Apple Music is apparently coming to the Google Home smart speaker range, with the on-demand service continuing to lead the way in Apple’s push beyond its own ecosystem. Although there’s been no official announcement yet regarding the new integration, Apple Music has quietly been added to the list of music sources for the smart speakers and hubs.
Open up the Google Home app, and there’s now an Apple Music option in the music sources list. Currently, though, tapping it only sets Apple Music as the default audio source for Google Home devices. However there’s no way to actually link an Apple Music account with your Google Home account.
It certainly looks like Google prematurely updated its app on the assumption that Apple Music support would be incoming. The integration would mark another softening of the at-times antagonistic relationship between the two companies. Apple Music was a long-standing hold-out on Google’s smart home platform.
While the Apple Music app for Android has offered access to the streaming service from Android smartphones for some time now, users who also have Google-powered smart speakers or hubs have been forced to use other music providers. That’s despite Apple taking a more open approach in recent months to third-party platforms.
In late 2018, for instance, Apple Music arrived as a streaming option on Amazon’s Echo range of smart speakers. With the platforms linked, users could ask Alexa, Amazon’s virtual assistant, to play tracks, artists, playlists, and more from Apple Music. An Apple Music paid subscription is required, of course, currently priced at $4.99 per month for students, $9.99 per month for individuals, and $14.99 for families.
That Google Home would be the next in line to get Apple Music wasn’t too great a stretch, then. Still, it’s not hard to imagine that, in an ideal world, Apple would have kept the service to itself – if, that is, its own connected speaker had been a bigger hit. The Apple HomePod was praised by reviewers – ourselves included – for its audio quality and the tight integration of Siri with Apple Music. However, its $350 price tag made it a tough sell against far cheaper smart speakers from Google and Amazon.
With Apple’s focus on boosting services revenues to help offset plateauing sales of iPhones, among other things, broadening its potential user-base for Apple Music makes a whole lot of sense. The company has made content discovery a key element of its streaming, with a combination of human and AI curators putting together custom playlists to help users avoid choice-overload when considering the millions of songs on offer.