(Talksauce is a weekly editorial that represents the opinions of Tapsauce editor-in-chief Jacob Hall, not Rocksauce Studios. If he says something stupid, blame him and him alone.)
It’s silly to feel bad for a massive multi-billion dollar corporation like Google. So I don’t. I don’t feel bad for Google. Why feel bad when they have the world’s best and most popular search engine? Why feel bad when some of their Android-powered phones are giving Apple a run for their money (metaphorically speaking, since iOS still dominates the market)? So why do I feel the slightest inkling of sadness for Google right now?
It’s simple: they’ve become the go-to whipping boy for the mobile industry.
Granted, this is the kind of thing that happens to every major household name at one point or another. With fame and fortune and great success comes scorn and mockery and jeers. It’s expected. After all, we’ll make fun of a movie star, but we’ll still go see his movies. Similarly, you can bash Google all day long, but I know what your browser homepage is. Google has long since won the search engine wars and for good reason: it’s the best.
Which brings us to this week, where, once again, Apple could do no wrong and Google was routinely poked and prodded by the collective internet. I say this as someone typing this on a MacBook Pro who loves his iPhone: Apple isn’t perfect and it feels like they’re taking a few major steps in the wrong direction, mainly by not realizing that Google can do some things better than them. Period.
Apple is on a personal quest to eliminate anything Google-made from their devices. First, they killed Google Maps in favor of their own software. Then they killed the standard-since-2007 YouTube app. How long before they phase out Google searches? How long until Apple thinks it can build a better search engine than the company that’s perfected it? I understand Apple not wanting their chief competitor to own a piece of real estate in their products, but they reeeally need to think of their customers. When people watch videos, they use YouTube. When people need directions, they use Google Maps. They do this for the same reason that they use Google for each and every search: they’re the best. Maybe Apple can build a video player as effective as YouTube. Maybe they can build a superior mapping app. But right out of the gate? Right now? No. They can’t. Google has the experts and it’s been doing this for well over a decade. No one can touch them in these fields. Users see these programs and immediately know to trust them. Apple just feels like it’s being awfully petty here.
I cannot imagine a successful smartphone that doesn’t make use of at least one piece of Google-related tech. They’re too good to ignore and by going out of their way to no associate with them, Apple is making a huge mistake. If this is their plan for the iPhone 5, I’m wary.
And then there’s the other piece of Google news that hit recently: their last-minute delay on the Nexus Q, their streaming media player that was supposed to be the company’s response to the Apple TV. Everyone had a laugh and made fun of Google’s gaff. After all, this was supposed to be their big item this Christmas. This was their first internally built piece of hardware. This was stem stumbling right out of the gate.
But you know what? It’s not in any way disastrous that Google delayed the release of the Nexus Q. It may not look great, but what would you prefer? Would you rather Google put a broken device on the shelves? This is why so many film productions schedule re-shoots during editing: admitting you have a problem and going out of your way to fix it is evidence that you care about your audience and don’t want to shovel crap at them. You want a result that you can be proud of, that can be a calling card. Google should consider taking a page from Apple and not actually announcing their products until they’re just about ready to hit shelves. This way, they can tinker and fix and improve in silence. How many behind-the-scenes false starts did the iPhone and iPad have? We don’t know, but probably plenty.
Call me silly, but I expect the best out of my iPhone, which means that I want some Google apps on it. Call me crazy, but I’d rather Google take a black eye and delay a product rather than willingly sell junk. Call me nuts, but Google is a better company than a lot of you are making it out to be.