In his blog, Apple: The New Big Brother , Stephen Woicik makes a good point. Apple is trying to be part of every consumer's interaction with media. And yes, the hipster elite that evangelize all things Apple do not take the company to task about it's rigidity. But Woicik goes on to describe Google as a similar system.
I think that comparison is apples and oranges. Recently, Fast Company labeled Google as the most innovative company  in the world. And with good reason: every new product the company launches has focused on innovative features and empowering users. And the majority of the products have been free. Apple's model is devoted to good design and useability -- and having its customers pay a premium for it. I haven't forgotten that initial price tag on the iPhone.
Google's APIs are available to all -- I like to use Blingo, for instance. The open APIs of Google Maps has spawned dozens of great sites that are not run by Google. Because Google is an online software company that isn't about selling hardware, its products work with other sites or other systems. Apple is mostly in the hardware business, with the software (iTunes) existing to sell hardware (iPod). The company may never adopt the strategy to give away the iPhone with mobile contracts.
I believe Google deserves our praise and that Apple, while great, needs to evolve. On that point, I'm open to discussion. Thoughts?