Apple Asked Google to Stay Away from Multi-Touch

When Google launched the T-Mobile G1 smartphone, one of the major complaints was that its touch screen didn't use multi-touch, the technology deployed by Apple's iPhone that allows for a screen to accept multiple points of contact at the same time. VentureBeat's MG Siegler explains why, revealing that Apple actually asked Google not to implement it, and Google complied, according to a source from Google's Android team.

The source went on to say that Google was relieved to have made that decision, especially since Apple, which holds several mobile patents, is considering legal action against Palm for using multi-touch technology on its new Pre phone.

For the time being, at least, Google looks to want no part in ruining its relationship with Apple, Siegler says, which makes sense when you consider the many ways in which Google and Apple are aligned. "Not only does Google specially tailor a ton of its products for the iPhone (both with apps like Maps and Google Search, and specially formatted webpages), but its chief executive, Eric Schmidt, is on Apple's board of directors," Siegler says. "And don't underestimate the fact that both share a chief rival: Microsoft." The larger question for Google is: will multi-touch become important enough that Google has to include it in future phones running Android? We shall see. -

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