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Google Doubts Apple Will Approve Its New Maps Application 347

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the anti-trust-suit-anyone? dept.
redletterdave writes "Even though Apple's App Store has also been friendly enough to offer alternative mapping applications to ameliorate customers upset with Apple's new default Maps app, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company may not be so friendly as to approve a Maps app submission from Google, which used to be responsible for the Maps experience in iOS until the iPhone 5. On Monday, sources at Google familiar with its mapping plans said the chances of Apple approving a dedicated Google Maps app on iOS 6 are 'not optimistic.' Specifically, they pointed to the lack of any mapping app in the 'Find maps for your iPhone' section of the App Store — accessible only via iPhones or iPads — that use the Google Maps APIs to call wirelessly for location, routing or point-of-interest (POI) data."
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Google Doubts Apple Will Approve Its New Maps Application

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  • complain (Score:5, Insightful)

    by irving47 (73147) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @01:11AM (#41890459) Homepage

    loudly and often.

    • Re:complain (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dracocat (554744) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @01:40AM (#41890583)

      Yes. Complain once the app is rejected.

      Then we can have a good dialog about how Apple did not do the right thing. About how it is unfair, and anti-competetive. I can't wait to have that discussion after it gets rejected.

      Only problem is, it hasn't been rejected. How can we have this discussion when so far the only story is that someone at Google doesn't THINK it will be accepted?

      • Re:complain (Score:4, Interesting)

        by irving47 (73147) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @02:34AM (#41890809) Homepage

        I honestly don't know HOW to complain to these companies. Their surveys and scripted responses make it impossible to talk to someone that can answer a question or respond intelligently. Exactly how they want it, I'm sure.
        I tried to get people up in arms about the Lightning connectors for the new iphones and the authentication needed merely to charge... Several months ago. But slashdot, nor reddit would bother to help get the word out.

      • Re:complain (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Serious Callers Only (1022605) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @03:55AM (#41891131)

        This is Google doing a few things at once:

        Leaking this story makes sure the press will notice if Apple does delay or reject the app
        Leaking this story helps to explain to users that Google is not the only one deciding to keep Google Maps off iOS.
        Leaking this story helps users pressure Apple to provide the Google Maps app
        Leaking this story puts pressure on Apple and encourages customers to look at Android

        It's perfectly reasonable for them to talk up in advance the fact they are developing this app and will submit soon, given the opaque review process, and Apple's blatant abuse of their control over the ecosystem in the past (banning previous google apps like latitude and google voice for example), which has led to other apps from their competitors languishing in 'review' limbo for months, or having important features yanked (like buying books in the kindle app) because Apple wants a cut of every transaction.

        • Re:complain (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Solandri (704621) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @06:39AM (#41891733)
          I agree with the reasons you list, and think this whole fiasco is Apple's fault. But there's another possible reason here, one that I think is much more likely:

          Google wants Apple to stew in the mess it created by dropping Google Maps. They want to delay the (re)introduction of Google Maps for iOS for as long as they can without letting Apple's Maps app gain traction. But they don't want people blaming them for the delay. They want people blaming Apple. So they make a lot of noise about how it'll take them a long time to prepare the app, how it's likely Apple will reject it, etc.

          The reason I think it's the more likely reason is because Google doesn't need to create a Google Maps app for iOS. They already have one - the one Apple yanked with iOS 6. Unless their contract with Apple stipulates they can't release it as a regular App Store app, they could've submitted it to the App Store the day after Apple announced iOS 6. If the contract had stipulated that, I think we would've heard of it by now. The anti-Apple PR from saying "We cannot release Google Maps for iOS yet because our contract with Apple prohibits it, and there's still a year left in the contract." would have been priceless.

          They don't even need to delay their app to add turn-by-turn navigation. They can introduce it as-is (as it was in iOS 5). Then roll out an update once they have turn-by-turn navigation ready. So I'm pretty sure the delay in getting Google Maps in the App Store is entirely to make Apple lie in the bed it made for itself.
          • Re:complain (Score:5, Informative)

            by lochnessie (1291986) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @07:12AM (#41891849)
            Google didn't write the pre-ios6 Maps app, Apple did. It just used the Google Maps API.
          • They already have one - the one Apple yanked with iOS 6. Unless their contract with Apple stipulates they can't release it as a regular App Store app, they could've submitted it to the App Store the day after Apple announced iOS 6.

            Unfortunately not. The old maps app (iOS 5 and below) whilst using images and data from google was actually written by Apple, not Google.

      • Perhaps in complaining Google hopes to swing enough public opinion their way to alter the expected decision?

