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Google IOS Upgrades Apple

Why Apple Replaced iOS Maps 561

Posted by timothy
from the gnomes-in-the-glass-garden dept.
tlhIngan writes "So why did Apple decide to ditch the (working) iOS maps app with one based on their own data (despite having one more year to the contract)? It turns out to be turn-by-turn voice navigation. It wasn't a feature in the original Apple-Google licensing agreement, so Apple went back to Google to renegotiate what has become a top-tier feature on Android. Apple wanted it. In return, Google wanted increased branding in the maps app (Apple refused) or to integrate Latitude (Google's FourSquare competitor), to which Apple refused as well. As a result Apple was forced to seek other sources in order to obtain this feature." Eventually, iOS users who don't want to wait for Apple-Google parity will be able to download a native version of Google's maps (rather than a hacked version), but that could be a ways off.
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Why Apple Replaced iOS Maps

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  • Competition (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 27, 2012 @01:49PM (#41479975)

    While in the short term, I think its a huge loss for Apple. I think it is good for consumers because it may create some competition in this space. There are no real competitors for Google Maps. Apple has a ton of cash and if they can get it done right, it may create a competitor in the space and spur innovation as they fight for market share.

  • by quacking duck (607555) on Thursday September 27, 2012 @02:00PM (#41480137)

    You pretty much hit on why Apple probably decided *not* to continue using GMaps. As part of its long-term strategy Apple is trying to remove from the core iOS and apps, anything that might help Google. This includes search terms to improve Google's systems (information denial), as well as any ad click-throughs on map search results (revenue denial).

  • Re:Competition (Score:5, Interesting)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Thursday September 27, 2012 @02:21PM (#41480461) Journal

    I suspect he refers to terrain and road map data, but not POI. Google has a very good POI database, seemingly the best of all that I've tried, and for typical smartphone scenarios (like quickly finding a decent restaurant nearby) this is more important. On the other hand, if you "use your phone as GPS", by which I suspect he meant navigation, you want quality maps.

  • by DCstewieG (824956) on Thursday September 27, 2012 @02:42PM (#41480779)

    As I understand it, the old Maps app used Google's data but was still made by Apple. Google now needs to make their own app from scratch.

  • by pod (1103) on Thursday September 27, 2012 @03:16PM (#41481215) Homepage

    Pretty much the definition of "fait and balanced" right there.

  • by quacking duck (607555) on Thursday September 27, 2012 @04:43PM (#41482183)

    Apple's been writing and maintaining their maps app for several years, so I'm not so sure about Google writing the original back in 2007. Even if they did, that doesn't help them much. There was no SDK at the time so they would've been using private APIs. GPS and compass functionality and even Street View has been added--all apparently by Apple.

    So, Google had since mid-June (when the world found out for sure Google was going to be kicked out of the core iOS6) to whip up something. According to Google's own CEO, as of a few days ago they haven't even submitted an app yet, so there's nothing for Apple to block or "review" at this point.

  • by Colin Smith (2679) on Thursday September 27, 2012 @05:15PM (#41482597)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_web_map_services [wikipedia.org]

    People forget they bought Navteq in 2007. Wonder why they did that now...

    Yahoo maps: Nokia
    Garmin: Nokia data
    Mapquest: Nokia data
    Navigon: Nokia data
    Onstar: Nokia data
    Amazon: Nokia maps
    Microsoft Bing maps: See the Nokia logo at the bottom?
    Pretty much every in car system on the planet uses Nokia data.

    The list just goes on and on. But why would a ***mobile*** phone company care? Did you notice I highlighted the word "mobile"?

    Now look at their new phones, the 920 now has "citylens" which is first generation augmented reality. You can use it to "see through" buildings to find things nearby. They added Nokia Transport public transport and Nokia Drive turn by turn navigation. Their music app gives you nearby gigs.

    Nokia phones are going to be *highly* context aware, with superb 2D & 3D data and superb POIs. Google's the only other company which is even close with respect to mapping on mobiles. As you've seen

    http://theamazingios6maps.tumblr.com/ [tumblr.com]

    Apple Maps is now *years* (longer) behind in terms of data, they have a vast area to cover. They totally blew it when they told Google to go take a running jump.

    What I find amusing is that Apple have a hundred billion dollars that they have no idea what to do with. Looks like they're now going to have to try and hire thousands of Nokia and Google map experts (and no, we're not just talking about software developers, they are ten a penny in comparison).

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