Apple Music Classical launched on Android today, bringing the company’s dedicated orchestral app to a non-Apple platform for the first time. It follows the iPhone debut of the service in March.
Apple’s classical music app is separate from the mainline Apple Music app, with plenty of similarities but also distinctive navigation, font and metadata handling for easy searching. (Apple Music has been available for Android since 2015.) However, 9to5Mac notes that Apple Music Classical’s Android arrival means the company launched it on a rival platform before fleshing out its own hardware ecosystem, as it still lacks a dedicated iPad or Mac app. Although the Apple faithful are accustomed to the company rewarding their hardware loyalty, it’s an understandable move given that phones are more common streaming sources than computers or tablets. As a result, Apple can likely reel in more subscribers by stepping outside its walled garden before (presumably) expanding availability for its remaining in-house devices.
The app is the fruit of Apple’s 2021 acquisition of Primephonic, a Netherlands-based classical streaming service known for its superior search capabilities. Apple shut down the service soon after buying it.
Apple Music Classical offers over five million tracks, including “thousands of exclusive albums.” The search feature, carrying over from Primephonic, lets you find pieces based on composer, work, conductor or catalog number thanks to the library’s “complete and accurate metadata.” In addition, it streams in up to 192 kHz / 24-bit Hi-Res Lossless while supporting spatial audio and Dolby Atmos for select tracks. Of course, the service requires an Apple Music subscription; supported plans include individual, student, family or Apple One — but not the voice-only plan aimed at HomePod users.
The Android version requires Android 9 or later. It’s available “worldwide where Apple Music is offered,” except in China, Japan, Korea, Russia and Taiwan. You can download it now from the Play Store.