Launching its iTunes Radio streaming music service in September, Apple allowed customers to listen to free music without ads for $25 a year, or with ads for free.
The move was seen as a shot to Google's $9.99 per month Play Music service released on Android and and PCs in May. Play Music offers unlimited songs, custom radio stations, no skip limits and smart recommendations among other features. Those who don't want to cough up ten bucks can upload up to 20,000 already owned songs and listen to music on any device without syncing or ads for free.
On Friday, Google took bigger steps into Apple's realm by launching its Play Music app for iOS.
Google Play Music's iOS app will play on Bluetooth, Chromecast and AirPlay. Users won't be able to play iTunes music on Google's Music app or vice versa because of Apple's siloed file system approach.
The app's critically loved Explore tab is also included which uses algorithmic recommendations and playlist by human editors. According to Google Play Music product manager Brandon Bilinski, users are encouraged to explore unfamiliar categories of music through the feature's design.
The reason for the six month delay was simply due to quality concerns, said Bilinski.
"It just took us a little longer than we thought to bring it up to the level of polish expected from Play Music and iOS apps," said Bilinski.
However, rumors suggested that the Android launch centered around Apple's App Store policy of taking a 30 percent cut from in-app sales.
Currently, the iOS version misses a few features in comparison to its Android counterpart, including the "I'm Feeling Lucky" radio station and the inability to actually purchase songs and subscriptions through the mobile app.