I had a few more thoughts after writing this post about Apple’s first Android app. The most interesting one was this: Apple Music on Android has the potential to be the best music app Apple has ever made. Bear with me here:
- They won’t be burdened by any legacy implementation: they could literally build it from scratch, with all the lessons they’ve learnt to date.
- They don’t have the burden of having to play your local music like the iOS app, it could be a dedicated app for Apple sourced music only.
- They can update the app as often as they want, iterating on things fast, since unlike iOS it’s not tied to OS releases.
- The team building it probably has far less oversight from the Print Designers that seem to run Apple’s User Interface division these days, so they can probably be a bit more experimental and try out some fun new interface paradigms.
- Assuming they don’t clone their iOS app, they’d be free to rethink how things should be laid out to work best for their users.
I know this is just a dream. I know Apple probably has a tiny team working on this whose only goal is to clone the iOS feature set and get the job done. I doubt there’s a tonne of resources allocated to fancy animations or new interface ideas. It’s a shame really, at times like this I wish Apple were slightly more divisional. I wish that the division building the Apple Music service as a whole were focussed solely on making that an amazing experience on every device. I acknowledge though, that’s not how Apple rolls. The Android app will be, I suspect, a re-skinned version of the Beats Music app that preceded it.
Overall I’m conflicted by the commercial realities of the situation. In the long run is it better for Apple to make amazing apps on Android that entice people to look into their hardware, or is the sounder strategy to build a wall around their content and apps that will only run on their own devices? The optimist in me wishes the former were true, but the realist knows it’s the latter.