By releasing new versions of Google Maps and Gmail for iOS this month, Google helped make the iPhone the best mobile phone on the planet. Why is Google, the owner of Android and Motorola, helping its ostensible rival?
The answer boils down to advertising. Google’s smartphone operating system, Android, has always been incidental to Google’s ad business, the source of virtually all the company’s profits, and Google’s Motorola handset division is, for now, a similar sideshow. Google doesn’t particularly care what operating system you use to view its ads or engage with its sites; it just wants to pull you in. Google pumps money into Android mainly to ensure that companies like Apple and Microsoft can’t push its properties off of smartphones.