Apple beefs up smartphone services in a ‘silent war’ against Google

Enlarge / Supposedly, Apple still holds a grudge against Google ever since co-founder Steve Jobs called rival operating system Android a “stolen product.”

FT/Reuters Montage

Apple is taking steps to separate its mobile operating system from the features offered by Google parent Alphabet, making advances in mapping, search and advertising that have created a collision course among big tech companies.

The two Silicon Valley giants have been rivals in the smartphone market since Google acquired and popularized the Android operating system in the 2000s.

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs called Android “a stolen product” that mimicked Apple’s iOS mobile software, then declared “thermonuclear war” on Google, ousting the search company’s then-CEO Eric Schmidt from Apple’s board of directors in 2009.

While the rivalry has been less vocal since then, two former Apple engineers said the iPhone maker has held a “grudge” against Google ever since.

One of these people said that Apple is still engaged in a “silent war” against its archrival. She’s doing it by developing features that could allow the iPhone maker to further separate its products from the services offered by Google. Apple did not respond to requests for comment.

The first front in this battle is mapping, which began in 2012 when Apple released Maps, displacing rival Google as a pre-downloaded app.

The move was supposed to be a shining moment for Apple’s software prowess, but the launch was so buggy (some bridges, for example, looked warped and sank into the oceans) that CEO Tim Cook said he was “extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused.” our clients.”

However, Apple’s Maps has improved considerably in the last decade. Earlier this month, it announced Business Connect, a feature that allows businesses to claim their digital location so they can interact with users, display photos, and offer promotions.

This is a direct challenge to Google Maps, which partners with recommendation platform Yelp to offer similar information and earns revenue from advertising and referral fees.

Business Connect goes further by leveraging Apple’s operating system to offer iOS users unique features, such as seamless integration with Apple Pay or Business Chat, a text-based chat tool for commerce.

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