LEAK: Apple Music for Android

apple logo with music notes canvasThroughout the gestation and early life of Apple Music, it has been expected that Apple would release an Android version. Beats Music, the progenitor of Apple Music, was distributed on both the leading mobile platforms, Apple iOS and Google Android.

German site Mobile Geeks has acquired an early glimpse, and has broken its non-disclosure to give the world a preview of Apple Music for Android screenshots. We won’t replicate them here, but you can view them at Mobile Geeks. The site’s review notes a couple of improvements to the iOS version of the interactive music app, based on inherent differences between the two operating systems. Changing setting will purportedly be easier, and downloading music from a Beats 1 stream (one of our favorite features).

The distribution of an Apple product on rival Android is notable in itself. Additionally interesting is the timing. Nobody knows when the Android version will launch, but Apple has at least waited until after the first three-month trial period in iOS. Last week CEO Tim Cook revealed that 6.5-million people are paying for the music subscription now, with another 8.5-million in a trial period. Industry reaction to those numbers ranged from bad to rad, but clearly Apple’s distribution power has boosted the service’s audience footprint to about double that of 13-year-old Rhapsody.

How helpful will Android distribution be? Characteristically secretive Apple is unlikely to break out Android sign-ups unless they represent a spectacular bragging point. Most Android users cannot be expected to be swayed by loyalty to Apple. Further, they will have to seek out the app — Apple Music will not appear on the mobile desktop otherwise, as it does in upgraded iOS8 devices. And Android music lovers have been well served by Rhapsody, Spotify, Deezer, Rdio, and many others for years.

Still, it’s coming, and it makes sense for Apple Music to adopt the “be everywhere” strategy.

Brad Hill