Google, Apple play nice for Google Mobile on iPad

Those waiting for a groundbreaking app will be disappointed.

Yes, I'm vain. So what? Matt Hickey/CNET

As of about noon Tuesday on the West Coast, Google's mobile app for the iPad is available as a free download in the App store. If you've used the iPhone version, be ready for more of the same. And that's too bad.

Google has basically just taken the iPad's Safari browser and used this app to make it very Google-centric, but that's about the only thing the app brings: no Chrome, no Android-ish interface, nothing. Sure, you get voice search and location-specified searches built in, but it comes across as a half-effort.

Google perhaps missed a chance to plant seeds for its own tablet that we know is on the way. It could have changed the interface of its app to match what it's planning, thereby setting the stage for its own device. It could have also attempted to outdo Apple at the browser game, but it didn't.

Of course, there's no way to know if Apple would have let those changes into the App store. Apple is maintaining its filter on what appears in the store and what doesn't, and given the climate between the two giants it's possible a more full-featured app would have been rejected handily.

And that's too bad for us, the end users.

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