Apple versus Google in a two horse race to the future of mobile computing
Woke up this morning and saw a plethora of tweets on Twitter singing odes to the iPad. This despite the fact that iPad does not support a camera and does not multi-task. Many of them would have been seeded by Apple, but the iPad reads like Apple is yet again going to change the way people access internet and do things on internet. One thing is definite–the way that users will interact with computing devices will change, if Apple and Google have their way. To me and many more, these are the two names that are creating the future in mobile communication. Have completely different approaches building up to their vision of future of mobiles and internet.
Apple has practiced the “walled garden approach” and is not transparent in its Apps store Approval process. This is increasingly becoming an Anathema in the developer community which is getting swayed by the open source developmental processes. However Apple’s strength is the seamless interface that its devices provide to users. The device and the UI are an addiction and reports have suggested that the even while the device usage increases the apps usages drop exponentially within a week of purchase.
Google’s flourishes on the open source, which in its true sense fosters developer community interest. Google’s strength is in seamless tie up of services and practical applications around it. So while Google Maps, Street View and LAYAR are individual concepts, they are really concepts build on top of one another in a way that they power practical applications like Traffic information, Local search and others. The problem with Google is that they would not understand the device too well. True, they learnt from Moto Droid for their Nexus One, but the Apple kind of expertise will take some time in building.
At this time however, Developers are starting to make their choices between Apple and Google. A recent report by Appcelerometer showed that in January of 2010 86 percent of developers were “very interested” in creating apps for the iPhone, 68 percent were also “very interested” in doing the same for the Android. In 3 months, the 18 point spread has decreased to only six points, from 87 percent for the iPhone to 81 percent for the Android.
Apple needs to loosen –up on its closed development policy if it were to maintain its head lead on Google in Apps Store. From the Google perspective, while the Apps store has a volume, it has less stickiness per app. Google could try and create stickiness around its Apps to ace Apple’s crown.