Google’s garden in iOS
I previously wrote that Google was slowly cracking “open” iOS. In other words, with Google providing popular replacements to core iOS apps, such as Chrome and Gmail, Apple would eventually allow third-party default apps. Not because they had to, but because it would create the best user experience.
Yesterday, Google sped up the process on their own. With an update to the Google+ iOS app, Google has opened up the possibility for its own garden of apps within iOS. As reported by Matthew Panzarino at The Next Web:
It seems like a given, at this point, that all of Google’s apps on iOS will eventually allow the use [of] Chrome to display links. If you have Chrome and all of Google’s apps installed, you’ll be living in a pocket universe on iOS, populated by all Google properties. It’s a workaround for not being allowed to be the default browser. Any of the other apps in iOS that don’t pull a similar trick will still go to Safari, but Google’s properties will, by default, go to Chrome.
It is difficult to imagine someone replacing their entire home screen with Google’s apps and essentially using the iPhone as an Android device. However, it is easy to imagine many iOS users using Google’s Chrome and Gmail apps, which would place a significant amount of their iOS usage in Google’s garden. With no indication that third-party default apps will be available in iOS 6, this seems to be the only option Google has to create the best experience for their iOS users.