Google Play Music is a music streaming service for iOS, based around the popular service already available to Android users.
What can you do with Google Music?
Using Google Play Music requires a monthly subscription, though a free trial is available. With this you get access to a catalog of more than 200 million songs. Of course, you won't find everything, but there's enough to keep you entertained for hours.
Google Play Music for iOS packs a lot of features, though not quite as much as you'll find in the Android app. The main sections of the app are divided into: Library, Playlists, Radio and Explore.
The Library is essentially a dump of all your music, much like your iTunes Library. It includes everything you've uploaded from the cloud locker as well as all of your All Access music. Anything you add can be downloaded for offline listening, which is great for saving on mobile data usage.
Like other apps such as Spotify, Xbox Music, and iTunes Radio, Google Play Music includes a Radio feature. You can create stations based around anything in your library, or search for the kind of stuff you want to listen to based on artist, album, or song. Unfortunately you can't create stations based on genre.
The Radio feature is well implemented and unlike Spotify you can preview which tracks are coming up in the queue. You have an unlimited number of skips too, which is pretty cool.
The Explore section of Google Play Music is great for discovering music that you might enjoy. Here you can access curated playlists, view recommended artists and albums based on your listening habits, and browse music by genre.
Google Play Music for iOS boasts Chromecast support, allowing you to access your music through your TV, using the Chromecast dongle.
One key feature of Google Play Music which the iOS version lacks is the Store. It's impossible to buy music through the app, though of course you can stream anything you like if you maintain your subscription. It's also impossible to subscribe to All Access through the application.
How does Google Play Music look on iOS?
Google Play Music for iOS is an incredible looking application, and rivals any other iOS music app in terms of design. You could even argue that it's more slick than the Apple's built-in iOS Music app.
Google's stylish design principles are clear to see throughout the app's interface. The design feels fresh and elegant, and the use of white and orange as a color scheme is easier on the eye than Spotify's darker look.
One thing that is slightly disappointing is that Google Play Music doesn't really embrace iOS 7. It relies on the dated looking iOS 6 keyboard when searching, and there are no touch gestures, for going back through steps, for example.
Though, in general, it's fluid and easy to use, it could be better. For instance, it's harder to get all the way back home to the main menu than it is in Spotify or Xbox Music.
We experienced some stability issues when testing on older devices. For example, when testing on an iPhone 4 running iOS 7, the Google Play Music app crashed when creating playlists and often froze up when performing certain actions.
Another disappointment of Google Play Music is that it's not optimized for iPad, which is a shame because it has the potential to look really great in Apple tablet form.
Google Play Music looks great and has a ton of features that will please any music lover. Although not as complete as the Android version, it's powerful enough to rival other streaming apps for iOS.
Google Play Music now includes Listen Now, which shows recently played music and improved recommendations, as well as allowing you to pick a radio station according to mood or activity (examples being running, happy or going out). The queue can also understand where you are playing the music from - whether that be a playlist, an album or something else.