Steve Jobs was so furious when he saw Android’s “pinch to zoom” features during a trip to Google headquarters, he hid Apple’s iPad development from Google CEO Eric Schmidt — even though Schmidt was on the board of directors at the time.
That’s according to Steven Levy’s “In the Plex,” a new book based on two years of research at the company.
Jobs was angry because he felt that Android was ripping off the key features of the iPhone, and wondered why Google was getting into the phone business when Apple didn’t get into the search business.
Eventually, the increasing competition in mobile forced Schmidt to step down from Apple’s board in August 2009. About six months later, Apple unveiled the first iPad.
Former Engadget editor Nilay Patel wonders if the story is a little more complicated. He notes that the first Android phone, the G1, actually shipped in September 2008 without “pinch to zoom.” Google didn’t add it until a software update to the Nexus One in February 2010. In the meantime, Android resellers like Motorola added the feature on their own.
Patel wonders if Apple actually threatened Google with a patent lawsuit, which forced Google to strip out the feature. He also wonders what changed so that Google felt it could finally add the feature without facing a lawsuit.