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5 (more) apps Apple should bring to Android

Michael Simon | Aug. 14, 2015
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.

Messages

Apple fans have long enjoyed the pleasures of iMessage. From the speed to the end-to-end encryption, there isn't much not to like about it, but even though Apple has expanded its Messages app functionality in El Capitan to sync and send SMS messages from the Mac, it's still very much an Apple-only service.

Google has been much more inclusive with its messaging app, releasing a version of Hangouts for iOS that's even better than the Android one. Messages isn't just one of the best ways to communicate; it's also one of Apple's best-designed apps, with intuitive controls for sending photos and videos, excellent integration with your Camera Roll and simple, clean organization. On the iPhone, no other service comes close, and an Android version would create one of the best messaging services on the planet, turning all of those green bubbles blue and making it easy for people to seamlessly slide over to iOS.

And after last week's frightening vulnerability warning, Hangouts seems ripe for disruption by Apple's ultra-secure, super-speedy service. An Android app would expand iMessage's ranks exponentially, rivaling WhatsApp for domination and showing Galaxy and Moto X users just how secure and seamless messaging can be.

News

If there's one thing that iOS and Android users can agree on, it's that we miss Google Reader. The premiere RSS app on any and every platform, Google Reader left a void when it shut down, and even with a deep catalogue of replacements in both the App and Play stores, many of us are still waiting for something that can rival its personalization and speed.

While it's not a Google Reader clone, Apple's upcoming News app might be the one that lets us finally let go. Even in in its rough-around-the-edges beta form it appears that Apple has struck a nice balance between form and function, offering beautiful layouts and carefully curated lists of subjects and sites. It's one of the top new features in iOS 9, and one of the few bundled apps that won't immediately be jettisoned to a deep folder.

But while it's great on the iPhone, on Android it could go a long way toward spotlighting Apple's meticulous attention to every design detail, while also growing its user base and enticing more publishers to contribute.

Photos

When Apple rebooted iPhoto as Photos earlier this year, Mac users rejoiced. Not only did it clear up many of the longstanding issues we had with iPhoto, it brought seamless cloud syncing to our entire photo libraries, professional editing tools and a uniform, streamlined interface across all of our devices.

Google introduced a similar photo management app not long after Apple's debuted, but while the Android-compatible service has baked in a revolutionary method of searching through your images, the idea of Google snooping on every photo you've ever taken might be a little creepy to some people. An Android version of Photos would be a great way for Apple to demonstrate how serious it is about photography while further distancing itself from Google's data collection model. And once someone switches, all of the photos they took would magically appear on their new iPhone.

 

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