This fall is shaping up to be a big one for Apple. Along with the usual iPhone and iPad refreshes, new versions of iOS 9, OS X, and watchOS, a revamped Apple TV and possibly an iPad Pro, Apple is gearing up for a major release of an anticipated new product that most of Apple's fans won't be able to buy--and it'll have nothing to do with supply constraints.
Right around the time the world is buzzing over the new iPhone 6s, Apple is planning to release Apple Music on Android, its first app designed specifically for Galaxy and Moto users. While it's not quite the hell-freezing-over move that iTunes for Windows was--the other Android app in the pipeline, Move to iOS, has the specific purpose of helping people switch to iPhone--designing an Android app is still a pretty big step for Apple. And it looks like more may be on the horizon. Just last week, 9to5Mac's Mark Gurman uncovered a job listing on Apple.com looking for an application software engineer who can "help bring exciting new mobile products to the Android platform."
An Android version of Apple Music was surprising enough, but I never actually expected it to be the start of a trend. While Google gets paid no matter which phone someone chooses, Apple has a vested interest in getting people to buy an iOS device, and it would seem that porting apps to Android acts in direct opposition to it. But the more I think about it, the less implausible it seems. In fact, the right mix of apps might actually help Apple lure even more users to iOS, much like iTunes for Windows helped create a whole generation of switchers.
Back in its Marker Felt skeuomorphic days, Notes was probably the least useful of the iPhone's note-takers. But over the past few revisions, Apple had turned Notes into one of its best bundled apps, and the overhauled iOS 9 version is actually one that I'd consider buying. Inside the new Notes app you'll find a handy set of drawing tools, Photos integration, easy list and web link formatting, and an intuitive Attachments Browser that lets you quickly scan and organize your notes. It's a great addition to iOS 9, but on Android it would be downright essential.
It's not so much that Android doesn't offer a decent cross-section of note-takers--the major ones like Evernote and OneNote are represented, and I kind of wish Google would make a Keep app for the iPhone--but Notes would be more than just a pretty face in the Play Store. With a little help from iCloud, it would show Android users who also have a Mac (which I suspect is a pretty large sampling) just how seamless the iOS-OS X experience can be. Continuity and Handoff have become major pieces of Apple's all-together ecosystem that simply can't be duplicated on Android, and Notes would offer a small sampling of that integration to Mac users.
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