Android and iOS may be destined to do battle forever, but when it comes to apps, the relationship is a little friendlier. Countless iOS users enjoy Google’s services on their iPhones, and in fact, the acclaimed Gboard keyboard actually began its life as an iOS exclusive before making its way to the Play Store several months later.
But while Apple hasn’t been nearly as generous with its offerings, it does offer Apple Music and Beats Pill as a concession to former Beats Music subscribers. However, there’s a load of untapped potential in the Play Store. After all, Apple doesn’t just sell iPhones, and many Android users have other Cupertino-made products that they use on a regular basis. So here are some Apple apps I’d love to see show up in the Play Store:
Apple’s routers may be getting a bit long in the tooth, but they’re still kicking around, and require very little set-up and barely any maintenance. However, they aren’t foolproof, and for those times when they need to be reset, Apple offers a handy AirPort Utility app for iOS that lets you manage your networks and base stations. It’s not the most powerful tool, but it will solve most problems, and it would be helpful to be able to update firmware, tweak settings, and renew DHCP leases from our Android phones.
Apple TV is a fantastic digital media receiver with one major shortcoming: Its bundled remote is pretty awful. Whether we’re holding it wrong, struggling to enter lengthy passwords, or just forgetting to charge it, more often than not we’re turning to the Remote app to find something to watch. But if you have an Android phone, you’re out of luck. And it doesn’t make much sense. You don’t really need to be fully invested in the Apple ecosystem to buy an Apple TV, so why not throw Android users a bone here? It would make for a better experience and might even boost sales.
Speaking of Apple TV, there’s another app that many Android users would rush to download: TV. While its primary home is on Apple’s set-top box, on the iPhone it’s a one-stop entertainment shop, with access to all of the movies and videos you’ve purchased through iTunes. As it stands, there’s no easy way to watch your DRM-locked iTunes moves and TV shows on an Android device without going through a tedious conversion process. A TV app would save us the trouble.
Over the past few version of iOS, iCloud Drive has transformed from a behind-the-scenes file manager into a full-fledged storage locker, letting us transfer files between our iPhones, iPads, and Macs with ease. But when we need to go outside the Apple ecosystem, our iCloud Drives are useless. Every other service works across platforms—Google Drive, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive—but Apple still stubbornly makes us jump through hoops to get our iCloud files onto an Android phone. An iCloud Drive app in the Play Store would make it much more useful—and might even give us a reason to pay for extra storage.
When Steve Jobs demoed FaceTime at the iPhone 4 event, he promised Apple was “going to the standards bodies, starting tomorrow, and we’re going to make FaceTime an open industry standard.” As we all know, that never happened, and FaceTime remains an exclusive Apple feature. But while Android users are still trying to convince their Apple friends to download Duo, a better solution would be for Apple to make good on its promise and open up FaceTime. Or just release its own version in the Play Store.
Now, I understand all of the reasons why Apple wouldn’t want to release Messages for the Play Store, but here’s one why it should: spite. Google has struggled mightily to create a uniform messaging system on Android, and with one fell swoop, Apple could undermine their entire effort with any app that not only syncs across all Android phones but also works across all Apple devices, too. If Apple wants to keep some of the cooler features like apps and stickers exclusive to the iOS version that’s fine, but even the staunchest iPhone haters would appreciate a combination SMS and over-the-top messaging app on Android that just works.