Posted July 24, 2009 10:12 am by with 6 comments

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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:

(image credit: unknown)

  • Another example of Apple not wanting to play with others, it sounds like. And the problem with Apple is – they don’t really need to play with others. They’re one of the biggest kids in the playground, and it’s their toys everybody wants to play with.

  • Apple doesn’t allow iPhone apps to multitask.

    If Google wanted to update Latitude on the iPhone, then it would have to set up specific servers to send update signals to the iPhone, just like AOL does to its apps.

    Apparently, Google did not want to run specific servers just for the iPhone.

    It was lazy about doing it, wanting to do just an app.

    However, Apple has a good point. Google likes web apps and said they are the future – not native apps. Thus Google should follow their own stated preference and do Latitude as a web app.

    As a web app, Latitude can multitask on the iPhone. Tah Dah!

  • @James – thanks for the extra insight.

  • Wray R

    Apple is in a strong position right now, but what happens when, Steve Jobs leaves due to continued health issues, Apple flounders as it did before and then……Google buys Apple?

  • Google can’t buy Apple.

    Apple is bigger than Google.

    Apple has proven that it can do well without Steve Jobs. Apple has a lot of talent. Just look at how many former Apple people work elsewhere.

    James Katt’s last blog post..Vitamin D3 and Curcumin Clears Amyloid Plaques in Alzheimer’s Disease

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