Apple Music coming to Android: Strategy shift or a one-off app?

At its WWDC 2015 event, Apple surprised no one with the new Apple Music service. Except maybe for Google Android users, which will gain access this fall.
Written by Kevin Tofel, Contributor

Hell hath frozen over: Apple is creating an application for Google Android devices.

It's surprising but true. At its WorldWide Developer Conference on Monday, Apple launched the new Apple Music: A service that combines the old Beats Music, iTunes Radio and more features.


It launches for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, and PC on June 30 for $9.99 a month. And this fall, it arrives on Android phones.

Prior to the launch of Apple Music, there were reports of lofty goals with some estimates that Apple is shooting for 100 million subscribers. Apple previously said in January that it sold its one billionth iOS device. Not all of those are active, of course, but surely half to two-thirds of them are. That gives Apple a solid base to build from.

Adding Android, however, adds another billion potential subscribers, which will make it easier to turn Apple Music into an even bigger cash cow.

From a software perspective, this is the first time I can think of that Apple is supporting Android. But if you consider where Apple Music came from, it actually makes some sense.

Apple purchased Beats Music and Beats Electronics in May of 2014, and the music app that came along with that buy was supported on Android. That makes me think the new Apple Music -- at least the Android version -- will use modified code from the now old Beats Music app.

Ironically, Apple's biggest competitor in the mobile space has dozens of apps for iOS.

You can be a very happy Google apps and services user with an iPhone or iPad, for example with Gmail, Google Maps, Drive, Google Play Music and even with Google Now, which Apple is taking on directly with improvements to Siri and Search in iOS 9.

Will Apple start pushing more apps and services from iOS over to Android?

I'm leery on that one although it could entice some to switch if they like what Apple offers. My suspicion is that Apple Music on Android is a one-off software play, particularly since iOS 8 already added many previous Android-only features to iPhones and iPads; think widgets and more app-to-app sharing with ease.

Either way, it will be interesting to watch and see if this is just a one-time deal to get Apple services on Android phones. And it will be even more interesting to see how many Android users actually take Apple up on its new Music service.

Apple WWDC 2015 keynote highlights

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