Have you noticed how Apple and Google have been teaming recently? All the pieces of the puzzle are falling in place for both of them to conquer your digital life. Steve Jobs has pulled a “Bill Gates” on Microsoft with it’s successful partnership with Google. In case you did not know, Microsoft success was in major part due to it’s ability to partner with other company to gain more and more market share.
But Microsoft appear to have missed on the great opportunity of partnering with Google. They where blinded in engaging an enemy they just did not knew how to fight. Meanwhile Steve Jobs appear to have learned from Microsoft past success and decided that fighting Google was not the answer to the problem.
Instead, Apple decided to partner with Google. After all, Apple has always had the touch to produce great looking hardware that was easy to use and appealed to the mass. Google, on the other hand, had the data Apple needed to fuel it’s innovative applications. The wedding was celebrated on August 29. 2006 when Google CEO Dr. Eric Schmidt joined Apple’s Board of Directors.
Since then Apple and Google went on secretly developing applications that would run on both the iPhone and Apple TV.
The iPhone got an integrated Google search, Google Maps, Google mail and the recently announced YouTube video application.
The Apple TV got it’s 1st interactive application as the YouTube video option in the update release on June 20, 2007.
Playback of YouTube video on both the iPhone and Apple TV became possible when Google decided to change it’s choice of Flash Video codec for YouTube to the more standard h.264 codec supported by the Apple hardware. This is clearly just the beginning of a great relationship. It is likely that more Apple/Google applications will emerge in the months to come… and not just for the iPhone and Apple TV.
One could easily speculate that the next OS upgrade of Apple will include more and more Google integration. This could come in the form of YouTube video integration in the new OS X Leopard Front Row application. In fact Leopard Front Row has become similar in features to the Apple TV.
If you think of it, Apple and Google are most likely getting ready to conquer you Living Room, Office, Bedroom, Loft, etc. All that is needed now is for Google to announce content partnership with major networks. Once Google has the content Apple will provide the interface that everyone will love to use. Throw in the mix a few in-line ads and you get the perfect platform for video on demand distribution.
Joost, Babelgum and others better watch out. The day Google announce major content partners for YouTube the race for the living room will be over. At the end it will come down to who can better provide the best content to the users in a pleasing to use package. Both better start working on improved hardware platform with proper interface that can be easily used with a remote control from a couch. Neither have this at this point… but Apple and Google already have their foot in the door… and the opening is getting wider and wider day after day.
The latest move of Apple in the Windows browser space is most likely part of the plan. Safari for Windows gives Apple the control they need on the environment to better display and play YouTube content… and content is king, especially in the digital space.
What else might you expect from the Apple/Google partnership? A secret feature for the iPhone that will allow direct video capture in h.264 and upload to YouTube. All your YouTube followers can then watch your video almost instantly… And when you come back home you can watch it on you PC, Mac, Video iPod or TV (via the Apple TV). This would certainly be a big ticket item for all the youth out there.