The comparison between Google and Apple is always quite common. And yet, the company goals have always been considerably different. The things they come out with seem to compete, but yet, I don’t think that’s what is really going on here.

Apple is focused on improving life right now.Google is focused on improving life in the future.

— Chris Oliver (@excid3) June 16, 2012

I tried explaining to my mom what Google Glasses and their self driving cars were. She had no idea how to comprehend these technologies from just a verbal description. On the other hand, explaining the insane resolution on the new Macbook Pro, she understood immediately.

My realization was that Apple is focused on making incremental updates to existing technologies, slowly bringing them towards perfection. Everything they have done has already existed, but none of it was done well enough to be adopted by a large market without their refinement.

Google’s approach on the other hand has always been to solve the extremely large problems. Search, Maps, Docs online, self-driving cars, and augmented reality glasses. Android takes this mentality and applies it to the mobile OS. While it’s great and has tons of features, Android’s futuristic outlook sacrifices short term usability. Apple’s short term outlook is typically great, providing huge improvements to devices in short 6 or 12 month iterations, but can hurt themselves by not looking too far ahead and losing sight of loftier goals.

Both approaches work in their own way. There are plenty of people who enjoy one approach or the other, but it will be interesting to see how Apple handles the situation now that Jobs has passed. iOS 6 seems to have some measly updates compared to the past. Hopefully they aren’t losing steam already.

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