YouTube Music can now play recommended music via Google Assistant, allow external devices to start music, and more

YouTube Music can now play recommended music via Google Assistant, allow external devices to start music, and more

Google is slowly but surely getting ready to shut down Google Play Music, and YouTube Music is its replacement, for better or worse. The company has been adding features to bring YouTube Music up to speed with Google Play Music, and it has made some fair progress in recent months. The latest set of updates rolling out to YouTube Music add new features such as the ability to play recommended music via Google Assistant, allowing external devices to start playback, and bring over the “Recent Activity” section, in addition to other recent changes such as Android TV support and Google Maps integration.

Play recommended music on YouTube Music via Google Assistant

You can now play recommended music with simple Google Assistant voice commands. On Assistant-enabled phones and Google Nest smart speakers, you can say “Hey Google, play recommended music from YouTube Music” and have personalized music suggestions across your favorite artists and genres based on your listening history, play on your device.

Recent Activity

The “Last Played” section within the Library tab has been renamed to “Recent Activity”. This section now also shows recent albums and song additions to your library, much like how Google Play Music did.

YouTube Music Recent Activity

Google did not note this feature in its press release, but the change has been spotted by users on Reddit.

Initiate YouTube Music playback via external devices

The app is now also surfacing an option that allows users to start playback through external devices, a feature that already existed in Google Play Music.

Google did not note this feature in its press release, but the change has been spotted by users on Reddit.

YouTube Music comes to Android TV

Google has brought over Android TV support for YouTube Music in a rather strange way. Instead of releasing a dedicated YouTube Music app for Android TV, Google has decided to instead bake the functionality within the existing YouTube for Android TV app. This server-side change was already spotted last month, so Google’s press release confirms its official rollout.

Google Maps integration

This is another feature that has already been rolling out to users over the past month, but Google is announcing the same nonetheless. You can now add YouTube Music’s playback controls to the navigation screen on Google Maps, making it easier to control music playback during your commute. To do so, tap on your profile picture in the top right corner of Google Maps and then tap on the Settings option. In the Settings menu, select Navigation settings and then tap on the toggle next to the “Show media playback controls” setting. Then select YouTube Music from the pop-up window, tap on Next, and then OK to confirm your selection.


About author

Aamir Siddiqui
Aamir Siddiqui

I am a tech journalist with XDA since 2015, while being a qualified business-litigation lawyer with experience in the field. A low-end smartphone purchase in 2011 brought me to the forums, and it's been a journey filled with custom ROMs ever since. When not fully dipped in smartphone news, I love traveling to places just to capture pictures of the sun setting. You can reach out to me at [email protected]