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Apple Music vs. Google Play Music page 1

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Both Apple and Google offer music subscription services. This article pits Apple Music against Google Play music in a blow-by-blow comparison.

For more information on how Apple Music compares to Spotify, please read “Apple Music vs. Spotify”.

Music subscription services are all the rage these days. Although Spotify didn’t invent the concept, they popularized it. Google Play Music launched a few years later, bringing one of the biggest music libraries to their subscription service. Apple was one of the last companies to join the fray. Their initial offering was buggy and poorly designed. Over time, Apple Music has improved, yet it still leaves much to be desired.

Apple Makes Great Devices and Google Provides Excellent Services

I’m actually a fan of Apple products. They make excellent devices. It’s difficult to claim that their built-in apps or services exhibit the same excellent quality as their devices. Corporations are specialized. Apple excels at creating hardware. Their operating systems are also excellent. They just don’t create high quality apps and services. You probably wouldn’t go to Pizza Hut for a steak. Similarly, if you own an Apple device, it’s usually best to look for a third-party replacement for most built-in apps. Google, on the other hand, excels at handling vast amounts of data. Their foray into device creation isn’t as impressive.

Corporate culture and organization is important in shaping a company’s capabilities. Apple’s complex engineering process works well for large projects. This rigidity doesn’t work well for apps and services. Google’s more experimental process starts with an imperfect seed and eventually produces an excellent end result. They have enough flexibility to shape software closer to perfection. This process doesn’t produce the best devices. Look at how many iterations it took them to create a TV device. That first Logitech Revue was a disaster. In the end, they created a light-weight product — Chromecast. This came after many failed attempts to create a TV device.

Google Has the Overall Advantage When It Comes to Music Subscription Services

A Music subscription service deals with vast amounts of data. Both Google Play Music and Apple Music offer 40 million songs. Furthermore, they must provide the infrastructure to stream this music to users. Google simply has a clear advantage. Their search capabilities, machine learning and data center operations have made Google Play Music one of the best options for iOS users. Google’s expertise with web development produces an excellent web-based experience for Google Play Music. Apple Music doesn’t offer a web client. The Google Play Music web app really comes in handy when you want to listen to music anywhere. Finding music is easy with their excellent search capabilities. The service is reliable with few dropouts or interruptions.

This doesn’t mean that Apple Music is necessarily inferior. Apple’s tightly coupled hardware and software do offer some advantages. Apple Music works with Siri. Simply hold down the Home button on your device and tell Siri what to play. Apple Music is built-in to Apple TV. This integration is very convenient. I eagerly await for a native tvOS Google Play Music app. In the end, however, the music is the most important thing. Google Play Music makes it easy to find and play high quality music. It offers excellent reliability.

FeatureApple MusicGoogle Play Music
Voice Controlwinner-trophy
Family Planwinner-trophy
Student Discountwinner-trophy
Audio Qualitywinner-trophy
Device Compatibilitywinner-trophy
Plugins and Extensionswinner-trophy
Free Musicwinner-trophy
Reliability and Stabilitywinner-trophy
Searching for Musicwinner-trophy
Discovering Musicwinner-trophywinner-trophy
Activity Based Recommendationswinner-trophy
Sync and Cloud Storagewinner-trophy
Live Radiowinner-trophy
Offline Musicwinner-trophy
Transmit Audiowinner-trophy
Social Mediawinner-trophy
Ease of Usewinner-trophy

Voice Control: Apple Music Wins

Modern smartphones offer the ability to use personal digital assistants such as Siri and Google Assistant. These services allow users to speak requests instead of using an on-screen keyboard. They come in handy when you just can’t type. next page →


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