Google prides itself on its unique culture of innovation and product design.
But when it comes to Google products for the iPhone, it’s Apple that calls the shots.
At least that’s how it appeared this week following a surprisingly candid blog post from a Google product manager introducing Latitude for the iPhone – Google’s product that allows people to see the locations of their friends on a map.
Instead of releasing Latitude as an iPhone app, or incorporating the Latitude functionality into the iPhone’s existing Maps application, Google introduced Latitude as a browser-based service that can only be used within the iPhone’s Safari Web browser.
That’s a strange move, since it foregoes the convenience and ease-of-use that have made iPhone’s native apps so popular.
In fact, Google said that it did create a stand-alone Latitude app but pulled the plug on it at Apple’s behest.