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Leaked Android Music app images and hands-on review

Android Music player
This morning, an updated version of the stock Android Music app was leaked along with a new version of Android Market. The new Music app, which is labeled 'version 3', is similar to the leaked build from December, but it has received a ton of polish -- and indeed, it looks almost ready for prime time.

If you don't have Android 2.3 -- or don't want to root your phone to install the leaked Music app -- take a look through our gallery, and then read on for our initial hands-on impressions.

Leaked Honeycombish Android Music app


It looks like the color-changing code has been toned down a bit since the previous leak -- it used to change almost every time you touched the screen -- and the background texture has been altered too. The idea is that the background matches the currently-playing album's artwork -- and there are some 'squiggles' in the background that look like they should move around organically (but they don't -- at least not yet).

Incidentally, if you don't have an album's artwork, Music generates a solid-colored thumbnail. But why is Alanis Morissette green and Sammy Davis Jr. purple? We'll probably never know...

Albums, genres and playlists

Flipping through albums, genres and playlists is a beauteous joy in the new Music app. You can push the tabs across the top of the screen, or you can flick left and right with your finger -- it feels a bit like the Windows Phone 7 UI, actually. It's smooth, and it just feels right.

Alongside every item is a down arrow, which acts as a context menu. In the previous build these arrows just popped up a standard Android context menu, but with this version some new, foreign-looking dialog boxes have made an appearance. These might be an indicator of the UI that will be found in the next smartphone version of Android, Ice Cream.

On the album screen, if you rotate your phone, there's an interesting landscape view that's meant to look a lot like Honeycomb's 'tiled' view, or Gingerbread's camera gallery view. In theory, you should be able to move around using the phone's accelerometer, but it simply doesn't work at the moment.

Now playing

Except the usual playback controls, the only interesting feature is the way in which the song, artist name and album are converted into 'breadcrumb' links. You can push the artist name or album to navigate directly to them, or if you push-and-hold, a big context menu pops up. You can use this context menu to search the Web for more info, or look for videos on YouTube.

Oh, and if you weren't convinced: yes, the new music player is beautiful.

Google Music streaming

Beyond the visual overhaul, there isn't actually a whole lot of new functionality in the new Honeycomb Music app or this leaked, smartphone counterpart -- except, of course, for the inclusion of Google Music streaming support. In fact, the only Settings in the new Music app pertain to Google Music streaming and downloading -- but, as you can see from the grayed out settings, Google Music has not yet launched.

Tags: android, apps, google music, GoogleMusic, hands-on, leaked, mobile, music, music app, music player, MusicApp, MusicPlayer