Ever since 2013 when it was at the centre of that year’s Galaxy S4 with its swipe gestures, Samsung’s music application has been a rare sight.
The application took a backseat last year on the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge which did not have it as one of the applications that users could, at least, be able to turn to in order to effortlessly play their music. It only showed up when one clicked on an audio file, nothing direct.
This year, things are thick. Samsung’s music application is no more. In its place is Google Play Music, Google’s own music player and music streaming service.
“Google Play Music will be the default music player and music service on new Samsung phones and tablets globally.”
“…New Samsung phones and tablets will now come with a free three-month trial of Google Play Music. With a subscription, you’ll get ad-free and on-demand access to more than 40 million songs and thousands of playlists tailored for any mood or occasion. You’ll also get access to YouTube Red (where available), so you can enjoy all of your favorite videos with no ads,” a statement from Google reads.
According to the statement, Google is now working with Samsung to make sure Samsung’s newly announced smart assistant, Bixby, works seamlessly.
Android partners like Samsung have increasingly come under fire from Android enthusiasts with regards to their decisions to match a number of the Google applications that are pre-installed on most devices with arguably inferior versions made by their in-house teams. Samsung’s latest unpopular move has been to make it hard for users to remap its Bixby-only button to something else, like Google Assistant.
To its credit, though, Samsung’s own alternative applications to most of those already provided by Google have come of age. The music and video players, for instance, were already so good on my Galaxy Note 3, two years ago. The Samsung internet browser is also good and even allows users to install plugins that block ads, something that Google now plans to do and which hasn’t been possible on its Chrome mobile browser.
Samsung’s move follows HTC’s cue. The Taiwanese device maker has cut back on its own app creations on its most recent devices like the new U Ultra. Instead of the HTC browser, it is letting users use Google’s Chrome browser. Instead of its stock gallery app, it is letting users check out their photos from Google Photos. The calendar app? Google Calendar. And so on and so on. That is a good thing and it is great to see Samsung taking this direction. However, its apps on the Galaxy S8 are already so good! (See the reaction from the Verge and ZDNet).