“Update all the apps!” has no doubt been the catch cry at Google in the past week or so. We have seen many updates to the new material design as well as updates that give much more functionality to apps. Google has certainly been busy and seems to have brought it all together at once. Today Google Play Music saw an update to material design and much more.
Back at the start of July Google purchased Songza, a streaming music company that provides “expert-curated” playlists to the subscriber based on the context the user is in. The idea is that it learns about you and provides you playlists based on what you are doing at the time and the sort of music you may be interested in while doing that. Today Google, in their update of Play Music have folded the Songza service into the app for All Access subscribers.
The playlists are apparently “handcrafted—song by song—by our team of music experts (dozens of DJs, musicians, music critics and ethnomusicologists) to give you the exact right song for the moment”. YMMV with respect to it’s accuracy but it is one area that Google Play was lagging behind some other music services, the suggestions and playlists.
The contextual suggestions show up at the top of the Listen Now page. Clicking into a context gives a list of categories Google/Songza believe are suitable for that context, based on your listening history. Within each category is a few playlists to choose from. The Songza additions at this stage are only available to subscribers in the USA and Canada but those who were lucky enough to sign up to the USA cheap subscription when All Access was released will be able to enjoy it from now, no matter where they are in the world.
There are a few other changes to the app including changes to the Listen Now page that use “cards” to display your recently played music, new releases, and radio station suggestions. There is also the new material design changes which fit in nicely with the Lollipop changes coming with version 5.0.
For those yet to receive this update Android Police have made the official apk file available to download. The apk file is signed by Google and is thus safe to install onto your Android device. Download it from APK Mirror and let us know what you think.
Anyone else used this yet? Do you think it will be useful?