After a long wait, Google Play Music has made its way over to the iPhone.
Google’s music service allows users to upload up to 20,000 songs from their personal music libraries to Google’s cloud and then stream them for free from their mobile devices, as well as purchase music from the iTunes-like Google Play Music store. It’s Google’s answer to the lack of a universal music sync solution for Android like Apple has for iTunes, but now it’s also available to users of the iPhone.
For people who want to listen to more than just 20,000 songs, Google also offers a $9 per month “All Access” subscription that provides people with access to the company’s entire music library, custom music recommendations (much like iTunes’s Genius feature) and streaming radio, though the 20,000 song upload limit still stands.
In some ways, Google Play Music is a competing service to Apple’s iTunes Match, which costs $25 a year for the ability to automatically sync tracks on your computer with versions in iTunes’s cloud. But Apple doesn’t offer an unlimited subscription service, which also puts Google Play in competition with Spotify, Rhapsody, Xbox Music and other companies which offer unlimited streaming from their libraries for a price.
That said, much like Amazon’s Kindle app for iOS, you can’t actually buy any music from your iPhone, because that would mean that Google would need to give Apple a cut of each sale made on one of those devices. Instead, all of the products that require you to pay Google have to be managed from the web, which is certainly an annoyance, but that’s the price of doing business.
If you’re interested in giving Google Play Music a try, it’s available on the App Store.