Samsung Android owners will get special Google Play Music features

Google Play Music has joined Samsung's galaxy of pre-installed apps as the default music player.

galaxy s8 primary
Jason Cross/IDG

Samsung has always been special as the world’s largest Android smartphone maker, and on Friday Google made it even more special. The two companies are teaming up to make Google Play Music the default music app on Samsung Android smartphone and tablets starting with the Galaxy S8 and S8+—both of which start shipping today.

As part of the perks, users of new Samsung mobile devices will be able to add up to 100,000 songs to Google Play Music’s cloud locker for free. Anyone with a non-Samsung device is limited to the standard 50,000 free song upload.

In addition, new Samsung devices will come with the free three-month trial of Play Music for new users that Pixel customers and other select Android phones already see.

One final addition coming in the following months is Bixby integration. When the new artificial intelligence service rolls out this spring, it will be able to playback music via voice command, just like you can do now on Google Home with Google Assistant.

The story behind the story: Google says it’s “thrilled to bring this special version of Google Play Music to Samsung customers,” and that’s probably true. For years, Samsung has tried to build its own ecosystem of services within Android as a means to stand out from competitors and relieve its dependence on Google. That has meant some significant duplication of vanilla Google services on Samsung phones. Samsung agreed to reduce its duplication efforts in 2014, as reported by Recode, and this switch to Play Music may be part of that earlier effort. Samsung's hardly paying a price for going with Play Music, though, since Milk Music—the company’s failed Play Music competitor—shut down last September.

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