It makes sense that both Apple (iOS) and Google (Android) try to control and add value to the user experience on their respective operating systems. Therefore, both have focused on the most important needs of their users and provided apps address these needs.
However, while Google has also made 13 major apps available on iOS - while Apple has historically provided zero Android apps!
Apple has just made a major strategic move
With the release of Apple Music this will change. For the first time ever, Apple will build an app for Android. This is a big change in Apple’s strategy.
Apple also announced the release of “Move to iOS”, an app to wirelessly migrate user data from Android to iOS. It’s obvious that this move intensifies the competition for users between iOS and Android.
The full picture on Apple’s and Google’s apps
Looking at the individual app categories both Apple and Google offer very similar app for their respective operating systems. Actually, 19 apps Apple and Google ship with their operating systems are very similar in form and function (appendix).
Google has already brought 13 of its 28 major apps to iOS. The largest potential for Google to add to its iOS portfolio is in productivity apps where it could bring another 7 existing apps to iOS.
Why Apple made the move
It’s not surprising that Apple enters the Android ecosystem with Apple Music. The music space has historically been a strengths of Apple and offers high direct monetization potential.
It’s very likely that the monetization potential of Apple Music has tipped the scales to justify allowing Android users to participate in the iOS experience - something long time restricted to Apple hardware owners.