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Challenge to Apple iTunes Coming From Google?

Later this year, Google plans to build on their existing music search functionality by launching a music download service. The music download service is seen as a precursor to a cloud-based subscription service for Android-based phones.

The cloud-based service would allow those with Android-based phones to stream music directly from the Internet. Users would no longer have to download the music to their phones.

The two music services would allow Google to move deeper into music. Recently, Google has been increasing the amount of entertainment content they provide users. Along with adding more professional content to YouTube, they are planning to roll out a new digital bookstore this year.

This move would likely heighten tensions between Google and Apple. Tensions have been rising since Google released its Android software - a direct competitor to Apple's iPhone.

Many analysts are speculating that Apple will soon be introducing its own cloud-based version of iTunes.