Is Google Planning Its Own Android Music Store?

Rumors of an Android-fused Google music service have been building for more than six months; if a new leaked screenshot is to be believed, that rumor just might become reality with the next Android OS release.

The website GizmoFusion has posted the data and synchronization panel from what is purported to be a build of Gingerbread. This is the standard Android settings panel, except alongside the options for syncing contacts, Gmail and Picasa Web Albums is a new designation: Sync Music. Could this be a sign that Google is planning on rolling out its own music service, a la iTunes?

Google has reportedly been working on a cloud-based music service — subscription or a la carte — for quite some time. In a marketplace that is already crowded with options, having solid integration at a device level with Android could give Google an edge.

Of course, even without a specific music store, over the air synchronization could still be a compelling feature. At Google I/O back in May, Google showed off some technology that would allow Android users to stream music from their desktop computers directly to their phone. Presumably, this sort of feature could also double as a way to sync music and playlists.

That could mean, for instance, that rather than relying on third-party apps like DoubleTwist or manually managing a device’s memory card for adding/updating music, transfers could take place over the air. (Add a new song to a playlist on the desktop, get that new song instantly on your smartphone.)

GizmoFusion surmises that this is a feature that other versions of Android (including Froyo) could get as well. If this is something that is tied directly to a Google-hosted offering, we’re inclined to agree. Of course, it could also end up being one of the features planned for Android 2.4, codenamed Ice Cream.

Assuming the screenshot is real, are you interested in either a Google-based music store or the ability to sync music wirelessly? Let us know in the comments.

Image credit: GizmoFusion

[via Engadget]

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