Apple Music on Android hints at new 'Apple Classical' service, and gets better widgets

The latest Apple Music beta includes some welcome improvements and a big clue to what's coming next, too

Apple Music on Android
(Image credit: Apple)

Earlier this month we reported that Apple Music Classical was due to launch in 2022, and it looks like that launch could be sooner rather than later: thanks to some excellent investigating by 9to5google.com, we know that there are references to the service in the code for the latest Apple Music beta on Android. 

Apple Classical, as the service appears to be called, is based on the app from Primephonic, a company Apple bought last year. That app has since been shut down with users told to use Apple Music instead until "early 2022". Apple Classical is expected to look and work like the main Apple Music app, but it'll be available separately and presumably for less money: Primephonic's service cost about $2 per month less than Apple Music.

It was anticipated that iOS 15.4, which is currently in beta, will bring Apple Music Classical to the iPhone too, so this certainly lends credence to that.

It's not uncommon for Apple Music on Android to be surprisingly different to iOS – not just with semi-secret mentions to a new service, but the Android app includes the option of auto-crossfading between tracks in a playlist, which the iPhone version has never offered. Not that we're bitter or anything.

What's new in widgets

The revised Apple Music widgets have been changed to make them more space-efficient and nicer to look at too: instead of the default reddish colour, the widgets now change to reflect the artwork of the track that's playing, and the Apple Music Player is wider and longer. 

The Apple Music Recently Played widget can be resized in new ways. Both widgets are still in beta and include some visual oddities, but they should be squashed by the time they're released.

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com).