        Either way, if there is a perception of unfairness, or a delay in the process, either could be worth discussing. Its like talking about an election before the election takes place - there are insights to be found for those who care to look.
      • Isn't this the problem with the whole model though? You have to make the app, invest the thousands to make it work, and only then, after you've spent the money do you get to find out whether it was a complete and total waste or not. Based entirely on a large multinational's whim.

      • by beelsebob (529313)

        Google is just playing a cunning strategy... By pre-calling-apple-out as evil monopolistic bastards who won't let their app in the store, there's much much more pressure on apple to approve the app in the state it's in.

      • by PopeRatzo (965947)

        Only problem is, it hasn't been rejected. How can we have this discussion when so far the only story is that someone at Google doesn't THINK it will be accepted?

        "How can we have this discussion"? We can have it because Apple unceremoniously dumped Google Maps, one of their most popular apps, not very long ago.

        Give us a reason why we should NOT "have this discussion".

    • Don't hold your breath. Apple thumbs their noses at its consumers and the Judiciary on a regular basis.
      Complaining is something that Apple just doesn't respond to.

  • by ZipK (1051658) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @01:15AM (#41890477)
    ... to find your way from iOS to Android. Goodbye Apple.
    • ...just team up w/ AAA and use their maps? And make similar deals w/ auto associations in other countries that they care about? Rest they can try and fill up w/ OpenStreetMaps, and hope that it fills in the difference.
  • Stupid apple (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    One of the first things Jobs did when he came back was stop the stupid and destructive fight with Microsoft. Now they're doing all they can to pick a fight with Google. My guess: in 10 years, when Apple is on its knees, they'll come crawling back to Google.

    • Ummm... that was Steve 'go nuclear on android' Jobs, I think you will find.

      Cannot disagree on the rest, we are starting to see the tablet transition as we saw
      on the phones a couple of years ago. If Apple doesnt find a new 'wonder' product in
      the next 12 months, its going to get mighty difficult for them.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @01:23AM (#41890509)

    The thought that Google will not be accepted just because Apple is not featuring any Google based mapping apps is rediculous. There are a number of Google based mapping apps in the app store, from a Street View app to something called Sparkling Maps [leimobile.com] which is meant to be something of a Google maps clone.

    Apple does not feature every app on the App store; there are too many. But that does not mean anything in terms of what they will approve, and the myth that Apple will not allow publishing anything that "duplicates functionality" is long dead at this point.

    This whole story is nothing more than Apple Hater bait, and I can see by the first few replies the trolls are hungrily feasting upon it.

    • by stephanruby (542433) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @03:57AM (#41891139)

      ...and the myth that Apple will not allow publishing anything that "duplicates functionality" is long dead at this point.

      A myth? Are you kidding me? The last time Apple removed existing applications, because it "duplicated" (new) iPhone functionality, was just last week. And I'm talking about removing existing applications, not just banning new applications. Granted, those apps were for adding emoji icons, it's probably no big loss to anyone, but it at least proves that this clause in their developer EULA hasn't gone away.

      Besides, no one is saying that Apple "will not allow publishing anything that 'duplicates functionality'". That's a straw man argument. From the very beginning, Apple hasn't been consistent in enforcing its rules anyway. For instance, it allowed some apps that duplicated functionality, while it rejected other applications that duplicated that same functionality.

      The thing is. You don't really know. And Apple won't tell you of course. So you have to invest all this money and manpower in building your app for the iPhone platform and take the risk that the person reviewing your app is in a good mood that day, and/or that Apple won't go back on its decision six months from now (when they feel their mapping application has finally passed QA).

  • I liked Apple... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fullback (968784) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @01:34AM (#41890559)

    I have used Apple and Windows products for over 20 years. I liked my Apple Macbook and use iPads in one of my businesses. We deliver using the iPad maps app and maintained a history using the previous app.

    Imagine losing all that data? That's what Apple did to me with this unannounced change. They put their own selfish agenda above their customers. They could have easily brought back the old app.

    Bastards. I'm tired of both Apple and Windows forcing me to use devices and applications only the way they decide I should use them.

    • Re:I liked Apple... (Score:4, Informative)

      by Osgeld (1900440) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @01:35AM (#41890565)

      " They put their own selfish agenda above their customers"

      well no shit, they have done nothing but that since the 1980's, what did you expect?

    • We deliver using the iPad maps app and maintained a history using the previous app.

      If you kept a history in Bookmarks in the map app, they are still there. I have years worth of different map bookmarks I can still use just fine.

