Apple is engaged in a 'silent war' against Google, claim engineers

Posted:
in iOS edited January 25
Former Apple engineers say that Apple still holds a grudge over how Android allegedly copied iOS, and is steadily working to remove Google from the iPhone.




It is the very slimmest of reports, but the Financial Times quotes two former Apple engineers about Apple and Google's rivalry, and it does fit with previous accounts.

Both former engineers reportedly used the word "grudge" to describe Apple's relationship with Google, while one of them went further and described it as a "silent war." Neither source is quoted as saying anything further, but the Financial Times reports that there are three battlegrounds in this war, and the first was Apple Maps.

The launch of Apple Maps in 2012 was disastrous enough that the service is still unfairly seen as inferior to the Google Maps it hoped to replace.

But Apple Maps was created because Google refused to give the iPhone the same turn-by-turn directions it was producing on Android. It was a move by Apple to give users a feature that was increasingly becoming necessary, and which would prevent buyers moving to its rival.

There's no such clear need for Apple to work on what the Financial Times describes as another battleground, that of search. Nonetheless, since at least 2015 there has been AppleBot, a search engine that at times has been used by Siri and Spotlight.

That's a distinctly separate service from offering a Google-style search for users, but it was one reason why reports keep surfacing that an Apple Search is coming.

However, this may have been stymied in late 2022 when key staff said to be working on Apple Search left to rejoin Google.

There is a third area where Apple is believed to be targeting Google, though it may be just as an obvious expansion of its business instead of a "silent war" attack. It's Apple's own advertising business, which is growing enormously, even as the company's privacy features are allegedly affecting third-party advertisers.

Apple has not commented on the Financial Times report.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 51
    Yeah. Look at Xiaomi & a lot of core android features. They are clearly clones of the iOS user interface. They can shove useless gimmicks all they want , but the similarities are there from 2008
    davronnwilliamlondonwatto_cobraigorskylordjohnwhorfinjas99
  • Reply 2 of 51
    Are these disgruntled employees?

    Doesn't seem to me to be a grudge, but simply Apple trying to compete.

    It doesn't at all look like harboring a grudge, though I would certainly understand if there was some resentment.

    I'm sure there were a pallet's worth of dead iPhones littering the floor of Google labs while Google worked on the second coming of Android.
    ravnorodomchadbagwilliamlondonwatto_cobraJaiOh81lordjohnwhorfinjas99lolliverFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 3 of 51
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,588member
    Are these disgruntled employees?

    Doesn't seem to me to be a grudge, but simply Apple trying to compete.

    It doesn't at all look like harboring a grudge, though I would certainly understand if there was some resentment.

    I'm sure there were a pallet's worth of dead iPhones littering the floor of Google labs while Google worked on the second coming of Android.
    That was my reaction.  Sounds more like a couple of disgruntled former Apple employees, and the only grudge is the one they are holding
    ravnorodomchadbagwilliamlondonwatto_cobrajas99
  • Reply 4 of 51
    I still hold a grudge.  They way Google copied iOS was f*****-up 

    Let the fire burn and the silent war range on  
    davdanoxrobin huberronnkestralchadbagwilliamlondonwatto_cobrah4y3slordjohnwhorfin
  • Reply 5 of 51
    omasouomasou Posts: 412member
    Hoping Apple starts releasing hardware w/their HomeKit update.

    I really want to de-Google my life.
    kestralchadbagwatto_cobralordjohnwhorfinjas99boxcatcherlolliver
  • Reply 6 of 51
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,511member
    It's pretty clear at this point that the decision to create Apple Maps was based on a lot more than a dispute over turn-by-turn directions. That may have been the straw that broke the camel's back, but what was clear at that point was that mapping and location services were going to be a core function of iOS, not just a standalone app. GPS wasn't even included on iPhone until the 3G model was released. Fairly quickly for Google, location data was becoming one more data goldmine to sell to advertisers, and Apple didn't want iPhone to become an unrestrained sellout of its customers. More importantly, Apple couldn't cede what was rapidly becoming a central function of its device to its primary rival.  So a decision was abruptly made to take a hard turn off the previous course and it took a few iterations to get through the "recalculating" phase. 
    ronnchadbagwilliamlondonwatto_cobraJapheyn2itivguyjas99FileMakerFeller
  • Reply 7 of 51
    AppleZulu said:
    It's pretty clear at this point that the decision to create Apple Maps was based on a lot more than a dispute over turn-by-turn directions. That may have been the straw that broke the camel's back, but what was clear at that point was that mapping and location services were going to be a core function of iOS, not just a standalone app. GPS wasn't even included on iPhone until the 3G model was released. Fairly quickly for Google, location data was becoming one more data goldmine to sell to advertisers, and Apple didn't want iPhone to become an unrestrained sellout of its customers. More importantly, Apple couldn't cede what was rapidly becoming a central function of its device to its primary rival.  So a decision was abruptly made to take a hard turn off the previous course and it took a few iterations to get through the "recalculating" phase. 
    I think you need to take history into context here.  Back in the day, it was very common to get directions as a series of instructions.  There were many services out there such as MapQuest, etc. to provide this information.  Yes, standalone GPS devices existed, but that typically wasn't what you had with computers.  Apple's first Maps app was just that, you could find things and get a list of directions on how to get there. 

