Google prepares to launch YouTube Music Key subscription service for $9.99 per month

In today's Android roundup: Google gets ready to launch a YouTube music subscription service. Plus: The Sony M2 Aqua waterproof Android phone, and should you be afraid of Facebook Messenger for Android?

Subscription services seem all the rage these days, with many users preferring to pay a monthly fee to have access to a wide range of content instead of buying it one item at a time. Even Amazon has jumped on the subscription bandwagon with its Kindle Unlimited ebook service. Rumors have been swirling about Google's plans, and Android Police has details about an upcoming YouTube music subscription service that will cost $9.99 per month.

According to Android Police:

YouTube is set to launch a service called YouTube Music Key, and Google is set to rebrand Google Play Music All Access to Google Play Music Key. YouTube Music Key will offer a 30-day free trial to start, after which the service will run $9.99/month.

Specifically, it looks like YouTube Music Key will offer ad-free music, audio-only playback (for background or screen-off listening), and offline playback. Interestingly, that price will evidently include both YouTube Music Key and Google Play Music Key.

More at Android Police
YouTube Music Key subscription service
Image credit: Android Police

This is probably a good business move on Google's part, given the popularity of subscription services. But what's with the stupid name? YouTube Music Key? Who on earth came up with that? Sorry, but it just seems like a rather nebulous name for a music subscription service. Somebody in Google's marketing department really needs to rethink that choice as it doesn't roll off the tongue well nor does it tell potential customers what the service is all about.

In general Google doesn't have a great track record for naming some of its products. Android is a great name, but the Google Play store leaves much to be desired. I wonder if the same people who came up with Google Play are behind the naming of this new YouTube music subscription service? It seems quite likely, unfortunately.

The name aside, YouTube Music Key could be quite good if Google has enough content to please its subscribers. We'll have to wait for an official announcement though before we can have a real idea of the quantity and quality of the music this new service will offer.

Sony's M2 Aqua waterproof Android phone

Cult of Android reports on Sony's M2 Aqua waterproof Android phone.

According to Cult of android:

Sony has just added yet another mid-range handset to its Xperia lineup. This time we’re looking at the M2 Aqua, which is a water and dust-proof version of its older brethren — the Xperia M2.

What’s unusual about this particular device is its IP certification grade (65/68), which is the maximum level of protection that can be awarded to any electronic gadget, and the M2 Aqua is the world’s first smartphone to successfully attain it.

More at Cult of Android

I'm impressed by the waterproofing on this phone. I can see it being very popular among outdoor enthusiasts, particularly those that engage in activities like kayaking, diving, swimming and anything else involving water.

I remember when I took my phone out kayaking one time. I was paranoid about it getting wet so I had it sealed in plastic two or three times over. It would have been great to have the peace of mind that a waterproof phone can bring in those kinds of situations.

You can check out Sony's official press release about the M2 Aqua, and visit the Sony M2 Aqua site for additional information. Also, see the Reddit thread about the phone for Android users reactions to the announcement.

Should you be afraid of Facebook Messenger for Android?

Tech Republic tries to dispel the cloud of fear that surrounds Facebook Messenger for Android.

According to Tech Republic:

I decided it was time to dig into this rumor and see if these fears were founded or misplaced. As Facebook has become as important to businesses as it is individuals, it's essential to understand what's going on under the hood. Before I attempt to debunk the rumors, I need to spell out exactly what everyone is afraid of with this app.

Privacy. Plain and simple. People are afraid that Facebook is watching them, listening to them, and recording everything they say and do in order to target them for advertising. Ultimately, and Facebook Messenger app requires the user's acceptance of many privacy-violating permissions.

More at Tech Republic
Facebook Messenger for Android
Image credit: Tech Republic

I'm a terrible person to be commenting on this story because I deleted my Facebook account quite a while ago. I got tired of all of the blather on Facebook and the company's constant tracking and spying on its users. If you're tired of Facebook, you might want to permanently delete your Facebook account too. That's one way of dealing with Facebook Messenger for Android.

What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.

The opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views of ITworld.

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