Neither Apple nor Google are perfect companies. While Apple isn’t the perfectly curated company their image might imply, Google isn’t the perfectly evil company critics seem to see. But both companies are not far from what we see in each.
Apple is the company that prefers a curated user experience, hence and array of products which are both powerful but usable, which smack of premium quality at an affordable price.
Google is the company which provides free products with a more modest user experience, powerful, yes, usable to a degree, but which smack of an ulterior motive. While Apple is content to make a profit by taking your money in exchange for a good experience with a product, Google is content to give you a user experience for free, while culling personal information from you at every moment.
To Apple, you’re the customer. To Google, you’re the product.
This is very clear when you look at how each company addresses application updates. For Apple, both OS X and iOS now update apps in the background (if so desired) which saves customers some effort and ensures up to date apps. Apple’s curation extends to app updates, hence no malware, and improved privacy and security.
Google, on the other hand, updates some apps in the background, but since many apps are web-based or updated with a connection to the internet, users don’t know what’s going on. One example that comes to mind is Google’s popular Chrome browser. It’s free. It updates itself to the latest version automatically.
That behind-the-scenes update process includes Chrome extensions, for which there is little curating going on. Malware and adware vendors have figured out that they can buy popular Chrome extensions and automatically ship out nefarious adware whenever they choose and the user is none the wiser.
Is it any wonder that Google’s Android operating system accounts for 99-percent of the world’s mobile malware? Google is less interested in a good user experience as it is in good, usable, easily attainable information about the user.
That brings me to privacy and security. We need more of both, and less of Google’s brand of user data culling. Your personal information becomes the basis of what Google uses to grow revenue and profits, so the company provides free products for your use, in exchange for information about you.
I don’t want to join the crowd of those who say Apple must do this, or Apple must do that (netbooks come to mind), but I would like to see Apple fall squarely on the side of personal privacy and security, a savior if you will, in direct contrast to Google’s harboring of personal information.
Even self-serving Microsoft points out and highlights Google’s growing public image problem in their series of Scroogled commercials regarding Google’s Chromebooks. Apple should do the same but from the standpoint of privacy and security.