In what could be considered a controversial decision by some (read: Android fanboys), Google announced on their blog this afternoon that they’ve brought one of Jelly Bean’s key features over to, where else, but the Apple iPhone. Starting very soon, iPhone users will now be able to enjoy some of that Google Now-like functionality on their idevices, simply by jumping into their Google Search app. There, they’ll be greeted with the option to search more naturally by voice and can pull up a new wealth of info from Google’s Knowledge Graph, having search queries read aloud ala Siri er — Google Now.
This, all before updating their own Search app on legacy versions of Android with the same functionality. I guess this goes to show you that Google is no respecter of persons and, at the end of the day, the whole “who is copying who” thing amounts up to little. In fact, Google doesn’t seem to worried about it at all. They’re releasing apps and features for rival mobile OS’s, before taking care of their boys on the home front. Even after some Android users lost universal search (thanks to you-know-who).
Once again we’re reminded that Android is nothing more than a tool — a “trojan horse” if you will — for getting as many Google services into users’ hands as possible, even iOS users. This is why Android is open source. This is why Google doesn’t regulate what OEM’s do with the OS. Google is first and foremost a search company, and today’s announcement was a good reminder of that.
Still you have to wonder, with enough access to Google apps and services, is Google making a bad move by including iOS users on some of Android’s biggest perks? What’s next? A full Google Now application for the iPhone? I mean, what motivation would iPhone users have to make a switch over to Android? It’s interesting when you consider the moves made by Google to a company like Apple, who has been known to play dirty and rules their App Store with an iron fist. It would be a cold day in hell before you saw Siri or Safari Mobile in the Google Play Store, but I digress…
What do you guys think, was it a poor decision for Google to introduce an updated Search app for iOS users (with some of that special Google Now functionality), while leaving Android users on ICS and Gingerbread high and dry? Do you think Google should start hording all their services to themselves, closing themselves off to the rest of the mobile world? Or maybe this was nothing more than a benevolent move from an awesome company that believes the world (and internet) should be just as open as their OS?