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Apple’s Siri does an amazing job of integration with Apple Music. Users can easily ask Siri to play a song, artist or album. One can even ask Siri to play the top hits from a certain year. It works well most of the time. Unfortunately, if you ask Siri to “play artist Gong” it will play “Gone”. I never really took a shine to Siri, but if you’re into pop music, it make work out well. For more information on Siri commands for Apple Music, check out page 7 of “Apple Music Tips”.
Voice control for Google Play Music is an epic failure. While it’s true that Google Assistant can’t launch directly from the Home button, this isn’t the main problem. Google Play Music offers no voice control whatsoever. There’s no way to do this in the app. In fact, I even tried to dictate a search query using Gboard, and that didn’t work. The Google Assistant app can only play music from YouTube, YouTube Red and Apple Music. Yes, you read that correctly. The Google Assistant actually offers better support for Apple Music than their own Google-branded music service. This may be because Apple Music has an external interface for playing music. If voice control is important to you, stick with Apple Music. For me, it’s more of a parlor trick. If I am going for a drive, I have a playlist ready to go. The inaccuracy of all voice control systems just doesn’t appeal to me.
Family Plan: Google Play Music Wins
Music subscription services aren’t expensive, but they can add up for a large family. Perhaps you’re a college student or subsist on a tight budget. Both Google and Apple offer discounts for families, however, with Google, your friends can enjoy savings too. Both services offer subscriptions for up to six people for $14.99.
Apple Music’s family plan requires participants to enroll in Family Sharing. This ties all Apple purchases to one credit card. Most people wouldn’t want to participate in this regime with their friends. Apple’s family sharing is just that — for a nuclear family.
Google doesn’t mind if your friends participate in their family plan. You do need to buy the family plan on one credit card. Unlike Apple, this transaction doesn’t tie every user into the same credit card for all purchases. The purchasing user (family manager) pays $14.99 a month and can add or remove “family” members at any time. Anyone can be a family member. The family manager simply sends an invite to participants. It’s far more flexible than Apple’s Family Sharing.
Student Discount: Apple Music Wins
Apple products are tremendously popular amongst college students. Go to any lecture hall and you’ll see the Apple logo adorning the silver backs of myriad MacBooks. Apple furthers their relationship with college students by offering them a steep discount. College students need only pay $4.99 a month for Apple Music. The Apple Music student discount applies to university students and can only be used for 4 years. Apple uses the UNiDAYS service for student verification. You must be currently enrolled at a degree-granting university or college.
Google Play Music doesn’t offer a student discount. Students can work around this with their flexible family plan. If you’re a busy college student and don’t have time to coordinate a Google Play Music “family”, Apple Music may be a better option. next page →