What happens when the irresistible force meets an immovable object?
The irresistible force wins! The immovable object publicly complains.
That appears to be the case as Google announces Google Latitude for the iPhone and, in the same announcement, gripes that Apple is to blame for the lack of an actual application.
We worked closely with Apple to bring Latitude to the iPhone in a way Apple thought would be best for iPhone users. After we developed a Latitude application for the iPhone, Apple requested we release Latitude as a web application in order to avoid confusion with Maps on the iPhone, which uses Google to serve maps tiles.
Huh? “…Apple thought would be best for iPhone users.” What about Google Latitude users? Didn’t Apple give any thought as to how the main users of the service would want to use it? I love my iPhone, but won’t be using Google Latitude until it’s available as an app. Then again, an app sounds pretty lame too–considering Apple won’t let apps run in the background:
Unfortunately, since there is no mechanism for applications to run in the background on iPhone (which applies to browser-based web apps as well), we’re not able to provide continuous background location updates in the same way that we can for Latitude users on Android, Blackberry, Symbian and Window Mobile.
We could talk about the need for background apps on the iPhone, but that would take us off-topic. Instead, I’m intrigued that, despite all the talk of too much collusion between Apple and Google, Google wasn’t able to get its own way with a single, innocuous, iPhone application.
If Google can’t influence Apple enough to let it publish an iPhone application, do we really have anything to fear from Schmidt’s board position? And, what does this say about who wears the pants in this relationship?
PS. Oh yeah, you can get Google Latitude by pointing your iPhone browser here: google.com/latitude
(image credit: unknown)