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Google Music hands-on

Google Music hands-on


Google officially launched Google Music today, and we got a chance to play with the updated offering.

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Google Music shed its beta label today, and we got a chance to play with the service — once we bought some new Busta Rhymes jams, we checked out the updated Android and web apps. The most noticeable thing about the Android app is that it's a much faster, more stable application, with a lot more content displayed on the screen at once. It got a new, swipe-friendly look, which should be nicely at home on Ice Cream Sandwich. There's a new layout in landscape mode, which shows album art as you browse your music. Weirdly, you can't buy music from within the Music app — you have to go to the Android Market and shop there, though your purchases do automatically show up in the Music app. It's also really easy to pin songs or albums to make them available offline.

The web app didn't get much of an interface change, which is a shame — we've never been a fan of the Google Music UI. There are plenty of new sharing features, though, letting you share a song with your Google+ circles; when you share a song, your followers can listen to the whole song once.

Update: Google let us know that there is a link in the app to the music section of the Android Market, but only if you have the most recent version of the Market app. The new version is rolling out over the next couple of days, so if you don't see the Market link yet, stay tuned.