Apple released the Apple Music app for Android recently and - as you might expect - it's gotten quite a bit of attention from Android users. I was curious to know how Android users were reacting to one of Apple's services becoming available on their platform, so I dropped by the Android subreddit. I found a very large thread (nearly 800 messages and counting) that had quite a few positive comments about Apple Music for Android.
Here's a sampling of comments from the Apple Music for Android thread:
Rbrenelli: ”It works very well on my Nexus 5 with 6.0. It even has gestures (see Spotify!). You can drag the now playing bar up and down.
It is a good app so far. It is a bit slow to fetch info from the servers though, and slow to add music to your library, but those are issues I have on iTunes on my Mac anyway. They use some material design elements, like the pull down circle to refresh, and the black ticker bar when you add new music to your library. The side menu isn't always accessible though. Sometimes you have to go back a few pages to be able to pull it out.”
DustbinK: ”This easily looks better than GPM and looks better than Apple Music on my iPad...damn, Apple is doing Android better than Google is.”
Sirpotsalot: ”As both a user on both iOS and Android, this app is so much better designed on android then on iOS. It actually makes Apple Music usable to me.”
Astronomicclub: ”Yeah I had an Apple Music trial when I had my iPhone and the iOS UI was pretty awful. The Android UI is much more functional. I set up a second trial to try it out on Android now but so far I don't think I'll be leaving Google Music or Spotify anytime soon.”
Dinofan01: ”This actually looks really good and I hope it does well. Mainly because I want its success to light a fire under Googles ass. Play Music is a good service but the app is still lagging behind. ”
JTNJ32: ”Super interesting that Apple went ahead & incorporated Material Design into this. Even the share icon is specific to Android. I wonder if they'll add Google Cast support & by extension, add that to their iOS app as well. But I'm not mad at this at all.”
Nvolker: ”I'd imagine that part of Apple's strategy with Apple Music is to get Android users to have positive associations with Apple's software.
Kind of like how the iPod+iTunes created the "Halo effect" that caused a bunch of people to switch to Mac back in the day (iTunes for Windows has gone to shit, but it used to be a pretty solid app), pulling off Apple Music could get some people to switch to iOS.
If that's the case, we may see putting more effort into making Apple Music an all-around "good app," which could lead to them integrating with Chromecast and whatnot just to woo users.”
Proditus: ”Honestly, for how much I know Apple will be bashed for releasing an app on a competing platform, I have significant respect for them that they actually opted to follow the design guidelines of that platform rather than forcing their own. I'm hoping they learned after Safari and iTunes for Windows tried to force OSX standards where they did not belong.”
TheCraigLaw: ”First impression is that it runs much, much smoother and faster than Google Play Music, which is shambolic from Google more than anything. Also follows Material Design pretty well. ”
Eggydrums: ”The app is pretty nice so far! I subscribed to the trial, though I don't count on staying with it given that I have Spotify with the student discount.
App is smooth and pretty well designed across the board. Feels like Apple while still adhering to the Material style.
Artist and playlist info is awesome. It feels like it's actually personalized for you.
Not so good things:
Last.FM app does not scrobble with Apple Music
Can't access the hamburger menu unless you're in the main app screen. Kind of annoying.”
Android users appreciate Apple's efforts with Material Design
I have to admit that the number of positive comments I saw in the Reddit thread rather shocked me. I had really not expected so many Android users to be so positive about an app from Apple for the Apple Music service. But quite a lot of Android users seemed to give it mostly a thumbs up in the Reddit thread.
I think this has to do with Apple's efforts to incorporate Material Design into the Apple Music app. Unlike the Move to iOS app, Apple seems to have put a lot of careful thought into the design of the Apple Music app for Android. The company clearly wanted Android users to feel right at home while using Apple Music in a way that it didn't with the Move to iOS app.
I was also surprised to see some comments from folks that had also used the iOS version of Apple Music who said that the Android version was better! Wow! I would never have expected Apple to release a version of Apple Music for Android that was better than the iOS version. But perhaps Apple has learned some lessons from the feedback generated by iOS users, and incorporated some of that into the design of Apple Music for Android.
It just goes to show you that if you are going to create apps for a competitive platform then you should be very careful to make sure that your software matches the design of that platform. And it doesn't matter if it's Apple making apps for Android, or Google making apps for iOS. The bottom line is that users expect apps to match the design of their preferred platform. Apps that don't fit in just irritate users and make it much less likely that they will use them.
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