Google set to make YouTube Music the default music player for Android phones

Google’s music ecosystem is confusing to say the least. We all thought they had settled on Google Play Music until YouTube Music came along. No one was sure what to make of it but we all assumed that eventually it would take over from Google Play Music (GPM) as Android’s default music app and it seems that Google are starting to set the stage for this to occur.

The folks at 9to5Google have torn bare the new YouTube Music app and have found some interesting pieces of code which may point towards it becoming the default music player/audio client for Android.

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Late last year they found that YouTube Music would now work with “audio files on your device”. This is important as audio files on Android need a default player so now that YouTube Music can do this, once the rest of its functionality matches/exceeds GPM then it can (and will?) replace it.

In the new YouTube Music APK the icons have a new naming scheme which, as you can see below obviously suggest that the app is system installed — see the “systeminstalled” as part of the name — it’s a fair giveaway you would expect. This means it would be installed within the system partition of a device by the manufacturer as a default Google app. This is yet another indication that YouTube Music will eventually replace GPM as the default audio client on Android.

Image credit: 9to5Google
Image credit: 9to5Google

For those who haven’t used YouTube Music lately it’s features are still lacking some of the functionality included in GPM but you can be sure that Google are working on matching those features in the least. While it may not be ready to replace GPM as Android’s default audio player just yet it is destined to do so, it is just a matter of time.

Do you use YouTube Music? Do you like it more than GPM?

Last modified on 11 January 2019 7:40 am

Scott Plowman: Scott is our modding guru - he has his finger on the pulse of all things ‘moddable’, pointing us towards all the cutting edge mods hacks that are available. When he’s not gymming it up, or scanning the heck out of Nexus devices, you'll find him on the Ausdroid Podcast. Outside of Ausdroid, Scott's a health care professional and lecturer at a well known Victorian university.

View Comments (15)

  • I guess we are going to have to get used to the change because they will just do it when they feel like it. I gate how they play the audio if the video and not just the song which is terrible when going for a run. Also searching for songs is no good because sometimes they don't have the song if it's not also a video. Long way to go if it is too be a complete player

  • Used GPM for long. Switched to Spotify last year because of the free radio feature. Then subscribed because it has a larger heavy metal catalogue, and student pricing. Haven't looked back at all. Uninstalled both GPM and YouTube.

  • Does anyone know if YouTube Music is data free use on Optus? Still using GPM because I at least know it's not chewing up my data allowance.

  • I think I am in the minority, but YouTube Music seems the right direction for me. It is far from good enough to be the only music player, but if Google commits, ports all the features from GPM, and really focuses on the UI and integration of music videos, I think they have a winner!

    • The problem is, that even Google Play Music is behind on integration, features, ease of use and support of other services like Spotify. Even if they get YTM to eventually be on par with GPM, they are still behind.

  • What? Why? I want to listen to my music, not watch it. Calling it "YouTube Music" puts the emphasis on video rather than audio.

  • I just opened YTM then seeing as it updated today on my phone to see if anything has changed. Seems nothing has changed since the last time I opened it which was a long long time ago.
    Can't really use it anything like GPM or Spotify. There is no access to new release albums list except for a scrolling thing up the top, or easy perusing of playlists and things such as in the other music apps.
    At least in GPM you could have a look through new releases and also change through the difference genres. Spotify is much better at this however.
    Need to be able to sort the saved playlists and albums by different options such as in Spotify. You can't do this in GPM either which is a pain. Was great in Spotify to be able to order them by oldest added. GPM is just alphabetical so sometimes I find albums just get lost in there and I don't end up listening to it for months as it is sorted in the middle somewhere. Doesn't help the album covers are massive so it is hard to scroll through large lists.
    I also liked in Spotify you could follow artists and be notified when they added new music.

  • The one thing I need before changing is for it to be smart enough to play the actual audio files rather then the audio from videos. Annoying when you play music that has sound effects ect. from the videos themselves.

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