Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Android Rumor Breakdown: Google Music

Android Rumor Breakdown: Google Music

Very few people are willing to argue that Android has a truly great music app, even one not made by Google. There are some that try really hard, and get a few things right here and there, but it’s been something that has left the Android experience somewhat lacking. I can’t tell you how many people I have met who have an Android phone AND an iPod or Zune, simply because Android does not offer a similar experience yet. The closest we have seen to a truly new music experience for Android was the new UI for the Android 3.0 music app.
Additionally, we’ve recently seen the emergence of the Amazon cloud player, offering 5GB of free storage for your music, and inexpensive yearly plans for much more space to hold your tunes. Ever since I/O last year, Android fans have been teased and tortured at the hints and rumors that a Google powered cloud music system for Android was on it’s way. As it stands now, very few online services can compete with Amazon’s Cloud Player in terms of functionality, and none of them also offer a competitively priced music store built right into the app.
Recent events at Google HQ lead us to believe that the Google cloud based music player and store is right around the corner, though the details are just as vague as they were a year ago. So, we’ve scoured the web and combined everything legit we could find  in the hopes of shedding some light on this Google Music redux.

The Screenshots

Recently the guys over at Techfrom10 were victims of a happy accident in which they were granted access to the Google Dev team’s “special” Android Market, used for internal testing. While those guys wen spelunking through the entire market, the shots they got of the Music app show us a new UI that could be described as a phone optimized version of the music app seen on any Honeycomb tablet. Additionally, we see in the settings panel for the app some options for caching, downloading, and streaming music from an online source, options that are not currently found in the Honeycomb app.

Google Preparing for Web Delivery

Maybe it was Amazon, maybe it was Google’s plan all along, or maybe someone at Google HQ got a hold of the company credit card and went bananas, but Google’s been buying up domains left and right. Domains like,,, and to name a few. All of the names revolve around music or have a cloud related name, mostly music. None of these domains go anywhere yet, but it can’t be long until we see something pop up in one of these domains.

I/O is Right Around the Corner

Google’s great big developer conference is less than a month away now, making it the perfect place to drop their new music service. There’s been speculation all over about what Google will be bringing to I/O, even rumors that Android will not be a big focus this year. At Google’s League of Extraordinary Hackers event during SXSW this year, it was made plenty clear that the big focuses would be uniting Honeycomb and Google TV, as well as a heavier focus on Google’s web technologies. Google Music would suffice as a significant Android announcement, without focusing an entire keynote on it.
I’m sure that in the coming weeks more information will continue to slip into the ravenous hands of those eager to see Google step up and release a music service that rivals the current competition, but for now these seem like the biggest indicators of what the Music service has in store for us, and when we can really expect to dive into this new entertainment experience. Are you ready for Google Music?