22 Nov 2014
A side effect of the YouTube Music Key service is that the Play Music app for Android/iOS and the desktop site started to show relevant YouTube music videos for the songs you are playing. There's a "watch video" button placed on top of the album art and a "start video" menu option (it's called "watch video" in the iPhone app).
Google Play Music for Android shows the video inside the mobile app, so it doesn't launch the YouTube app. Google Play Music for iOS opens the YouTube app.
In the desktop site, the YouTube player is overlaid. Press Esc or click outside the player to hide it.
I've checked a long list of songs and the "start video" option is available for many popular songs that have music videos. You can also find YouTube videos when searching for artists and albums.
22 Nov 2014 6:36pm GMT
21 Nov 2014
Thanks to my Google Play Music All Access subscription, I've been able to try YouTube Music Key, the new feature that transforms YouTube into the music streaming service with the largest collection of music videos.
If you use All Access and you have the latest version of the Play Music app for Android, you should see this message in Play Music:
Open the YouTube app and the most obvious new feature is the download button that lets you save almost any music video.
The "add video to Offline" dialog lets you pick the video quality: normal (360p), HD (720p). You can click "remember my settings" to no longer see this dialog.
The Offline section shows all your offline videos and playlists.
You can download entire playlists. The music tab from the "what to watch" section features a lot of music playlists, including Songza playlists.
The "background & offline" section from the settings lets you customize background listening, video quality, offline storage and lets you disable downloading videos when you're not using Wi-Fi.
By default, YouTube continues to play music videos in the background, but you can disable this feature or only enable it when using headphones or external speakers.
Use the music controls from the notification bar or from the lock screen. Pause a song, play the ext song from the playlist or go back to the YouTube app.
When you're offline, you can only use the Offline section and play the music videos you've previously downloaded.
Another benefit: whether you're playing music videos online or offline, the YouTube app won't show ads. It's important to keep in mind that the new features (offline playing, background listening, ad-free experience) are only available for music videos, not for any YouTube videos. In fact, they don't even work for all music videos, probably because of licensing issues. You'll find many videos that show this message: "background listening unavailable - this video cannot be played in the background".
21 Nov 2014 6:55pm GMT
The new interface from the Google Maps mobile apps is now also available in the mobile browser. Just go to maps.google.com in your favorite mobile browser for Android and iOS and you should see an interface that closely resembles the UI from the native mobile apps.
"Bold colors and textures are in - and Google Maps is on trend, with a slick new style to make traveling with Maps even easier. Over the next few days, when you open up Google Maps on your Android or iPhone, you'll be greeted by bright colors and a fresh new design. This new look is all about creating surfaces and shadows that echo the real world; with Google Maps' new material feel, layers and buttons come to life so you know just where to touch to get directions, recommendations and imagery," explained Google a few weeks ago, when the new versions of the mobile apps were launched.
The mobile web app even has a "hamburger" menu that lets you enable layers like traffic, transit, bicycling and satellite.
21 Nov 2014 4:47pm GMT