At this year’s World Wide Developer’s Conference, Apple added a handful of new features to its iPhone software — some of which have been available on Android for quite some time.
Google’s Android chief Sundar Pichai wasn’t shy about making this clear in a recent interview with Bloomberg Businessweek.
Pichai, who is in charge of managing Google’s entire Android division, recently responded to Apple’s keynote at WWDC in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek.
During WWDC, Apple CEO Tim Cook took a jab at Android, saying that most users own phones that are running on old versions of Google’s software. Pichai had the following to say to Bloomberg in response:
Apple announced lots of great things in their keynote. They also announced things we have done in Android four or five years ago, [such as] third party keyboards, richer notifications, and widgets. These all happened in Android such a long time ago. If you step back and take a holistic look, I think any reasonable person would say Android is innovating at a pretty fast pace and getting it to users.
Pichai also noted that there’s a considerable difference in what Android and Apple are setting out to do. Apple makes software exclusively for its own devices, which include a few iPhone and iPad models.
Google, on the other hand, is responsible for developing the software that lands on smartphones and tablets from tons of different manufacturers, including Samsung, LG, HTC and Motorola.
This is part of the reason Android accounts for such a giant chunk of the mobile space. The most recent statistics from research firm IDC, which were reported by BGR, indicate that Android could take over 80.2% of the worldwide smartphone market share by the end of 2014. Apple, comparatively, is expected to account for 14.8%.
There is truth to Pichai’s words — many of the features we’ve seen in Android for months are now beginning to appear in iOS 8. For example, Apple is now letting you access Siri by simply saying “Hey Siri” rather than long-pressing the home button. That sounds a lot like the Moto X’s touchless voice controls, which allow you to access Google Now by simply saying “OK Google.”
We expect to learn more about what Pichai and the rest of the Google team have in store for Android at Google I/O, which kicks off on Wednesday.