Verizon Offering Six Months of Free Google Play Music All Access For Buying One of the New DROIDs

One small announcement from today’s DROID announcement that we wanted to make sure that you didn’t miss was Google Music related. Google may have said they are not playing favorites since they bought Motorola, but the new DROID Mini, ULTRA and MAXX are the only Android devices to get you six free months of Google Music All Access when you buy them.

These devices also come with Ingress invites for you and 5 of your friends if you are looking to get in on Google’s virtual reality game of capture the flag. As fun as that sounds, All Access is a near $70 value. We are big fans of the service here at Droid Life, but whether or not this extra service will be enough to sell someone on a new phone remains to be seen.

Google Play Music All Access Now Available in New Zealand and Australia, Books in a Bunch of Other Countries

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Not that we normally report on many of the global happenings involving Google services, but today, Google appears to have pushed both Music All Access and Books into a handful of new countries. Google Play Music All Access is probably the biggest news, as it is no longer a U.S. exclusive and can now be taken advantage of in New Zealand and Australia.

Books on the other hand is now available in Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, and Romania.

Via:  Google Support

Video: Android Team Explains the Design Choices Behind the New Google Play Apps

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In this week’s Android Design in Action show, Android team designers Marco Paglia and Owen Otto take us on a tour of the process involved in recreating Google Play (version 4.0) and its accompanying apps. As you know, the new Google Play features a card-style design that is responsive to the type of device you are using, but it’s also about putting bigger images in your face, making content easier to find, and navigating a breeze. This 30-minute clip explains scaling, grid sizes, and the choices behind the entire new look of Google Play and Google Music that you are using today.

Whether you are an app designer or not, it’s always interesting to dive into the minds of someone on the Android team, especially when they let you inside their thought process when it comes to major overhaul of an app we use all of the time.

Also, here are a bunch of the slides from the video if you want the shortened version of it all.

Last Week to Lock in $7.99 per Month Price Tag for Google Play Music All Access

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If procrastinating and waiting till the last minute is your MO, then be aware that time is running out to lock in the $8/month price tag for All Access, Google’s music streaming service. Introduced at Google I/O back in May, many folks have already cancelled other streaming services such as Pandora and Spotify in favor of All Access, allowing them to bring all of their subscription services under one roof. Once July starts, the service will cost new subscribers $10 a month. Not that bad, but still $2 more than early adopters.  (more…)

Google Music Update Introduces New Bandwidth Usage Setting, Reduced Data Usage Overall

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In the weeks following the announcement of Google Music All Access, we wrote up a piece detailing a semi-serious issue that could arise should someone use the service alongside their tiered data plan. Since the new music service lacked any sort of data usage or bandwidth controls, one could gobble up massive amounts of data in no time at all without even realizing it. By bringing the issue to light, we hoped for a change to the app from Google that would give users better control over bandwidth usage. An update to solve this problem has arrived today.  (more…)

Reminder to Early Adopters: Free 30-Day Trial for Google Music All Access is About to Expire, Monthly Fee to Kick in

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If you signed up for the free trial of Google Music All Access shortly after it was announced at Google I/O, then prepare to either pay a monthly fee going forward or cancel, as your free trial is close to ending. The 30-day free trial for many of us who signed up immediately, expires in a few days, which Google has kindly reminded us of in an email.

Keep in mind that if you become a paid customer before June 30, and since you started the trial before that date, you can lock-in for $7.99 per month. If you don’t start a trial or paid service before June 30, the service will run you $9.99 per month.  (more…)

Google Music Update Gives You the Power to Delete Tracks, Remove Items From My Library

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Google Music received an update this afternoon that includes the ability to delete tracks, along with sharing of songs and adding to playlists from the Now Playing screen. Oh, they also gave the app the option to remove albums or songs from My Library. That’s pretty much it.

The update is available now, sort of. Google appears to be fully invested in the new rollouts for app updates that was introduced at I/O. So while the Play store may say that the app update is live and available, you’ll have to be patient as you wait for it to become available to you specifically.  (more…)

Google Music All Access Can Eat Data Like No Other, Be Careful Tiered Data Folks

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One of the biggest announcements to come out of Google I/O last week was Google’s new streaming music service called Google Play Music All Access. It’s like Spotify meets Pandora, in that you can check out any album at any time, play them as many times as you’d like, or use them to create special radio stations. It works on both mobile and desktop and is currently available as a free trial, but will jump up to a monthly subscription service once the trial ends. You can sign-up before the end of June and lock in for $7.99 per month, however, the price will go up to $9.99 on July 1. It’s pretty awesome, though, that’s for sure.

But for many of you who are considering a move to All Access from something like Spotify, there is something you should consider should you have had the unfortunate pleasure of moving to a tiered data plan with your wireless carrier (shared data plans included). All Access lacks any sort of control over the quality of the music that is streaming through your device, meaning it can eat up data in minutes.  (more…)