As of today, every major mobile competitor... also makes apps for iOS

As of today, every major mobile competitor... also makes app for iOS

A few minutes ago BlackBerry announced BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) for iOS. With that announcement, every single one of Apple's major mobile competitors now makes apps for iOS. Google, who also has Android, makes many very popular apps including Gmail, Maps, Google+, etc. [Update: The biggest Android manufacturer, Samsung, also makes ChatOn]. Microsoft, who also has Windows Phone, makes a bunch of apps and games for iOS, including OneNote and Kinnectimals. Nokia, Microsoft's primary Windows Phone partner, also makes Here Maps.

Now, BlackBerry makes BBM.

Apple, by contrast, makes precisely nothing for Android, Windows Phone, or BlackBerry. Not even iTunes.


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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

As of today, every major mobile competitor... also makes apps for iOS


It is very interesting that they all make at least one app for iOS; presumably because apple products, especially mobile, contain the greatest density of consumers so they are trying to reach out in some way. I'm glad BBM is coming because I am getting an iPhone soon and still want to be able to use BBM with my parents and a few friends who still use it.

way too little eons too late this was requested just before the launch of the iphone 4 and that was thought as a possibly good way to keep blackberry relevant however now we are on iphone 5 and it's way way way too late

It's too late because everybody I know (with one exception) has dumped their Blackberry phones for iPhones (call it peer pressure...all my extended family calls me for tech support and I refuse to touch any phone that isn't an iphone :) least for my extended family (about 60 people who are old enough to carry cellphones), BBM stopped being necessary early last year.

exactly that was my pont during the time of the iphone 4 not everyone had dumped their blackberries however now they have and as i said it's way too late

Microsoft has been quoted as saying they want itunes for win8, prettypleasewithicecreamontop

That it has Classic Desktop interface and not Windows 8 Interface (formerly known as Metro UI).

Metro^WModern is a lousy UI for a desktop or laptop computer. And in any case, what's the big want, anyway? The shortcut is on the Modern Start Screen, just like anything else, and if you want it full screen, then make it full screen when it opens on the Desktop.

The why I can't answer...I use Mac and Linux, haven't touched Windows since 1996 and don't plan to any time soon :) What I can tell you is that MS wants iTunes-Metro^WModern in their app store (my guess is that they want it for RT which has no desktop, but I don't care enough to go read :)

It is not because they want the app itself, but because they want users. Better iTunes for windows = more Windows 8 users :)

Interesting!! Looking forward to BBM on iOS and i think it's a wise decision by BB. They're probably gonna break usage of other messaging apps out there. most BlackBerry users that i know just won't budge on their decisions on NOT installing Whatsapp or any other 3rd party messaging apps on their BlackBerry devices...

4 Years too later there BB. Nobody cares. The only problem with BBM when BBM was popular is that it was still another. iMessage is just an added feature to the Messages app. If they have an iPhone, its an iMessage, if not, its green and sends as a regular text message. iMessage is down? It sends it as a Text. Thats where BBM messed up.

I'll be glad to have it back. I didn't use it a lot, but I did bbm with a foreign exchange student we hosted from Germany. Handy when you need it.

Apple has precisely 0 apps for other platforms because Apple sucks at making apps... also they are a stubborn old bastard. :-)

Re: "Apple, by contrast, makes precisely nothing for Android, Windows Phone, or BlackBerry."

Android -> far too fragmented in terms of hardware and software.
Windows Phone -> not worth it until it has more market share (as in "never.")
BlackBerry -> may not be around in 3 years, so why bother?

Or how about Apple sells hardware, not software? Itunes for windows was necessary because iOS devices depended on desktop itunes (although icloud is making it easier for many to do without itunes). Mobile apps for other platforms doesn't help Apple at all.

All BB is doing is making it easier for those few BB users to leave BB.

Agree completely. I'd add that Apple ported iTunes to Windows 10 years ago as a matter of survival. Because it drastically increased the addressable market for iPods. And iPod eventually peaked at 48% of Apple's total revenue (in 2008).

On the other hand, not porting iTunes to today's competing platforms (fragmented or not) doesn't help Apple much. It probably wouldn't hurt Apple much either, but there simply isn't enough value add. Too many other, bigger, more tactical, more strategic, more bug-fix-related fish to fry.

"Android -> far too fragmented in terms of hardware and software."--- Apple could make something for ICS and up, just as there are apps for iOS 5 and up.

