Rivalry between Apple and Google is booming. It seems Apple in July acquired Placebase, which makes Web mapping software that competes with Google Maps, which Apple uses for its iPhone smartphone. After the Google Voice and Google Latitude rejections, this underscores the increasingly contentious relationship between Google and Apple, once brothers in arms against common foe Microsoft. Apple is promoting its App Store as the place to go for iPhone software, while Google is hawking Android Market for multiple Android-based phones.
The rift between Google
may be growing greater than we realize
amid the revelation that Apple acquired Web map software maker Placebase
an API used to layer commercial
and other data sets, such as demographics and crime data, onto maps. In that
respect, it competes with Google Maps, which Apple uses for its world-beating
With no clear indication that Apple is dropping
in favor of the Pushpin technology, the acquisition might not
be so suspect if Google and Apple didn't have a freshly frosty bent to their
Apple kept Google Voice out of its iPhone App Store,
a federal inquiry. Apple also rejected an early version of Google Latitude
because it was
native to the iPhone.
Google created a Web application version of Latitude for the iPhone and is working
on a Web application to enable Google Voice to run on the iPhone.
Eric Schmidt, once proud of his relation to Apple, stepped down from Apple's board.
These events underscore the increasingly contentious relationship between Google
and Apple, once brothers in arms against common foe Microsoft. Apple is promoting its App Store
as the place to go for iPhone
software, while Google is hawking Android Market
for multiple Android-based phones. The
competitive circle is clear.
Enderle Group analyst Rob Enderle told eWEEK Oct. 1 that Google and Apple
are increasingly targeting the same customers and same needs with very similar
offerings, so it's natural that the companies would take steps to preserve
their own interests.
"Promoting a competitor on your product is something that Apple
historically doesn't do ... There are alternatives to Google and I would expect
Apple to increasingly use them," Enderle said.
Meanwhile, Google is continuing its march on the mobile Web. The company's
mobile search team Sept. 30 released a new local search interface for Web-enabled phones.
Local Search for Mobile
lets users search for locations on their
desktop computers, star them for future reference, which effectively creates
lists of the places, and then call them up on their mobile phones.
Users can also click on place names to visit Place Pages for Google Maps
that include opening hours and
reviews, among other information. Read more about this here.
Google Sept. 30 also launched personalized suggestions, something available
on Google's desktop search engine, for Android, iPhone and Palm WebOS. The personalized Google Suggest
feature lets users logged into
their Google accounts search for content on their desktops, then see the suggested
content in the search box on their mobile phones.
These moves highlight the importance Google places on making mobile
iterations of search and other applications as painless to use as they are on
the desktop. This is a mission Google and Apple have both undertaken for their
customers, despite their obvious competitive conflicts.