Google Play Music updated with new widgets, public playlists in search
Google Play Music is receiving a relatively minor version bump to v5.6.1616 (from 5.6.1609), but it packs two new widgets, public playlists in search results and better management of your downloaded music. First up are the two new widgets, the first of which is basically a complete rewrite of the old 4x1 Play Music widget. It now changes sizes from 3x1 up to 4x4 — and everything in between — scaling the controls and album art accordingly. It also takes on a white design from the previous black one. The other widget is simple 1x1 "I'm Feeling Lucky" widget, that will simply start playing an I'm Feeling Lucky radio station when tapped. It doesn't even launch the Play Music app to the foreground — it just starts playing music.
The latest update has also started to surface public playlists in search results from within the app. Now when you search for an artist or song, at the very bottom of the results you'll see user-generated playlists that have been marked as public. You could previously make playlists public and share them directly with certain people, but to our knowledge this is the first time they're showing up in general search results within the Google Play Music app. You can "subscribe" or download these playlists just like they were your own.
Finally in this update you'll find an improved download management area, which has been renamed from "View download queue" to "Manage downloads." The function is basically the same, except now it will show how much room your music is taking up in relation to your entire device storage, and give you simpler ways to clear downloaded music or view the songs that are taking up space.
The latest version of Google Play Music is rolling out right now, and you can check for the latest version from the Play Store at the link above.
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Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.