Google plays catch-up to Apple. Again.

Fortune

It’s that time of year again.

Google’s I/O conference begins today and Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference follows in a week and a half. Get ready for a barrage of competing leaks, releases and screaming headlines as each company tries to upstage the other, egged on by a click-hungry tech press.

Today it’s Apple Pay. Tomorrow it will be something else.

We’ve come a long way since Steve Jobs called Android « a stolen product » and promised to destroy it. The rhetoric has cooled, but the issue is the same. Google copied Apple to make Android. It copied the App Store to make Google Play. It’s copying Apple Pay to make Android Pay.

There’s much to admire in Google. I’m awed by their willingness to tackle truly daunting engineering problems: Machine learning, Autonomous cars. Mapping the Internet. Mapping, for that matter, the world’s roads and highways.

But Android…

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