"Windows Phone -> not worth it until it has more market share (as in "never.")"-- WP8 marketshare is increasing every month. It just doesn't have the large numbers of Android and iOS yet. But increasing, nonetheless. And I might add, that between the "big 3", WP8 is absolutely the smoothest OS.

I see your points Pappy. It would be simpler for Apple to target Jelly Bean and later, on the Samsung Galaxy S III or later. (And they could forget the HTC First. Like everybody else.)

And yes, WP8 is gaining market share. But what happened to all those WP7 phone owners? With incompatible phones that can't be upgraded to WP8? Can they migrate over to WP8 phones? Or is the non-upgradability yet another excuse to just get an iPhone after all?

:-) :-)

Lack of iTunes music deep link support is a mistake though. iTunes links used to be relatively trust worthy because they worked on Mac and PC... Now that link can't be trusted for non iOS users...certainly eroding iTunes prominence

If Apple is so doomed as Wall Street and others tel us every day, how come all these other companies make apps for iOS? Why would they bother making apps for a dying brand/platform/ecosystem?

Because there is a very large installed base of users. Apple sales could drop to zero tomorrow and that would still be true.

Many people now say "I don't care, I won't use it and blah blah" but I'm sure many people will download it at least to try it and see how it works. I know I will, and I don't miss my old bb at all.

Some of the comments here are funny becuase it sounds like they come from people with one sided minds. So you do not have friends with BBM, that is great but the app works if two iPhone users download the app and they communicate with one another. Then you may say, well I will use iMessage which is nice. I had iMessage and I thought it was an ok attempt to replace my BBM but it does lack. What you people are failing to understand is Blackberry is trying to make an app that if catches on, everyone can use. iMessage is limited to Apple devices where as BBM if it spreads everyone can use it not just for messages but the other features it also offers. What Blackberry is doing is something we all question but it can go in their favor or not. An android user or iOS user who would like to test out BB10 but does not have friends on BBM to utilize this one feature now has the opportunity to do so. Also users who would want to full BBM experience like screen share now can safely leave their OS in favor of BB10. It is not too late for this app as messanger apps pop up on a regular basis and they all aim to bring the BBM experience not the iMessage experience. Blackberry is just saying this "now you can download the original"

TBH, I find iMessage/ Face time, confusing to use when I try to add contacts. Which one am I supposed to use? Their phone number? Their email? Granted I cba to explore further and just never used them on my iPad but it shouldn't be so complicated in the first place.

On my mum's iphone 4s, somehow she can send an iMessage to my text number (as an option, never really tried it) when that number is not even associated with my iPad...

You actually can designate how you want to be reached via FaceTime.

Go to Settings…
Tap on FaceTime down the page a bit…
Edit underneath "You can be reached by FaceTime at:" and add or delete phone numbers and/or email addresses you wish FaceTime to use.

When adding a contact, there is no need to designate a FaceTime number or email. Just label numbers as you would in the real world: home, mobile, work, etc.

Tapping on the FaceTime button will pop up a choice of which of those contact numbers/emails available on your recipient's contact card.

Even if you have a cell carrier enabled iPad, FaceTime does not use the carrier's voice network. There are no "minutes" involved. FaceTime uses your Internet data connection to transmit video and audio, either Wi-Fi or cellular data. iMessage also bypasses voice networks unless you allow it to transmit via SMS.

Has this helped?

Maybe months ago... thanks for your helpful comments... but had since given my ipad to my sister who barely uses it. My mum is also going to get rid of her iphone for a z10 soon. Even though we have 4 ipad at home (or rather.. my fragmented family in different houses) we don't bother with i message at all.

My sisters and I uses whatsapp but it is terribly unreliable and we can't wait till bbm goes cross platform since even my sister who switched to a cheap Samsung (since she's on a budget) misses it.

Tbh my mum uses her her phone for nothing but make phone calls. But, as her eyesight is bad, she finds it hard to see the contacts on her phone and she would rather have their icons beside them on the phone list. She even wanted to switch to HTC long ago as this really matters to her.

She is quite happy with her ipad though... that's why it is unnecessary for her to get another iphone. plus I'm a BlackBerry fan so obviously I've steered her away from Samsung lol. After seeing my phone she really wanted one as well...

Lol... durability? I've not seen a person who dares to use their iphone 4 without a cover which is a shame because the glass is indeed beautiful. I've dropped my z10 couple of times and, all I have is a small little dent. Don't use any cases or screen protector at all!

