Google Play Music has a new update rolling out that significantly drops the size of the app as well as Adaptive icons. The update is version 8.5 for those keeping score at home and the slimming down of the app comes primarily from the dropping of the Android Wear APK that was built-in the main app.
The requirement of the Android Wear APK was a holdover from pre-2.0 Android Wear when in order to control music on your watch, you had to have the app installed. Google’s sorted that out with standalone app support in 2.0 and now in 1.x versions of Android Wear. What this means is that the APK is simply no longer needed.
By stripping out the APK, Google was able to reduce the app size significantly, but nearly 2MB.
The loss of the Wear APK isn’t the only change in the 8.5 build of Google Play Music. Full support of Adaptive Icons is now in the app. Prior to this update, the icons were a bit of a hodgepodge of icons, both regular Android icons and Adaptive icons. This is fixed (or improved) in this update with Adaptive icons throughout the app shortcut menu and the main icon itself.
Keep in mind that Adaptive icons are supported in Android Oreo.
Beyond these two changes, there is the normal smattering of updates and fixes to the app.
If you have Google Play Music installed, you should see the OTA update for the app come to your device over the course of the next few days. For those who have not tried the service, it is $9.99 per month for unlimited streaming of music with downloading for offline support available. You will also get a subscription to YouTube Red included.