Google and Apple are fierce rivals in the mobile business, but they’re also partners when it comes to online search on the iPhone and Mac. But Google is actively pursuing various projects that will make it more like Apple when it comes to the way it runs certain divisions and releases certain projects.

The news comes directly from Sudar Pichai, who revealed as much in an interview without mentioning the name of its biggest rival in tech once.

Speaking to Nikkei, Pichai addressed various Google matters, including user privacy, anti-trust allegations, focus on hardware, immigration, and China.

Talking about user privacy, Pichai admitted that Google has to do more to protect the user data.

“The data belongs to the user. We are stewards of it,” Pichai said. “We always live in a construct that users come and use us because they trust us.” He suggested that Google will further improve privacy protection measures by utilizing cutting-edge artificial intelligence technology, saying that “we never feel we are done.”

Google was often criticized for the way it collects and handles user data, drawing intense scrutiny from authorities for certain practices in the past.

Comparatively, Apple has made user privacy a feature of its products. From the looks of it, Google wants to also find ways of better guarding user data. However, unlike Apple, Google still needs that user data to make ad-based money from it.

Google also wants to “copy” Apple when it comes to one critical aspect of the mobile business. Pichai said that “you need to do hardware and software together,” to “push computing forward.” What do you know, that’s what Apple has been doing for years both on iPhone and the Mac.

Unlike the unsuccessful Motorola venture, the HTC mobile team that Google just acquired will have a different fate. “On the surface [the deal] may look similar, but it’s very different in the details,” without revealing more details about Google’s $1.1 billion purchase.

The full interview is available at this link.

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