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Google starts fighting back from inside iOS

Posted: , posted by Michael H.

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Google starts fighting back from inside iOS
We knew this day was coming from the moment we saw Google post the how to about forcing iOS into opening links in Chrome rather than the system default, and Safari. The first Google app has taken advantage of this method, Google+ now opens links through Chrome, if you have the browser installed on your iOS device. This came as part of the larger Google+ update that we saw earlier, but didn't notice at first. The reasonable first question to ask is how long before all Google apps take advantage of this method? But, we knew this was coming, and sooner or later every Google app will open links in Chrome. The more interesting question is whether or not Google will push other developers to do the same. 

The trouble is that Google has been a company that has had rocky relationships with other software developers in the past. The Facebook and Twitter apps are by far the biggest drivers of traffic besides Google search in the mobile world, but neither is likely to join Google. Google and Facebook have battled over the relative openness and sharing of information that should happen between companies in order to benefit the user, and other social networking issues. Google and Twitter had something of a falling out over the deal to include tweets in search results. Both Facebook and Twitter seem more likely to side with Apple in this effort, since Apple has proven to be a company more likely to appease others in favor of a deal, so if Google wants to make a dent, it would have to look to other apps.

Flipboard could be a great partner, especially seeing as how it seems like the company no longer holds ill will towards Google after the search giant threatened to make a competitor if Flipboard didn't sell. Of course, Google Currents essentially being a flop probably helped Flipboard to leave that in the past. A deal with Pinterest could also help quite a bit, but since Pinterest is still in a growing phase, it probably doesn't want to alienate any partners right now, especially one as powerful as Apple. 

That doesn't leave too many big name options for Google to recruit. And, without help Google may not get too far in any effort to subvert Apple's iOS system defaults. Google users on iOS will get a more cohesive Google experience by having Google apps tied together. And, with Maps and YouTube breaking off of the stock iOS system, this would mean Google could offer Chrome integration for Maps, YouTube, Google+, Currents, Voice, and Google Search. That's a pretty solid lineup of apps, even without anyone else joining the effort. 

Of course, users that deep into Google are probably more likely be on Android anyway, especially given the sheer quality difference between Chrome on iOS and that on Android, not to mention the feature difference between iOS and Android in Maps and YouTube, right now. Still, there may be a fair number of users who prefer Apple devices, but still use Google services. It's unclear how much those users would care about this type of integration though.

Ultimately, Google may just end up tying together its own apps, but at the least it would be interesting to see Google start an uprising from within the iOS ecosystem. It doesn't matter which side you prefer, it would, make for some good news days around here, and we are very curious to see just how Apple would deal with such action. We speculated before that Apple may remove the ability for apps to refer links, or it could open up the default settings in iOS which could lead to even more interesting developments. Regardless, we'll be watching, because while Google hasn't said anything explicit about being upset with Apple's war on Google products, and Android, it wouldn't be beyond Google's M.O. to try to disrupt an established system. 

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posted on 15 Aug 2012, 19:39 33

1. plgladio (Posts: 314; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)

Yeah Google, good one.

posted on 15 Aug 2012, 22:33 6

26. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)

its only a good one if their chrome browser develops a little more… i prefer safari over anything else currently because it gets the job done without any hassle… chrome os is more visually appealing, but it is not as reliable and useful as safari-- and the ios app is different than the android one unfortunately…

I hope google keeps their open-mindeness though and allows this to be an option… because switching between browsers constantly is highly annoying

hopefully they update and smooth out chrome a bit more before pushing this agenda

posted on 16 Aug 2012, 00:43 5

30. 305Bucko (Posts: 506; Member since: 07 Aug 2011)

your kidding right? We ARE talking about the safari on iOS right? Im confused because Chrome OS (that you made mention of) is an actual operating system hence the name.

The safari browser lacks SO many things that im not even gonna go there. Im just gonna hope I misunderstood your comment because you clearly have not used the Chrome browser on iOS long enough to snap out of it.

