) announced that its personal assistant app, Google Now, had been
made available on
) iTunes store, providing iPhone users an alternative to Siri.
Most tech experts view this development as a triumph of Google. In
Google Has Destroyed Apple's Walled Garden From
, Minyanville writer Mike Schuster said that "Google apps [like
Google Now and Google Maps] are besting the iPhone's default
software, and Apple has to grin and bear it."
But while it's undeniably great for Google that its apps are
available on iOS and that people like them, is it necessarily bad
Not really, say tech industry insiders.
"I think it's not a bad thing for Apple, even though Google is a
competitor in many areas," says Gaston Irigoyen, CEO & Founder
and a Google alumnus. "Users want to have many apps and more
services that are cross-platform. I'm sure Apple users would like
to have access to services like Google Now or
Some tech analysts have said that having more Google apps available
on iOS makes it likelier that iPhone users will switch over to
Android devices in the future, but Irigoyen disagrees.
"I think Apple users have always been very loyal to Apple. I'm not
sure one or two apps will really make them change their minds. If I
were Apple, I wouldn't be afraid that a few apps are not
Bryan Colligan, CEO of
, a recently launched mobile commerce app for small businesses that
want to sell their products on mobile devices, concurred. "If all
the killer apps are available on both platforms, then there is less
incentive [for customers] to switch," he says.
Should Apple Be More Worried About Samsung or
What would entice customers to stick with Apple, some say, is the
fact that third-party apps generally work best on iOS.
"This may sound hard to believe, but in reality, almost everything
works better under iOS," says Chad Udell, managing director of
Float Mobile Learning and the author of
Learning Everywhere: How Mobile Content Strategies Are
. "Because of the numerous handset manufacturers and OEM, Android
and other operating systems are inherently less stable than Apple's
"While Android is getting better, there are too many devices to
support to completely control the experience and device-specific
variables," added Colligan.
The complexities of customizing apps for the myriad of Android
options in the market is also the reason why Google Now is
ironically available on twice as many iOS devices than it is on
Android ones. Google Now for Android is compatible only with
devices that run the newest version of Android, Jelly Bean, so
) devices, for example, cannot access the app.
Nonetheless, Apple clearly recognizes the threat that popular
Google and other third-party services pose, which explains its
attempts to block YouTube and Google Maps apps at one point, notes
"I think Apple worries about this situation and it seems like
they're doing two very different things: In some cases, they are
trying to integrate third-party features into their OS. For
example, Facebook and Twitter sign-in capabilities have been
incorporated into iOS. On the other hand, they are preventing or
making it very hard for other players to work with them - Google
Maps and YouTube are great examples, or even FB Home. Those have
either been removed or it's been more difficult for developers to
work with them in the last versions of iOS."
For Apple's continued success in the software space, the
performance of the upcoming iOS 7 update is paramount. Irigoyen
says that Apple needs to get two things right: improving
information-sharing between apps and easing up restrictions on home
"Information-sharing between apps is something that Google has done
very well. For instance, I use an Android device. If I want to
share a photo on my photo gallery on Android, just by tapping on
the photo, I can very quickly share that with multiple services and
multiple apps that I also have installed in my device. By tapping
on a photo, I can share it to Instagram, to DropBox, or to email.
There's room for improvement there from Apple."
"[Also] from user experience point of view, we haven't seen a lot
of innovation from Apple in the last iOS releases. The ability to
include widgets and other things in your home screen would be nice,
so you can personalize your home screen. Google has really been
working on that."
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