Google has added Apple Music support to its smart home system, meaning subscribers can now ask the Google Assistant to play tracks on their Nest Audio and other smart speakers. The new integration further bridges the divide between Apple and Google’s media and smart home platforms, which can at times prove a headache for those trying to make the most of all their content subscriptions across all their devices.
If you’re a Google Assistant device user, starting from today you’ll be able to register your Apple Music account within the Google Home app. You’ll need an active Apple Music subscription to do that, of course; they’re priced from $9.99 per month for an individual subscription, $4.99 per month for the Student Plan, or $14.99 per month for the Family Plan.
Optionally, you’ll also be able to set Apple Music as your default music streaming service. That way, when you ask for tracks, playlists, or genres, the Assistant will automatically look to Apple’s service for that first.
Supported voice commands include asking for songs, artists, and playlists, as well as by genre, mood, and activity. Alternatively, if you have your own music library in Apple Music, you can ask “Hey Google, play my songs,” or “Hey Google, play my library.”
As you’d expect, there’s the usual single- and multi-group speaker support. If you have several Google Assistant-powered speakers or smart displays, then you can ask the Assistant to pair them via voice. Or, you can use the Google Home app – or the interface on a smart display – to link different zones together to play tracks across the house.
It’s a welcome addition, and one that fills in a gap that was looking fairly conspicuous. Although Apple would obviously prefer you to play Apple Music on its own connected speakers – such as the newly-announced HomePod mini – it’s not averse to piping its content to those of other companies. Sonos users, for example, have already had Apple Music support for several years, and last year added support for controlling the service via voice command through Amazon Alexa.
Similarly, in 2018, Apple Music support was added to Amazon’s Echo smart speakers.
Apple Music for Nest and other Assistant-enabled smart speakers will be initially supported in the US, UK, France, Germany, and Japan, Google says. No word on when other geographies might get support too.