P.S. I own both Android and iPhone and currently have my iPhone Jailbroken to use Chrome as the default browser. If I had to use a stock iPhone... I wouldnt.

posted on 16 Aug 2012, 02:03 2

41. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)

my bad-- i was typing quickly and said os… i said browser to begin with so i am sure you could figure it out :)

No i have used the chrome browser… it is good, but safari has the reading list feature that i like and i prefer a combination of full screen (via jailbreak) and the quick access of the blue bars on safari-- chrome browser has a lot of potential and is very good, but it needs to be developed more to equal its android counterpart

ya i used chrome as stock for a while, but i prefer regular safari with fullscreen mode and a download manager…

i dont need to "snap out" of anything… i viewed the merits of both apps and safari works better for me-- it syncs bookmarks and reading lists with my mac-- i dont use google chrome every day on my computer as safari (although not as good in performance) works with macs much better (obviously).. but desktop browsers are a whole different story

posted on 18 Aug 2012, 17:37 1

59. HäckeMáte (Posts: 168; Member since: 28 Feb 2012)

the fact that I can click on the url and type anything and it will search is good enough for me.

Plus infinite tabs
Plus I can pick up where I left of on my PC
Plus... I cant believe any of this has to be xplained...

its better hands down.

posted on 18 Aug 2012, 20:57

60. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)

i prefer having the dual search bars personally… but that is preference and i will be sad if safari changes that

ive never used more than 5 tabs so i really dont know how many safari can have

i use safari on my desktop so I can pick up where i left off,

plus, i cant believe u dont realize not everybody uses google everything

posted on 19 Aug 2012, 20:38 1

63. 305Bucko (Posts: 506; Member since: 07 Aug 2011)

I cant get my mom to stop using AOL so believe me when I say that I KNOW not everyone uses google. But you use safari?... on a PC...? really...? I mean I would use Mozilla Firefox, OR Opera before using safari.

btw safari on iOS doesnt have "dual search bars" they have 1 address bar and 1 search bar. which is unnecesary when you can do both in one, but you are probably one of those ppl that still type WWW as a prefix before the domain.

PS. FYI safari supports up to 8 tabs. I KNOW OVERKILL RIGHT? *sarcasm*

posted on 19 Aug 2012, 21:21

65. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)

i dont type www… haha i like seeing a larger list though and having it separated… otherwise all the sites get in the way while i am searching-- just my opinion

and i use a mac.. not a pc.. safari links with everything much better and works well with icloud-- i use chrome sometimes but safari for almost everything (which most mac users do)

u are just full of assumptions huh..

posted on 19 Aug 2012, 20:45 1

64. HäckeMáte (Posts: 168; Member since: 28 Feb 2012)

Bsides everything that 305 covered, one thing that drives me nuts its that I have to tap the address bar twice (the 2nd tap has to be acurate since you have to hit the "X" riiiiight on the spot) THEN I can type another site. With Chrome its one time tap ANYWHERE on that large searchbar, and the entire URL becomes hilighted for you to immediately start typing over it.

posted on 16 Aug 2012, 00:59 4

35. anywherehome (Posts: 971; Member since: 13 Dec 2011)

yes! The iPhone will soon become another Google phone....as it almost already is :-D
without Google is the iPhone just a little toy for toddlers....with Google services is now for teenagers :)

posted on 16 Aug 2012, 01:12 2

37. Mxyzptlk (unregistered)

I don't see how this is good. It not only shows how much of a monopoly Google is when it comes to its services but it also shows how even Facebook and Twitter do not want to associate with Google because of how they favor their own social media Google+ even though Twitter and Facebook are way more popular and better.

