Google Gunning for Apple

In case you weren’t aware, as hard as it is to imagine with all the coverage, Google and Apple aren’t getting along so well right now. For that matter, neither are Apple and Adobe. Steve Jobs hasn’t done much to remedy the situation, pushing Google and Adobe further and further away. Adobe has tried feebly to fight back, though it is trying to focus on how much it loves Apple, rather than really taking a stand. Google has less qualms. At the I/O conference, there have been a number of pot-shots taken at Apple.

Apple’s new iPad has been the butt of several jokes, and was shown side-by-side with the Nexus One which ran circles around it. JavaScript processing speeds were compared on two Nexus One phones, one with Eclair and one with Froyo, and the iPad was compared against them both. The Froyo-enabled Nexus One clearly out-shined the others, while the Eclair made the iPad look clunky.

Other shots were taken regarding the iPad’s networking capabilities. Most of the jabs will probably hit home with every Apple employee except Jobs, who really couldn’t care less about his reputation right now. Most of the jokes were well received by Google developers attending the I/O, and there were some good laughs had by all. The fact that the jokes rang true made them that much more potent.

Also of note was the presence of Adobe’s CEO at the I/O. Flash is making great strides in implementing CSS and WebM technologies. Dreamweaver even looks useful now as it is able to help implement CSS styling to video/animated content. Adobe is coming out of this conference looking really good.

While Google has maintained a strong relationship with Flash, including it in Google TV for example, HTML 5 is clearly on Google’s mind. What Google is doing is offering the freedom of choice to its users. Use Flash, use HTML 5, use anything, whatever you want. This is far different from Jobs’ HTML 5 only stance. One of the great lines from Google went something along the lines of “As it turns out, people actually use Flash”. This got a good laugh, but it was very poignant. Apple is way off-base here, and Google (and Adobe) wanted everyone to know.

Google and Apple are clearly going different directions. Google is for the Open Web, and Apple wants a Walled Garden. From all appearances, the users are happier with the Open Web. I think we will either see Apple opening up or fading into the sunset as time goes by.

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