Granted, the glass back was a beautiful work of art, but quite vulnerable. However, I was referring to the durability of the iPhone 5's aluminum unibody. I was surprised it survived a face down 10 foot drop in this drop test as well as a rollover with a SUV.

Of course, YMMV. I use a case, just in case. Keeping the phone in non-dinged, non-scuffed condition will enhance its value when it's time to upgrade in a couple of years.

As for the icons in the contacts, I wish that were at least an option in iOS.

May you enjoy your choices.

There is a reason that Apple doesn't make apps for other platforms, because generally there are already better apps on those platforms. Many of the apps are made by Google (Maps, GMail) are better than what comes with iOS so demand is there to port them to other platforms. I can't imagine why anyone on an Android or Windows Phone would even what one of the subpar Apple built apps.

Interesting? Not really. Apple isn't even competent enough to make software for their own platforms, how the expletive could they make anything for another platform?

Do you know anyone clamouring for Apple to port... Siri? Apple Maps? iTunes? iWork? iMessage? iCloud? Precisely indeed!

I guess you were trying to show how desperate these companies are for Apple's customers, but what it really shows is how desperate Apple's customers are for stuff that works.

And it's not like people iTunes because they want to... they use it because they have to.

This is among the worst observations posted. The Android GMail app ONLY works with a gmail account and the default Mail APK is only so-so. Likewise, Google's mobile map app, while having great database side work, is sub-standard on the client side. On iOS, you loose traffic direction flow data and the frame rate update is a very jerky 15 fps on an iPhone 5 and Google did not spend the 3 lines of code to make it a universal app. Really? Talk about poor app skills. It is nice having the option of Google Maps but it is far far from the end-all-be-all in mapping apps.

And then you don't have anything close to iMovie or GarageBand yet for Android (at least IMO). Also, Safari usability (smoothness of operation, rendering, scrolling, zooming...) far outstrips any browser on Android including Chrome. Saying Apple does not make competent apps for their own platform is simply narrow minded (Yes, I also use Android but find the app level experience sub-standard mostly starting with the "back button"). This is especially true given Apple has a software/hardware product good enough to allow them to charge a premium and have people actually pay it providing Apple with between 60 and 70% of the profit share of all handset makers. You do not make this type of money by not being "competent".

Apple does not provide any of these apps on other platforms because it does not help Apple. Google is a data service company so benefits greatly with more people using their service. Same is true for Amazon having Kindle on multiple platforms. MS benefits with greater people using Skype on as many platforms as possible. BlackBerry? I have no idea how they expect this to help BB.

I never said a word about Google, or any company specifically other than Apple. Maybe you replied to the wrong person, because you're arguing against things I never said.

Way. Too. Late.

Messenger apps are hot property and thanks to the fact it took until BB was completely irrelevant that they finally released BBM for other platforms, it's uninteresting now.

Only 2 years ago (I think??) I saw people with BB phones next to their iPhones and Android phones - just so they could use BBM. They'd use the other phone for everything else. That's the time when BB needed to release BBM, and they'd have owned the market, even though they'd have sold fewer phones.

Now we have Line, Kik, KakaoTalk, Facebook Messenger (even though thats retarded), Whatsapp, and others to choose from. Nobody needs or wants BBM anymore.

Additionally, Samsung makes apps like ChatOn and Nokia makes apps like Nokia Here for iOS. So not only rival software makers are in this, but hardware makers too.

If the implication is that this somehow "proves" the iPhone's superiority, that's just silly. Apple makes it money selling devices. They have every incentive to not support anyone else's devices. Google makes money off of ads. They have every incentive to support as many platforms as they can expect a return on investment, and there are clearly too many iPhones in the world to ignore. Microsoft, likewise, makes it's money from software, and is trying to monetize advertizing. It would be silly to ignore making software for such a large installed base. BB is a slightly different case. They need to convince people to stick with their platform, and offering integration with other platforms is necessary, even if they would prefer not to.

But it does say something about which platform has the widest support, by the most dedicated manufacturer. Apple needs to make successful phones, and everyone else needs to be on their platform.

As a Z10 user, there are a few Google apps that I would really love to see on my phone but I cannot think of any special Apple apps that I want.. . Most of their native apps are inferior to 3rd party apps on their platform anyway so, maybe they just have nothing to offer to other platforms!