Apple Music option in Google Home app for iOS stirs rumors of coming support [u]

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited February 26
The latest Google Home for iOS update, released on Monday, includes a user interface change referencing support for Apple Music, leading some to suspect that official integration with Apple's service will soon debut for Google smart home hardware.


Google Home app settings screen (left) compared to Google Assistant app.


The Apple Music listing appears in Google Home version 2.9.118 as a music streaming option for Google Assistant.

Specifically, the selection is displayed in Google Assistant's music settings under the "More music services" heading, which also includes options Pandora, Deezer and Spotify. Above "More music services" is a main "Your music services" section that notes support for YouTube Music, Google Play Music and a slot for a user's default player.

Apple Music has appeared as a viable option in the Google Assistant settings menu for some time, originally located in a category named "Services with limited availability" and demarcated with the caveat "Only available on iOS devices." The current build of Google Home moves Apple Music into the seemingly more inclusive "More music services" section and strips it of the iOS-only qualification, suggesting more comprehensive integration is on the way.

However, Apple Music does not appear in the Google Home app's dedicated media playback UI, which restricts user options to those apps that feature native compatibility with Google speakers. Along with apps already installed on a host iOS device, Google Home recommends 7digital Music, iHeartRadio, JioSaavn Music & Radio, Musixmatch, Napster Music Player, Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn Radio and YouTube Music. Apple Music is conspicuously absent from the list.

As noted by MacRumors, which spotted the change, enabling Apple Music in Google Assistant settings does not activate the service on Google hardware connected via the Google Home management app. For now, playback is limited to those services listed under Google Home's main media selection page.

The behavior is consistent with past versions of the app. When a service is enabled in Assistant settings, users are able to access music, podcasts and other media by issuing a voice command to Google Assistant, but playback is restricted to speakers connected via Bluetooth. In the case of Apple Music, a Google Home speaker can act as an output device, but native media handling features are not yet supported.

Further confusing matters, the current version of Google's standalone Assistant app for iOS contains the same settings menu, but still lists Apple Music as an iOS-only service. Other services, like Pandora and Spotify, are advertised as "Available on Google Home, Assistant Speakers and Android TV devices."

Whether the UI change in Google Home presages the announcement of native Apple Music integration for Google's lineup of smart home speakers is unclear. For now, however, Apple Music subscribers who want to listen to the service on Google Home and Android TV hardware must directly connect their iPhone or iPad to individual output devices over Bluetooth and issue commands through the Google Home app for iOS.

Update: Google in a statement to Venture Beat said Apple Music is limited to Google Assistant, adding that it has "nothing to announce regarding updates to Google Home." The company also spoke to Bloomberg, blaming the UI change on a bug. The supposed feature was removed from the Google Home app hours after it first appeared.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    Yet my ‘fantastic’ HomePod can’t play Spotify natively. Great job, Apple.
    elijahg
  • Reply 2 of 7
    Maybe Google agreed to this inclusion as forgiveness for stealing iOS users data, or possibly Apple just knocked some money off the multi-billion Google search agreement.

    Now if Apple just improved Apple Music’s interface/usability/algorithms ala Spotify and offered an HD option ala Tidal that would make it much more attractive for many - me included. Apple clearly needs to convert Spotify users to build market - a playlist/preferences migration tool would also be cool and helpful.

    Getting the casual music listener on board is more challenging - mainly those that use Amazon Prime’s ‘free but limited’ music streaming on Amazon devices. I would be shocked if they were able to negotiate native inclusion on Amazon devices.

    Oh ... and Verizon’s offer of free Apple Music will help too. Bring other wireless providers on board and that will change the game.


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 7
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,043member
    Yet my ‘fantastic’ HomePod can’t play Spotify natively. Great job, Apple.
    Apple Music is already on Amazon Echo devices, so I can see this coming to Google also. As for the Homepod, generally when Apple introduces something new, it's locked down for the first year and then opened up to 3rd party's after that. The Homepod was released 1 year ago this month I believe. So I assume a update, maybe it'll be iOS13 update where the Homepod is opened up to Spotify is others. But for now, Apple Music is my Default on my Amazon Dot and Ecobee 4 device's. I don't normally use them as I have a couple Homepod's, but it's something to play around with.
    lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 7
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 633unconfirmed, member
    Fatman said:
    Maybe Google agreed to this inclusion as forgiveness for stealing iOS users data, or possibly Apple just knocked some money off the multi-billion Google search agreement.

    Now if Apple just improved Apple Music’s interface/usability/algorithms ala Spotify and offered an HD option ala Tidal that would make it much more attractive for many - me included. Apple clearly needs to convert Spotify users to build market - a playlist/preferences migration tool would also be cool and helpful.

    Getting the casual music listener on board is more challenging - mainly those that use Amazon Prime’s ‘free but limited’ music streaming on Amazon devices. I would be shocked if they were able to negotiate native inclusion on Amazon devices.

    Oh ... and Verizon’s offer of free Apple Music will help too. Bring other wireless providers on board and that will change the game.



    Hahahaha


    Apple doesn't have to pay Google to be on their hardware neither does Google have to "apologize" by letting Apple have the "privilege". Quite the opposite.
    lolliver
  • Reply 5 of 7
    I just hope this isn't doom for Apple giving us more HomePod like devices.

    I really don't want either Amazon or Google monitoring everything I say or read.
    lkruppwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 7
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,816member
    Yet my ‘fantastic’ HomePod can’t play Spotify natively. Great job, Apple.
    Except for the fact that you probably don’t own a HomePod. I mean why would you buy a HomePod knowing it wouldn’t connect to your favorite streaming service, Spotify. Your sarcasm appears fake and disingenuous.
    AppleExposedlollivercornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 7
    lkrupp said:
    Yet my ‘fantastic’ HomePod can’t play Spotify natively. Great job, Apple.
    Except for the fact that you probably don’t own a HomePod. I mean why would you buy a HomePod knowing it wouldn’t connect to your favorite streaming service, Spotify. Your sarcasm appears fake and disingenuous.
    I own two HomePods. Just bought the second one this week. I don’t and won’t subscribe to Apple Music because I use another service that fits my needs better. This after using Apple Music again for 3 months. I just AirPlay is throughout the house and it works just as good. 
    bala1234
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