Apple and Google teamed up to create a standard API that developers can use to create apps for contact tracing. The goal was to bridge the gap between the technicalities and development methodologies for both the iOS and Android platforms. By doing so, developers will be able to easily create apps for both the platforms without major reworks.
Android and iOS which are bitter rivals – creations of Google and Apple respectively. Google released Android one year after the release of iOS and the then Apple CEO Steve Jobs was furious at Google. Eric Schimdt, then Google CEO had also appeared at one of Apple’s keynote during the iPhone launch to talk about Google’s apps.
Apple cut its ties with Google by releasing its own Maps in 2012, however the reception was not positive. Since then, Apple Maps has drastically improved and is a strong competitor to Google.
But the rivalry did not stop Google and Apple from teaming up during a global crisis. Google CEO in an interview said that he was open to the idea of both the companies collaborating again in the future for other projects.
“Big companies that work together to serve society are really good for the world. I am open to working with Apple on finding other opportunities, and I had the same feeling as Tim about this,” said Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
He added, “Both teams, independently, had started working on technology to support health agencies in their contact tracking work. Both sides quickly realized that for this to work well, it has to be available everywhere. So the Android and iOS engineering teams began to reach out organically. At some point, Tim and I decided to exchange notes and speak directly”.
The collaboration between Google and Apple must have been good. Pichai seems happy.