California: Apple has released an Android version of its music streaming app Apple Music.
The service was launched in June to rival apps such as Spotify and Google Play Music.
The Android version offers most of the same features as the iOS app including the free trial for new joiners.
One analyst suggested Apple’s goal was to lure customers to its iOS ecosystem, but said Apple Music had received mixed reviews.
“With Apple, it has always been a question of whether it is in the digital music business, or whether it is using music to sell devices,” said Chris Cooke, business editor for industry magazine Complete Music Update.
“Enticing Android users over to Apple’s iOS will be part of the strategy, but is Apple Music a good enough experience?
“Reviews have been mixed, even for the iOS version.”
In July, blogger Jim Dalrymple described the software as a “nightmare” after it lost thousands of songs he had imported from CDs.
But Apple announced in October that its music service had attracted 6.5 million paying subscribers after early adopters had completed their free trials, although that figure might include people who had forgotten to cancel their subscription after the free trial ended.
Rival Spotify says it has 15 million paying members, although Google has so far kept quiet.
“Apple Music has a big profile in the streaming space, even though Google Play has been doing it for longer,” said Mr Cooke.
“Most people are more aware of music on YouTube than the full on-demand service in Google Play. Even a lot of Android users don’t know what it offers.”
Cooke said Spotify had an advantage because it was available on a wide variety of operating systems and devices.
Google is trying to entice customers to use Play Music by offering them access to an ad-free version of its video site YouTube.
“I suspect Apple’s goal is to sell devices, in the hope that people will get so excited by its music service that they will want Apple hardware too,” said Mr Cooke.
“But Android has such a sizeable portion of the market, if Apple wants to take on Spotify, it makes sense to be on Android too.” Source: BBC