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Apple: Don’t Use Multitouch on Android; Google: Okie Dokie

Apple Inc. asked Google not to implement multitouch capabilities in the Android platform for mobile phones, and Google, apparently, agreed to the request. This, according to an Android engineer who spoke with VentureBeat.

The sourced added that his company was relieved it hadn't crossed Apple on this issue after watching relations sour between Apple and Palm following the latter's announcement of the Pré, which does have multitouch capabilities.

One of the premier features of the iPhone is its support for multitouch gestures, and Apple was recently awarded a patent governing this concept. During January's quarterly conference call with analysts, Apple COO Tim Cook told analysts that his company would vigorously defend its intellectual property (IP) when it comes to the iPhone, remarks that were interpreted as being aimed at Palm and its Pré.

Apple and Google have worked very closely together for years, and that relationship extends to Google CEO Eric Schmidt serving on Apple's board. Mr. Schmidt has said publicly that he will excuse himself form board meetings where issues that could be a conflict of interest with his company's Android plans are discussed.

In the meanwhile, Google supports the iPhone with dedicated apps, voice searching, and specially formatted pages for the iPhone's Safari browser. Indeed, Google was one of the few third party developers to have been let in on iPhone development before the phone was announced.

From statements made by the company, it's clear that Apple feels very strongly about the issue of multitouch gestures, both on the iPhone and on laptop trackpads. Apple's patent on the concept, though, has not been tested in court, and a lot of Internet bandwidth has been spent recently on discussions about whether the patent should have been issued in the first place.

It would seem, however, that Google is at least one company that will not be challenging Apple on the issue.

1 comments from the community.

You can post your own below.

Tiger said:

First shot at future licensing deal by chance?
This matter seems to have been handled nicely and without incident. Google and Apple are a strong partnership and they have obviously figured out a way to co-exist. Some developers have complained loudly in years past about working with Apple. Apparently, that has changed considering the 15,000 iPhone apps that have been developed!


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