    Meanwhile, Google started putting real GPS based turn-by-turn directions onto their Android devices.  Apple wanted that feature as well. That's when Google laid out the demands to Apple to provide user data in exchange for that level of Maps services.  Apple was very privacy minded and unwilling to do that, so they created their own mapping service.  Whatever rift existed between Apple and Google at time from Google copying Apple was more of a sidebar than the driving decision for Apple to role their own maps service. 
    badmonkravnorodomronnchadbagdarbus69williamlondonh2pwatto_cobran2itivguyjas99
  • Reply 8 of 51
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,588member
    I just had another thought:

    Picture this.; It’s a winter evening. A reporter is sitting in a bar nursing his gin and tonic. He needs a story and none of his sources have come through. While he’s there he over hears two guys at a nearby table. They are having a loud conversation over a long string of beers. The reporter gets the idea that these guys know something about tech, he assumes they must be engineers, From the tone he gets that they have no love for Apple, he guesses they must have left the company and are unhappy about it. As he listens they talk about grudges, and silent wars, and Apple having it in for Google. This is good stuff. The reporter listens for some time, and then pays for his drink and leaves. He goes home and writes up this great story from ‘unnamed sources’ that are ‘former Apple engineers’ that spills the beans on a vindictive and petty Apple. 

    Meanwhile the two guys at the bar finish and go home. They have to get up and go to work in the morning, one is a waiter, the other is construction worker. Oh both of them like computers, they play with them in their free time. But they really were just two drunks having a bull session based on well known rumours and theories off of the internet, and a reporter who needed a story.
    edited January 25 muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 51
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 1,139member
    I read the FT piece and I think that Apple is unique among technology companies in that Apple seems to have real institutional memory of where they have been and where they are going.

    Part of this is built into the DNA, part is Steve’s legacy but also the upper echelon of management doesn’t have the self serving churn of other technology companies.

    I am positive they have not forgotten how Google stabbed them in the back.
    danoxrobin huberchadbagh2pwatto_cobraappleinsideruserJapheytwokatmewh4y3sjas99
  • Reply 10 of 51
    danoxdanox Posts: 1,564member
    red oak said:
    I still hold a grudge.  They way Google copied iOS was f*****-up 

    Let the fire burn and the silent war range on  
    Absolutely, so what if it’s a grudge? Googles constant crying about RCS is sickening.
    kestralwilliamlondonwatto_cobraigorskylordjohnwhorfinjas99dewme
  • Reply 11 of 51
    I strongly agree with others here that it’s not only old engineers that hold the grudge. Android is stolen property as Steve once said. I have hated them since that day. Irrational and immature? Sure, but they deserve it. 
    kestralchadbagwatto_cobraigorskylordjohnwhorfinjas99
  • Reply 12 of 51
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,351member
    What? And no other company has a grudge against Apple? As Lewis Black always says, “Are you shitting me?”

    And don’t you find it interesting that these stories are popping up now that tech is laying off in droves. First we had the tear jerker from Spotify about how Apple is the evil empire and the base reason they had to lay off 6% of their workforce. Now comes the alleged ‘secret war’ against Google.

    Tim Cook (aka Dr. Evil) to Johny Srouji (aka Scotty), “I want sharks with laser beams on their heads!”
    edited January 25 chadbagwilliamlondonwatto_cobraFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 13 of 51
    danoxdanox Posts: 1,564member
    badmonk said:
    I read the FT piece and I think that Apple is unique among technology companies in that Apple seems to have real institutional memory of where they have been and where they are going.

    Part of this is built into the DNA, part is Steve’s legacy but also the upper echelon of management doesn’t have the self serving churn of other technology companies.

