Music, and Amazon Music stand out as the top tier in terms of popularity, music catalog size, functionality, and Android optimization.

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