Google Play Music is finally available for iOS, bringing the cloud-based music service to your iPhone, but it's not quite on par with the Android version. You get most of the same features, but you won't be able to buy music like you can on Android.
As a way to avoid giving Apple its standard 30 percent commission, Google decided to keep the capabilities to purchase music and sign up for All Access on the Web. In other words, if you want All Access or to buy a song, you'll have to head to your desktop to make your purchases then fire up the app on your iPhone to start listening.
Navigating the app
Google Play Music gives you a grid of your music using album cover art. Across the top of the interface you can browse by genres, artists, albums, or songs, or use a search button in the upper right if you know what you want to listen to. By hitting the main menu button in the upper left, you can get to Google's Listen Now option, your personal music library, playlists you have already made, and some other options.
The interface is very intuitive, and it's laid out in such a way that just about anyone could pick up the app and immediately understand how to use it.
Using the free version
The Google Play Music app on its own is free and has a few useful features without signing up for a subscription, but you will still need a standard account with Google (such as Gmail) to get started. Using Google's download manager for the desktop, you can upload up to 20,000 songs of your current music library to Google's cloud servers so you can play them on your iPhone or through a Web browser. The download manager offers a number of options for uploading, including straight from your iTunes library.
Once finished, all of your music is stored online, so you don't have to worry about storage space on your iPhone, and you can listen from any device seamlessly. But, as a streaming service, you also won't be able to listen to your full library of music when offline. Fortunately, you can download some of your favorites for when you want to listen and don't have an Internet connection.