Apple’s relationship with Google is often rocky at best. While the Cupertino company has previously utilized its services for its Mac and iOS devices, it has never really forgiven the search giant for developing Android, the biggest competitor to the iPhone. In fact, Apple’s recently been working to distance itself from Google, removing some of its services from iOS, including YouTube and of course Maps.
However, Google CEO Larry Page feels that it’s Apple’s users that suffer when it can’t work with competing companies, and says it would be “nice if everybody would get along better.”
In a rare interview with Fortune, Page talks a lot about mobile computing, the future of Google, and the company’s tussles with Apple. While the entire thing is well worth a read, it’s that final topic that caught my eye.
Of course, Google is one of Apple’s biggest competitors in the mobile space, and yet the pair have very different business models. With that in mind, Page think it’s a shame the pair can’t just get along for the sake of the user.
“I actually view that as a shame when you think about it that way. All the big technology companies are big because they did something great. I’d like to see more cooperation on the user side,” Page said. “The Internet was made in universities and it was designed to interoperate. And as we’ve commercialized it, we’ve added more of an island-like approach to it, which I think is a somewhat a shame for users.”
Page insists Google still has a “big search relationship” with Apple, but in recent times, it would seem as if the iPhone maker has been trying to distance itself, and in some cases, at the expense of its users. I am, of course, hinting at Maps, the iOS app that was powered by Google Maps up until September, when Apple removed it from iOS and replaced it with its own service.
While Apple’s Maps service does boast some features Google’s didn’t on iOS — such as turn-by-turn navigation and 3D Flyover, for the large majority of users it just doesn’t work. The service is half-baked, particularly outside of the United States, and its inaccuracies have caused big problems for some users. Just this week, Australian police said Apple Maps could get someone killed.
I have to agree with Page, then, when he says it’s sometimes the user that suffers most when Apple cuts its ties with a big competitor.
“What I was trying to say was I think it would be nice if everybody would get along better and the users didn’t suffer as a result of other people’s activities,” Page told Fortune. “I try to model that. We try pretty hard to make our products be available as widely as we can. That’s our philosophy. I think sometimes we’re allowed to do that. Sometimes we’re not.”
Page’s full interview is well worth a read — particularly if you’re a fan of Google and Android. You can check it out at Fortune by hitting the source link below.