I think that's PR mostly. Google is held in high regard because it is seen as a nicer, friendlier company. Apple doesn't focus on this. I bet that using this as a strategy has been up at the board of directors a couple of times at both companies.
I don't think Google tries to protect the customer in any particular way. Sure there are direct actions against fraudulent e-mail or search results that will direct a user to malware but that protects Google as much as the consumers. Who knows when some idiot sues Google because he got scammed by some Nigerians sening him e-mail to his gmail account.. Or searches for German scheiße porn leads him to all sorts of nasty sites (don't search for that). I believe that Google tries to imagine what consumers want and how to best make that, but the goal is to get more customers(or build up a consumer base as a product) and keep the current consumers happy, not just make the world a place of double rainbows and unicorns. I'm too cynical for that.
Google gained a powerful tool with G+. Now we have identified ourselves to Google. This integrated with gmail and Google search means Google controls vast amount of information about you. Far more than Apple. Apple may be a nuisance or threat to other companies but as far as Evil Overlord plans go, Apple is a gnat compared to Google. Not saying Google is exploiting this (yet), but again - profit rules.