Google Play Store Version 6.8 Hints at Sharing Music Purchases on a Family Plan, Improved Data Pre-Loading
Google Play Store Version 6.8 is now rolling out with hints suggesting a possible upcoming change within the Google Play Music Family Plan. Currently, subscribers to the Play Music Family Plan are unable to share individual purchases among family members, as noted in the help page:
Each family member will still have separate Google Accounts, playlists, libraries, and offline content. Any content family members purchase or upload won’t be shared between family members.
During this year’s Google I/O, we were promised the ability the share our application purchases with up to 6 family members under a Google Play Family Library. The go-live date after which every application purchase will be eligible for sharing under a Family Library is July 2nd. That date is quickly approaching, however, it doesn’t look like Google intends to only allow families to share application purchases. Indeed, much like Apple’s iCloud Family Sharing, perhaps Google will soon roll out the ability to share individual music purchases with your family members.
Disclaimer: The evidence we dig up from the APK files of an app are not definitive. Google may choose to pull these features without any indication in a future release.
Sharing Music Purchases
Admittedly, there is not a lot to go off of here. Within the latest Play Store app, there is but a single string indicating the existence of such a feature.
<string name="family_music_upgrade_text">You can share your Google Play purchases with your family group.</string>
This text will appear in a small bottom sheet/snackbar presumably after you upgrade to a Google Play Music Family Plan within the Play Store app, at least according to the family_music_upgrade_bottom_sheet.xml file. The bottom sheet layout file explicitly mentions the Family Library, so we’re hoping that Google takes a page from Apple and does indeed implement this feature.
Improved Data Pre-Loading
Previous teardowns of the Play Store app revealed that Google would begin pre-loading data to reduce network consumption by the Play Store app. With Google Play Store version 6.8, it appears that they will be increasing the amount of data cached from 20MB to 30MB.
<string name="lite_mode_settings_description_info">Preload up to 30 MB on your device, over Wi-Fi</string>
A very small, but welcome change for those people who suffer from poor performance within the Play Store app. By giving you a larger amount of preloaded data while on WiFi, you will be loading fewer common assets that the Play Store typically loads up each time you launch the app. This should result in a slight speed bump when you’re trying to quickly see something on the store, but you don’t have a stellar data connection.
That’s all we’ve found within the latest Play Store update. Stay tuned for future teardowns into the latest Google app updates!