apple don't hurt meOver at VentureBeat the seeds of consumer discontent are sprouting amid rumours of Apple and Google’s alleged agreement not to bring multi-touch features to the Android OS. VentureBeat cite an unnamed source that they claim is a member of Google’s Android team.  The source says that Apple explicitly asked Google not to use multi-touch in Android, and that Google complied.

While there  appears to be no hard evidence to back these rumours up, it does at least seem feasible.

From Google’s perspective, what would be the reward for keeping high-demand features out of Android?  Goodwill from Apple, perhaps, since the two enjoy a fairly tight relationship.  One of Google’s founders is even on Apple’s board of directors.

Perhaps one could argue that Google want to avoid the legal complications that seem to be stirring between Palm and Apple due to the multi-touch technology in the Pre. It is certainly possible.  It could also be that Google are playing it safe, hoping not to infringe on any IP rights it has yet to fully investigate.

However, it just as easily be a far simpler reason – time.  It is possible that multi-touch just may not be ready the way Google want yet, and it could have been left out in order to get products out the door.

It would seem that people are clutching at straws trying  to explain why the multi-touch features, which are clearly possible with the G1, were left dormant in the current incarnation of Android. Should anything of actual fact come to light in this matter, we will be sure to keep you posted, but I would like to remind our readers to keep a sceptical eye open when reading these types of rumours in general.

James Tromans
Contributing editor of, based in the U.K.