INTERNET GIANT Google has shown that it is bigger than the mobile operating system wars with the announcement of Google Play Music for iOS.
The app, which has been in the works for a while, was released over the weekend, offering iPhone users the same streaming audio support as their Android brethren.
At present there is no dedicated iPad version, but the iPhone app will scale up nicely, and a proper iPad version is said to be in the works. Free storage and streaming of up to 20,000 tunes from your own library as well as a matching service are included.
Access to the Google Play Music store is available as well as a £7.99 option to stream anything from the Play library with an All Access subscription.
This might be a more appealing option for many, especially given a free one month trial as, at 99p per track, the Google Play store is one of the most expensive digital music providers in the crowded music market.
There is, of course, very little in this offering to lure existing iPhone users from iTunes. The Google offering has much to recommend it, especially the generous online storage, but it isn't the best by any means.
In fact, the most likely audience for the service are going to be the 30 percent of new iPhone users who have migrated from Android, according to recent figures. What's more, it could be the tipping point for anyone wanting to make the switch but who has invested a lot in the Google Play ecosystem.
Although we applaud Google's openness in making its products available to its rivals' customers, this one strikes us a slightly odd decision that seems to act more against Google's best interests than for them. µ