Apple apps on Android? Yes, it’s true! Apple makes apps for Android phones and tablets. Several apps, in fact.
Their first app was released in 2015, and there are now six Apple apps on the Google Play Store. Oh, and if you can believe it, some of these apps are ONLY available on Android.
Here’s a rundown of Apple’s current offerings in the Google Play Store. And, because Google is nice enough to publish this data, I have included the total number of downloads for each app.
AirPods are fantastic. I love my second-generation AirPods Pro. However, they don’t always work well with Android phones. But, Apple doesn’t just make AirPods, it makes Beats headphones, too.
So, what does the Beats app do? I’m glad you asked! It does a lot of what Apple builds into iOS for AirPods. Here is the description from the Google Play Store:
Get connected quickly with simple one-touch pairing and gain easy access to battery status and settings. You can even create unique Android widgets for your Beats, or locate them on a map if you happen to misplace them. The Beats app also keeps your headphones and speakers up to date with the latest firmware, so you know you’re getting the very best Beats experience. (Source).
Total Play Store downloads (to date): Over 5 million.
2. Apple Music
Although it has Apple in the title, Apple Music is not just for Apple devices. The Android app is proof of that and serves as a handy alternative to Spotify or Amazon Music for our Android friends.
The Apple Music app for Android is not short on features, either. Android users can use Sing, a feature that allows users to sing along to their favorite songs with vocals and real-time lyrics. You can also stream via Chromecast, and listen with Android Auto.
But, let’s not beat around the bush here. The Apple Music app is a strong revenue stream for Apple. More listeners means more subscriptions, so does it matter what device they are listening on?
The Apple Music app is currently number 4 on the Play Store chart of Top Grossing Music & Audio apps, so I think that speaks for itself as to why Apple is investing time and money in this app.
Total Play Store downloads (to date): Over 100 million!
3. Apple Music Classical
When Apple acquired the music streaming service, Primephonic, they were looking for ways to expand their reach and serve a niche, but important audience of classical music fans.
Today, Apple Music Classical comes bundled with an Apple Music subscription. You need a separate app, but you don’t pay any extra for it.
Primephonic already had an Android app, and given that Apple Music was already on the Play Store, it made sense for Apple to continue offering an Android app for those that wanted it.
Apple Music Classical offers high-quality streaming, up to 192 kHz/24 bit Hi-Res Lossless, and spatial audio, all with zero ads.
Total Play Store downloads (to date): Over 50,000.
4. Apple TV
It’s been almost three years since Apple launched Apple TV+, and it has grown in popularity to become a go-to streaming service for some of the best-rated movies and TV shows.
Apple is investing a lot of money into Apple TV+. Their recent partnerships with MLS and MLB are testament to that, but they have also put a lot of money into Apple Originals to bring innovative shows like Silo, Ted Lasso and Severance to our screens.
At just $6.99 a month, Apple TV+ is one of the cheaper options out there. It doesn’t have as much content as Netflix or Disney, but it’s catching up.
And a good way to catch up, is to maximize your subscriber base. That’s why an Android version (and a web version) of Apple TV exists.
Total Play Store downloads (to date): Over 10 million.
5. Tracker Detect
AirTags are awesome. I have one on the keychain of my car keys and have used it several times to locate my keys when they somehow end up in the strangest places in my house.
However, being tracked with an AirTag without your knowledge is not awesome. It’s creepy, weird, and not what they were designed for. iOS has built-in protections to help with that, but Android does not. That’s why Apple created the Tracker Detect app for the Play Store.
In a rare show of solidarity, Apple worked with Google to help explore ways that Android users could detect unwanted AirTags that were tracking them. If you think someone is using AirTag or another device to track your location, you can use this app to try and find it.
Total Play Store downloads (to date): Over 1 million.
6. Move to iOS
This one makes me smile. Apple has an app on the Play Store that is solely dedicated to helping you ditch Android for iOS.
It’s called Move to iOS, and, somewhat ironically, it is one of their most downloaded apps on the Play Store! The Move to iOS app securely transfers your contacts, message history, photos and videos, email accounts, calendars, and even your WhatsApp content.
Here’s how it works. When you are ready to move your data, your new iPhone or iPad will create a private Wi-Fi network and find your nearby Android device running the Move to iOS app. After you enter a security code, it will begin transferring your content automatically.
I’m kind of surprised that Google allows an app like this on the Play Store, but here we are. It was first added in 2015, and it continues to offer a solution for those who want to move to the Apple ecosystem.
Total Play Store downloads (to date): Over 100 million!
Will Apple Continue to Make Android Apps?
I think they will, but only where it makes sense. Apps like Apple Music and Apple TV are a no-brainer. More users equals more revenue, so why leave money on the table? Besides, not everyone who owns a Mac or an iPad owns an iPhone. Many do, but not all.
Just don’t expect to see something like Messages on the Play Store. Apple really has no motivation for doing that. It’s a free service that doesn’t generate any money, and there are technical barriers that make it hard for them to provide the same kind of quality and security on Android.
So, if you are an Android user, watch this space. Apple may still have a few surprises up its sleeve for you.