Technology

Wozniak: I wish Apple & Google were partners

Back in the 1970s, Steve Jobs met Steve Wozniak, and the rest, if you like, is history.

The two became firm friends and although Steve Jobs often gets the credit for Apple's success, it was Woz, as he's known, who was the brains behind the silicon.

He spoke to the BBC's technology programme Click.

Apple-Google partnership

Computers are on the verge of understanding human gestures and speech, but it has not yet been perfected. Wozniak says he often finds Android human speech recognition software is more accurate than Apple's Siri.

"Sometimes I say 'Go to Joe's Diner' and [Siri] doesn't know where Joe's Diner is. And very often usually I find out that Android does."

Wozniak says this is due to Android's access to Google's search engine.

"That is actually the future of intelligence probably for computers getting smarter and getting artificial intelligence. I wish to God that Apple and Google were partners in the future."

But how likely would a partnership between the two companies be?

"I don't know. If I were there, it would be pretty likely. I'm probably wrong, there's probably an awful lot I don't know about the business concerns and one thing you've got to remember is a company has always got to make money," says Wozniak.

Encouraging openness and sharing information and methods would benefit everyone to develop the best technology, Wozniak says.

"I believe you should have a world where you've got to license something at a fair price. There are good things I see on Samsung phones that I wish were in my iPhone. I wish Apple would use them and could use them, and I don't know if Samsung would stop us," he says.

"I wish everybody just did a lot of cross-licensing and sharing the good technology, all our products would be better, we'd go further. I do wish they were more compatible."

Better gadgets

Wozniak believes more sharing between companies would lead to developments in bigger and better technology in wearable tech, like smartwatches and augmented reality glasses.

"I want a full smartphone-like capability on my wrist. The trouble is the more I think about it, I don't want the small size.

"We're just at the verge of having products that have foldability and flexibility," he says.

"For about three or four years I've been talking about organic LED displays that could be theoretically printed on plastic, wrapped and folded," he says.

"But think outside of the box. It could be on the inside of your arm and then when you flip your arm up it could actually flip open into your own hand."

Despite his legacy, Wozniak is not seen as an Apple insider these days. But he is still beloved by many of the Mac faithful.

"His comments aren't influential in any shape or form. He was one of the founders of Apple and walked away, so the fan boys love him. He is free to say anything he likes," says Stuart Miles, founder of technology news website Pocket-lint.

"I don't think he has any insight or influence into the inner workings of how Apple works. But nonetheless he is a fascinating storyteller," he says.

Keep up to date with all the latest gadgets and tech news via BBC Click's website and if you are in the UK you can see the whole programme on BBC iPlayer.

More on this story