Apple is in a rather odd position now regarding most of its biggest competitors. While the tech giant has previously had many of the most notable technology companies in the world, such as Microsoft, IBM, and Intel, as rivals, in the last few years, it has been strategically wise and turned those former competitors into allies.
The nature of the industry today is that there are so few companies at the top levels that all of them exist in a marginal state between ally and rival. For Apple, no company is more distinguished in that zone than Google.
However, with the latest updates to its platform revealed at its WWDC event last month, Apple has once again aimed at Google, including features that complete directly with what Google offers, all while skillfully leading around the places the companies continue to collaborate.
The Development of Translation
Perhaps one of the biggest surprises in the new actions taken by Apple this year is the emphasis on translation. It is something that the tech giant has only briefly tapped on in the past, offering the capability for Siri to perform some common searches of words from other languages.
However, in this year’s platform updates, translation is in focus. Not only does it have its own app, but it is also incorporated into Safari, enabling users to instantaneously translate a webpage.
Google Translate has been the main translation standard on the web for many years, and the company has kept expanding it to contain most of the world’s languages, as well as typed and spoken translations, handwritten, and even images.
On the other hand, Apple’s current translation function is sparse. It only supports a few languages for now, rather than the over 100 offered by Google’s service. However, Apple has charged the translation feature as ‘beta’ so far, emphasizing the fact that the tech giant has just started down this path.
On the Map
Back in 2012, Apple made a major change to its mobile platform when it decided to discontinue its collaboration with Google for the iPhone‘s integrated mapping application, and rather released its own replacement.
Even now, about eight years later, the tech giant still hasn’t completely erased the backlash it for the function that, back then, was definitely not up to par with Google’s own offering. However, in time, Apple has focused a lot of energy on enhancing its mapping product, rebuilding the data from the ground up, giving it new features such as indoor mapping and Look Around, and this year’s capability, cycling directions.
Privacy and Tracking
The axis of competition between Apple and Google is not always a straight line. At times, Apple builds impressive products, but other times its approach is completely opposed. This is the case with Apple’s position on privacy and, more exactly, its recent addition of the Privacy Report function in Safari on iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and macOS Big Sur.
While the company has long highlighted its commitment to privacy through innovations such as blocking cross-site tracking, it has put that on the front by showing users all the trackers that it blocks on numerous websites with the latest implementations.
That is a major step because most of the main trackers you’ll find across the Internet are Google’s. This is another shot directly targeted at Google. While it might not be enough to sink the Android creator, it will probably only hasten the slow decline of web-based advertising, more so if other browsers follow suit.
If that will not be the case, though, it will at least keep Google on its toes, and a Google that’s preoccupied concerning about its bottom line may be a bit more vulnerable in other areas in which it is likely to go head-to-head with Apple.