When Microsoft first introduced its Xbox Music streaming service to the world, the company said that it would "eventually" roll out Android and iOS apps to compliment its Windows Phone 8 app. Fast-forward nearly one year and the Redmond firm has finally followed through.
Microsoft announced today that its rolling out Xbox Music apps on both Android and iOS, giving subscribers on those two platforms the ability to take advantage of their Xbox Music subscription while on the go. The apps will support music playback as well as the ability to sync playlists across devices. Microsoft says that updates to both its Android and iOS apps are planned for the coming months that will bring additional features, including artist-based radio and an offline mode that will enable users to sync music to their device that can then be played back with no Internet connection.
In addition to the new Android and iOS apps, Microsoft is launching free music streaming on the web. The company says that consumers can access Xbox Music's 30 million song catalog through the Xbox Music website or by firing up the Xbox Music app that's available on Windows 8 devices. Free web streaming access will be limited to an undisclosed number of hours after six months.
Even though Xbox Music has been around for nearly a year, the service finally appears to be growing into a serious streaming music competitor with these latest additions. Android and iOS are the two biggest mobile platforms around, and because many people rely on their smartphone as an "all-in-one" entertainment device, the arrival of Xbox Music apps for Android and iOS means that Microsoft's service is now a much more viable option for consumers interested in a music service. Free web streaming is another nice add-on that could help convince folks to pull the trigger on a paid subscription.
Speaking of subscription, Microsoft offers unlimited streaming with an Xbox Music Pass, which is available for $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year. Now that Xbox Music is finally making its way onto Android and iOS, do you plan on giving Microsoft's music streaming service a try?
UPDATE: The Xbox Music apps for Android and iOS are now available for download. The Android app requires version 4.0 ICS or higher, while the iOS flavor will run on hardware with iOS 6 or later. You can grab the apps from the Google Play Store or Apple's App Store.