When Apple launched Apple Music on iOS devices, they merged the service with the default music player. This is an interesting strategy as it meant that users were constantly reminded that Apple Music was available, which in turn encouraged them to sign up for it. Now it looks like Google could be adopting a similar strategy for YouTube Music.
According to a recent APK teardown of the YouTube Music app by 9to5Google, it appears that there is evidence within the teardown that is hinting that Google could be considering making YouTube Music the default music player for Android devices. This comes in the form of certain strings in the code that talks about sideloaded music tracks on YouTube Music, hinting that Android users could load their own songs onto playlists in the app.
Obviously this is an important feature for any music player, especially one that could soon be the default player for Android. There are also changes made to the names of the icons of YouTube Music where the main names themselves remain the same, but have a new naming scheme that references “systeminstalled”. This is evidence that YouTube Music could also come preinstalled on (some) Android devices.
These changes were spotted in the latest version of YouTube Music but aren’t live yet, but are signs that Google is working on something, although when exactly the changes will be made is unclear.
It is also entirely possible that Google might not proceed with these changes at all, given that in the past we have seen references made for features that never made the light of day, so maybe don’t put too much stock into this happening just yet.