Google is also hurting themselves because they're going to end up causing themselves to get banned off the App Store for such behavior.

posted on 16 Aug 2012, 01:30 5

38. anywherehome (Posts: 971; Member since: 13 Dec 2011)

banned? you want to make an iPhone a non useful phone? :)
so do not use the Google services, it is easy :)

yes, Google is hurting himself because he innovates? so then Apple is the best company in the world :-D

posted on 16 Aug 2012, 03:09 2

43. Mxyzptlk (unregistered)

I don't think the image of the trojan horse is sending a positive response you know.

There's many other services available besides Google.

posted on 16 Aug 2012, 04:05 3

45. anywherehome (Posts: 971; Member since: 13 Dec 2011)

trojan? :-D
do you want to live in a world where you can not decide which browser you want to open after a click in your email?

ok, welcome to iPhone, iPad world.....there it is so ;)

posted on 19 Aug 2012, 20:09

61. mattkl (Posts: 236; Member since: 01 Feb 2010)

This makes me laugh because you talk about Google wanting to make a monopoly, and then you talk about taking choice away from Apple users and making them use Apple products only. Funny stuff.

I think Google should get banned from the App Store so iPhone iPad iEverything products get gimped even more. What Google is doing is legal and good since it gives more freedom of choice.

If Apple was better than Google then Android users would want iThis iThat on their Androids, but you won't see much of that. The facts don't lie. Opinions aren't facts.

posted on 15 Aug 2012, 19:43 29

2. Muhannad (Posts: 455; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)

Hahaha good job Google!

posted on 15 Aug 2012, 19:43 27

3. Santi_Santi (unregistered)

MWWWAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Coming from the inside... This is the G i know...

posted on 15 Aug 2012, 19:44 23

4. D.Aceveda (Posts: 405; Member since: 30 Jun 2012)

Good job Google.

posted on 15 Aug 2012, 19:48 21

5. archangel9 (Posts: 233; Member since: 07 Feb 2010)


posted on 15 Aug 2012, 19:48 20

6. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4275; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)

Sneaky Google, well played

posted on 15 Aug 2012, 20:16 9

10. ahomad (Posts: 175; Member since: 15 May 2012)

fair fight, unlike ... oh you all know

posted on 15 Aug 2012, 20:31 4

13. Aeires (unregistered)

How much does Apple make off of Safari and how soon before they close that door that Google revealed? This is indeed really cool but I can't see Apple letting it go without at least trying to fix it. And on a humorous level, what lawsuit drama will Apple stir up over this, essentially it's a problem they created by leaving a huge door open. Would love for Judge Posner to get that case.

posted on 15 Aug 2012, 21:01 11

19. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2721; Member since: 26 May 2011)

It isn't like Google is exploiting the system. This is functionality that Apple wrote into the code

posted on 15 Aug 2012, 21:13 4

21. Aeires (unregistered)

Of course they wrote it, it's part of iOS. I doubt they intended this to happen though.

posted on 16 Aug 2012, 10:32 2

53. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2721; Member since: 26 May 2011)

By writing in code that allows apps to refer directly to another app, exactly what other intention could there be? If Apple wanted to use this code only for themselves, it wouldn't be public, but it is.

posted on 15 Aug 2012, 20:44 3

14. Nookie4u (Posts: 133; Member since: 13 Aug 2012)


posted on 15 Aug 2012, 20:53 3

15. Quezdagreat (Posts: 428; Member since: 05 Apr 2012)

Who cares theres nothing wrong with my safari no need to download

posted on 16 Aug 2012, 00:46 3

32. 305Bucko (Posts: 506; Member since: 07 Aug 2011)

narrow minded much?

posted on 16 Aug 2012, 01:50 1

40. Quezdagreat (Posts: 428; Member since: 05 Apr 2012)

No are you? All of you guys think google is the best thing happen to the world.

I bet everything in your life is google based fanboy

posted on 16 Aug 2012, 08:21 2

48. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)

"All of you guys think google is the best thing happen to the world."

We can talk about girls, cars, fishing, hunting, sports, nature and so on... but it is phonearena.com and here we prefer to talk about mobile and other technologies. Don't need to go offtopic...

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