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RANCHO PALOS VERDES, Calif. — Just a few weeks after announcing its music subscription service, Google is bringing it to iOS.
Sundar Pichai, the senior vice president overseeing Android and Chrome at Google, made the promise today at D11, a tech conference here. Google Play Music “All Access” will be available for iOS within the next few weeks, giving iPhone and iPad customers the option of spending $10 per month to get all the streaming music they want from Google. The streaming music service itself is a mesh between Pandora’s method of smart radio stations, meaning that music plays based on what songs you like and how familiar they are to other artists/tracks. However, All Access provides its subscribers a list of upcoming songs in each custom stations, and they can remove tracks they don’t like.
In doing so, Google has also managed to launch “All Access” on iOS before Apple’s own rumored smart radio service.
“Users on iOS who want to use Google, we view them as Google users,” Pichai said.
The Wall Street Journal‘s Walt Mossberg, who was interviewing Pichai on stage, pointed out that Google has ported about two dozen apps to iOS while Apple has made exactly zero Android apps. It’s a marked difference in approach, but Pichai is unconcerned.
“We care about reaching users in every corner of the world, including the five billion users who don’t have smartphones today,” Pichai said.
That omnivorous attitude is a reflection of Google’s approach: Get its services into as many computing devices as possible, including smartphones, tablets, glasses, watches, and perhaps even wearable sensors and other new devices.
The plan is working so far.
“We serve a billion users at scale across these services,” Pichai said.
In that context, bringing a music service to iOS customers — or anyone else — is a natural extension of Google’s strategy. It already offers iOS users e-mail, storage, social networking, maps, and many other services. Why not add music?
“It’s not just an operating system, but the services you deliver on top of it,” Pichai said. “I think one of the reasons Android is so successful is the power of Google cloud services.”
One other note: Pichai said the word “user experience” at least half a dozen times during a 45-minute interview, reflecting the company’s new attitude toward making its products not just functional but enjoyable to use.
“In the end all that matters to us is that they build great products that users are excited to use,” Pichai said.
Photo: Sundar Pichai. Photo credit: Dylan Tweney/VentureBeat