    I am positive they have not forgotten how Google stabbed them in the back.
    Apple certainly haven’t forgotten their experience with Motorola, IBM and Intel when it came to CPU design, which is probably the reason why Qualcomm and Broadcom will be written out of the picture at some point. That and the fact that Apple has new and on going projects (devices) in development that require a different type of design that need to be smaller faster, with a different power usage curve than what is available on the open market, also Apple may be working towards incorporating the communication chips within their M series SOC chips. Which is something that you would need to do if you’re working on Apple glasses, after all who’s going to do all the innovative work needed to incorporate the chips into the frame (space) of a normal size pair of glasses.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 51
    Google is evil. I hope apple squashes them. 
    kestralchadbagwilliamlondonh2pwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 51
    In the google chrome logo is 666 hidden. Take a look at it in plain sight. I don’t like google.  I just use youtube to promote my music. Google is dirty. 
    kestralcornchipwatto_cobrajas99
  • Reply 16 of 51
    I get the Maps thing, but Apple is pretty much doing the same exact thing with Messages and its refusal to provide similar functionality on Android.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 17 of 51
    bluefire1bluefire1 Posts: 1,246member
    Apple learned from google of the public’s desire for larger phones. Google learned from Apple everything else.
    edited January 25 kestralwatto_cobrajas99
  • Reply 18 of 51
    fred1fred1 Posts: 1,046member
    I agree with the others who say that whether Apple’s motivation for doing these things is due to a grudge or not doesn’t really matter. Any company competing with another has something that can be called a grudge. Sure Eric Schmidt did a nasty thing by sitting in on Apple board meetings and then taking some of what he heard back to Google, but that’s water under the bridge. 
    Apple wants to be the best at what it does. (and I hope is a lot more careful now about who is invited to be on its board and what is said in the meetings!!)
    watto_cobraigorskyh4y3sjas99
  • Reply 19 of 51
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,511member
    techconc said:
    AppleZulu said:
    It's pretty clear at this point that the decision to create Apple Maps was based on a lot more than a dispute over turn-by-turn directions. That may have been the straw that broke the camel's back, but what was clear at that point was that mapping and location services were going to be a core function of iOS, not just a standalone app. GPS wasn't even included on iPhone until the 3G model was released. Fairly quickly for Google, location data was becoming one more data goldmine to sell to advertisers, and Apple didn't want iPhone to become an unrestrained sellout of its customers. More importantly, Apple couldn't cede what was rapidly becoming a central function of its device to its primary rival.  So a decision was abruptly made to take a hard turn off the previous course and it took a few iterations to get through the "recalculating" phase. 
    I think you need to take history into context here.  Back in the day, it was very common to get directions as a series of instructions.  There were many services out there such as MapQuest, etc. to provide this information.  Yes, standalone GPS devices existed, but that typically wasn't what you had with computers.  Apple's first Maps app was just that, you could find things and get a list of directions on how to get there. 

    Meanwhile, Google started putting real GPS based turn-by-turn directions onto their Android devices.  Apple wanted that feature as well. That's when Google laid out the demands to Apple to provide user data in exchange for that level of Maps services.  Apple was very privacy minded and unwilling to do that, so they created their own mapping service.  Whatever rift existed between Apple and Google at time from Google copying Apple was more of a sidebar than the driving decision for Apple to role their own maps service. 
    I think you're disagreeing with the article at the top, not me, since you've said the same thing I did, but with slightly different details. The contextual history shows that the issues were data security, Google's desire to exploit Apple's customers, and the increasing importance of mapping and location services as a core function of the operating system. Apple could either take the short-term hit of releasing a not-ready-for-primetime Apple Maps or hand over a large portion of their iPhone customer data and operating system to their chief rival. If they'd chosen the latter, much of their competitive edge - and their profitability - would now belong to Google.
    watto_cobran2itivguyFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 20 of 51
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,590member
    danox said:
    badmonk said:
    I read the FT piece and I think that Apple is unique among technology companies in that Apple seems to have real institutional memory of where they have been and where they are going.

    Part of this is built into the DNA, part is Steve’s legacy but also the upper echelon of management doesn’t have the self serving churn of other technology companies.

    I am positive they have not forgotten how Google stabbed them in the back.
    Apple certainly haven’t forgotten their experience with Motorola, IBM and Intel when it came to CPU design, which is probably the reason why Qualcomm and Broadcom will be written out of the picture at some point. That and the fact that Apple has new and on going projects (devices) in development that require a different type of design that need to be smaller faster, with a different power usage curve than what is available on the open market, also Apple may be working towards incorporating the communication chips within their M series SOC chips. Which is something that you would need to do if you’re working on Apple glasses, after all who’s going to do all the innovative work needed to incorporate the chips into the frame (space) of a normal size pair of glasses.

    Apple has a long history of being left behind and screwed by partnerships and eventually having to forge their own path. We got TrueType fonts, thanks to Adobe being greedy. We got iTunes Music Store and Safari thanks to Microsoft being monopolistic @ssholes.


    cornchipwatto_cobraigorskyInspiredCodejas99
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