The day Android came out, the smartphone world was never to be the same again. Apple accused it of being a spin off of its hugely successful iOS mobile platform. Every maker had its own rendition of the Android interface, HTC’s Sense being touted the most usable. But irrespective, each had its fair share of features copied from iOS, either directly or indirectly.
Fast forward to 2011: Steve Jobs, before passing away told biographer, Walter Isaacson, that he was willing to go in to a thermonuclear war with Google over Android because it was a stolen product. The first signs of this war, were the lawsuits Apple filed against the popular manufacturers of Android Smart-Phones. However, it is clear that this war is not going to be won or loss through the justice system – Apple is taking things in their own hands.
Apple’s Redesigned Maps app in iOS 6
During WWDC, Apple announced iOS 6, which introduced amongst other things, a redesigned Maps app. The all new Maps app, has been completely re-built and sports a whole lot of new features such as all new cartography, vectors, a 3D flyover view, Turn by Turn navigation, business cards and more. Apple also partnered with global navigation leader Tom Tom, and made several acquisitions, in order to rid its dependence on Google for its Maps app. This will not only help Apple in its battle to bring Google down, but will also help them save a whole lot of money, that they were paying Google in order to use the Google Maps API.
Then there is also Siri, which may not be a major threat right now, but definitely has the potential to make Google’s search engine redundant on Apple’s iOS devices. Don’t think that makes sense? Well, Siri has already learnt a few neat ricks like reading out sports scores, booking movie tickets and being able to find and make a reservation at restaurants (Tasks for which, users would do a Google search before). I don’t think its going to take long, till it does most things that we use Google for.
Apple also introduced Passbook, an application that promises to be a better Google Wallet. With Passbook users can keep their tickets, passes, gift-cards, loyalty cards all organised. Passbook goes the extra mile too, by telling you where your seats are, when your coupons expire, the balance left on them, In-fact Passbook is location and time aware, so it pops up with your boarding pass, once you are at the airport. Even Deeper Facebook Integration is an indirect jibe at the Google Plus service, which is conveniently left out.
All these features, that have been introduced in iOS 6, pose the biggest threat to Google, in the form of Apple having reduced the dependence of all its devices on Google, making sure that Apple customers use the least possible Google products and services and considering the way Apple customers are growing, its going to hurt Google a lot.