Google chairman and former CEO, Eric Schmidt, has hinted that Google Now for iOS, which was recently leaked, is under review at Apple. For apps to appear in the App Store, Apple must first check and approve them - a double edged sword for companies such as Google, as Apple can choose to ban their apps from the iOS ecosystem. Google has a few apps on the App Store, including Search. For those who are uninformed, Google Now is a slick piece of software from Google that is baked into Android and allows the user to control the phone via their voice, as well as offering pieces of relevant information (e.g. plane times) when it recognises that the user may need them.
Alan: "When can I get Google Now on my iPhone?" Schmidt: "You'll have to ask Apple" #BigTentIndia— Mahendra Palsule (@ScepticGeek) March 21, 2013
"Alan" refers to Alan Rusbridger, editor of The Guardian newspaper in the UK. The comments were made in an interview between Schmidt and Rusbridger, and can be found around the 18 minute mark. A transcript of the video is provided by MacRumors:
Q: When can I get Google Now on my iPhone?
A: On your iPhone? You'll need to discuss that with Apple. Apple has a policy of approving or disapproving apps that are submitted into its store, and some of the apps we make they approve and some of them they don't. They recently did approve Google Maps, thank goodness. [laughter] And without being too obnoxious, you have excellent vendors of Android choices for you in London, from many different suppliers.Q: So, has Apple got a problem with Google Now?
A: That was an ambiguous statement. Does Apple have a problem with Google, or Google Now? [laughter]Q: Sorry...Google Now. Capital letter.
A: Let me not talk about the specifics. I don't think they're particularly worried about Google Now.
Apple and Google have a difficult relationship, with Android gaining significant marketshare in the smartphone arena. Apple already has Siri, which Apple may consider a direct rival to Google Now. For this reason, Apple may not allow Now onto iOS. However, Apple did recently allow Google Maps back onto iOS showing they will offer third party alternatives to their own software.
The Loop is reporting that Google has not submitted the Google Now app to the App Store, raising the question of why Eric Schmidt lied.
Update: Google PR has provided Neowin with confirmation that they didn't submit the Google Now app to Apple: "We have not submitted Google Now to Apple's App Store."