For years, Apple had kept its platform neatly inside a walled garden of sorts. But now, Apple is apparently taking steps outside of its closed ecosystem.
Apple is currently looking for an Android developer to create apps that the iPhone-maker would bring to Android. In a job listing posted on the Apple website, Apple is calling for software engineers specializing in Android to "help us bring exciting new mobile products to the Android platform."
Introducing the job, Apple says, "great ideas have a way of becoming great products, services and customer experiences very quickly. Bring passion and dedication to your job and there's no telling what you could accomplish."
It is unknown exactly what manner of apps Apple has in mind. So far, Apple has only one app for Android users: the Move to iOS app, which helps Android users switch to iOS more easily.
Apple Music – which is said to boast some 11 million iOS users – was officially announced to arrive for Android devices later this year, so part of the job listing could point to that. 9to5Mac, which first spotted the job listing, says Apple is planning to test a beta version of Apple Music for Android with a "very small subset" of the existing Android user base from Beats Music.
However, there is already a separate job listing for a software engineer at Apple Music, and the key qualifications include having "advanced Android development skills" — so it seems redundant for Apple to create two job listings for a single job. Earlier job listings for Apple Music developers also specified Android development skills.
That said, there are a number of existing iOS apps that could be making their way to Android. iMessage and FaceTime are likely contenders, given that many other instant messaging platforms are taking the cross-platform route. Also, iMessage would make messaging people with iPhones easier, as the app sends the message as an IM instead of an SMS if it's sent to a phone that uses iMessage as well.
Apple's iCloud Drive and iWork could also be involved, since releasing its cloud platform and online productivity suite to Android could entice more enterprise clients to switch over to iOS. Major competitors, such as Google Drive and Docs, Sheets and Slides as well as Microsoft's OneDrive and Office suite, already have their presence on iOS.
Photo: Nicholas Humfrey | Flickr