Google Music closes support for smart speakers and music storage

Google spoke of a smooth transition from Google Play Music to YouTube Music. While the initial transfer process will bring all of your Google Music to YouTube Music, the YouTube Music service is far from prime time ready and lacks a variety of features. Support for playing uploaded YouTube Music playlists was rolled out to the Google Assistant this month, but has not yet reached all. I cannot start music by voice now even if YouTube Music is selected in the settings. My speakers are just telling me, “I can’t do this here, but you can ask me to play it on one of your other devices.” There have been similar reports on the YouTube Music subreddit.

Google Music is expected to shut down completely sometime this month. For now, all you have to do is stream from the smartphone app and the Google Music website.

Is Google Play next on the chopping block?

While there hasn’t been a formal announcement about the future of the Play Store, I think it’s time to wonder if “sell everything” is still the vision for the future of the app. In Google’s original vision for the Play Store, it was a one-stop shop to buy apps, games, books, movies, TV shows, and music. But now we see evidence that the Play Store is being disconnected.

Aside from losing the music store to YouTube Music, we’ve seen in the past few days that the Movies & TV store has been duplicated in the new Google TV app. Google’s media apps previously had seamless links to their own sections in the Play Store, but that’s not the case here – Google TV started with a full double store in the app’s code base. In the Google Play Books section, Android Police recently discovered an experimental UI test for the Play Store that completely removed the “Books” section. This leaves only apps for the Play Store.

We may be on our way to an app store-only version of the Google Play Store. This would certainly make navigating the app a lot easier, which is currently a nightmare as there are deep cascading sections for every wing of the Google media empire. This would also be a chance to kill the terrible Google Play branding. We already lost Google Play Music to YouTube Music, and Google Play Movies and TV now live entirely in the Google TV app. That leaves the worst-branded item, Google Play Books, which could easily be Google Books, and then all that’s left is the Google Play Store. Branding “Google Play Store” wouldn’t make much sense at this point, but does Google want to eliminate the millions of printed posters, cards, and web buttons that are out there?

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