In his first appearance at the World Wide Developer’s Conference as spiritual leader of the Apple faithful, CEO Tim Cook made it clear that he intends to not just further Steve Job’s vision but expand upon it. It’s never been more clear that Apple is intent on world domination.
Conspiracy theory? No. Try inescapable conclusion.
What else are we to make of Apple removing Google Maps from the iPhone? Google Maps was a core feature on the very first iPhone, but it will disappear in an iOS software update announced Monday at Apple’s developer conference.
Apple’s tension with Google is legendary. They began as friendly neighbors in largely complementary businesses – former Google CEO Eric Schmidt was even on Apple’s board. But after the introduction of the Android, Steve Jobs’s anger at Google’s entry into the mobile phone business was palpable.
Now Apple is kicking Google out, creating its own “Earth”-like maps and Android-like turn-by-turn navigation. If executed properly, Siri voice command in the iOS 6 update will work like OnStar. You’ll have the ability to be interactive and spontaneous while navigating, asking where the nearest Starbucks is. This is leaps and bounds beyond verbal turn-by-turn instructions and so disruptive to stand-alone in-dash GPS units that some are predicting that it’s game over, smartphones win again – and Apple is setting the pace.
This is how it begins. Making an ally into a competitor; incorporating great ideas from small players and leaving the small guys out of luck (lock-screen message centers, home-screen backgrounds, personal hotspots – these are all borrowed from the underground developer community). These are the signs of an emerging bully regime. Leveraging the advantage of an unlevel playing field is pretty much the big criticism of the Microsoft of yesteryear.