YouTube Music app update brings more accessible controls, static lyrics

Google seems to be surely but also a bit slowly grooming YouTube Music to be the music service it wanted it to be. It may still be quite some time before it can fully shut down Google Play Music but adding new features definitely goes a long way in getting ready for that inevitable future. YouTube Music has recently added some functionality to its library and now it's updating its Android app's interface to make it easier to use, especially as a music player.

YouTube Music's existence is really a bit of an oddity, considering it's pretty much an offshoot of an Internet video streaming service. YouTube, however, noticed how much people actually used it to play music rather than watching, say, music videos so it created what should be a premium music streaming experience. Even when Google already had Google Play Music anyway.

It may still have some ways to go before it can claim that distinction but this new update to the UI moves that a step closer with letting go of its roots. For example, buttons to switch between just audio and a music video versions are now always visible. There are also static lyrics tab now, which is still experimental, so you don't have to rely on karaoke-style text on videos.

A dedicated music player often has playback controls always visible and always accessible and now YouTube Music has those two. Particularly, repeat and shuffle are no on the player page directly while controls for downloading and sharing songs are hidden behind a single tap on the album art.

Small changes like these make YouTube Music a more usable music player but YouTube needs to put in more work to finally match and even surpass Google Play Music. The newly-added ability to upload your own music is a huge step in that direction and Play Music subscribers are just waiting for the day they can migrate their uploaded albums to YouTube Music before making the leap.