Google Backed Down on Multi-Touch After Apple Request

We've already reported in this forum about the patent awarded to Apple for a "Touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics." Well it seems they've already flexed their muscle with Google during the development of Android.

According to an Android team member, Apple asked its partner Google not to include multi-touch gestures in Android. The company complied so as not to cause unnecessary friction between the two companies and risk harm to their strategic relationship.

Not only does Google CEO Eric Schmidt sit on the Apple board of directors, but the T-Mobile G1 phone hardware is capable of handling multi-touch input. This functionality was simply never implemented in the Android software.

Google provides support for Maps and many other iPhone projects. The company also developed an application for the iPhone OS that openly flaunted Apple's AppStore developer rules. Google Mobile uses undocumented application programming interfaces (API) to ask the user for a voice search based on the proximity of the iPhone to a user's ear.

Stay tuned. The storm continues to brew between Apple and Palm over the Palm Pre and it's multi-touch features. Time will tell if Google gets swept up in the melee.