      A history kept any other way would have been lost in any major OS upgrade, regardless of changing from Apple Maps or not.

      • by fullback (968784)

        I'm in Japan and the new Apple maps does not support addresses in Japan. There is no way to use any bookmarked locations with the new app.

  • by wbr1 (2538558) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @01:39AM (#41890577)
    Samsung doubts apple will purchase its LCD panels. Oh, wait.
  • Wouldn't they then be in the position of being somewhat obligated to, for similar reasons, also discontinue (at least for iOS6 and later) any of the other mapping and navigations programs that are available on the app store?

    • by jo_ham (604554)

      Why?

      They can choose what to put on their store with no penalty from any "antitrust" position. In the same way that Walmart can choose not to sell Bob's Apple Pies if it wants to, even though it sells apple pies from other manufacturers.

      If you don't like that, there are other stores that will happily sell you Bob's Apple Pies.

      • by mark-t (151149)

        Suggesting that there are other stores when talking about iOS apps is not entirely unlike suggesting that there are other operating systems you can use besides Windows on a PC.

        Yeah, it's true.... that doesn't mean that that it's always going to be worth anyone's time to focus on that market for any given application.

  • by MidnightBrewer (97195) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @02:14AM (#41890723)

    So the International Business Times quotes the Guardian, who cites "sources at Google familiar with its mapping plans" - in other words, nobody at all. As others have pointed out, there are many Google-API based applications on the App Store; some of them are even in the "featured" category in certain stores, such as the Japanese App Store. Whoever they're quoting doesn't know much, and their knowledge appears to be limited to whatever country they happen to be in. This doesn't amount to more than water-cooler gossip and conspiracy theory. Nothing to see here.

  • Of course they'll approve it. It's a highly popular app, and when Apple turned down the Google Voice app, the FTC investigated them and Apple had to immediately reverse itself.

    The lack of Google Maps apps in the App Store is probably because of TOS issues. Third Party iOS apps can't use google maps for turn by turn directions according to Google's restrictions to developers, so that excludes Google's APIs

  • The kool aid. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AbRASiON (589899) * on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @06:48AM (#41891767) Journal

    I drank it for about 2 years, loved my iphone so much. My first smartphone - I was completely blown away by the thing.
    Infact, I became so addicted to their products and so eager for new shit, I actually ruined a part of a nice long holiday in London in 2010 because I was so busy reading iphone 4 news, hoping for it's release while I was away, ordering the phone in the store over there - the whole lot. I was so desperate for the next 'iproduct' that I wasn't spending time enjoying myself on my holiday. Totally my own fault of course but part of dumb consumerism, brand loyalty, good marketing.
    (Yes, I did end up buying it outright in the UK)

    Over time though, I got sick of so many things I couldn't do. I hated that I needed to jailbreak just for SBSettings, which is frankly - fucking priceless (or was 18 months ago when I last used it) that one thing alone and the fact Apple hadn't copied SBSettings had me concerned. How can they NOT impliment this logical, awesome stuff?
    They are devestatingly stubborn.

    Someone showed me, I think a 2.2 build of Android and the pull down menu and the power bar widget. I was blown away. He was an Android nerd and lent me an Android phone for a few weeks. Almost all the shit which was pissing me off with an iphone was solved. I think I'd owned my iphone 4 for about 4 months at this point and then it went in a drawer for 7 months before I sold it - my journey had begun.
    Would never EVER switch back now - just couldn't consider it

    Won't deny one thing though - the hardware support from Apple, no one else comes close, not even remotely - which is sad. That whole "oh golly sir, it has a scratch and re-booted once on you?! Here have a new phone!" - that's good. That bought my loyalty for quite a while, won't deny that.
    I hear Samsung and Asus are really bad to return things to - and I've personally
    returned to Nokia (or tried to) I'll never purchase a Nokia product again.

    Long story short though, this stubborn shit from Apple? surprising? Not at all, not even slightly.

  • Why not link to the original article? http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/nov/05/google-maps-doubt-iphone [guardian.co.uk]

    The problem that I have with this article is that Google seems to studiously avoid the question "Have you actually written and submitted the app?" If they haven't it seems rather like politicking on Google's behalf. This isn't the world's most complex app - just submit it and **then** complain if it is rejected.

  • If you think it's going to be rejected then, and this is only an idea, design it so that it follows Apple's clearly published rules for Appstore apps - rules that EVERY other app publisher follows - and that should solve the problem.

    I know that's not as fun as intentionally designing your app to break some rules so you know it'll be rejected resulting in a whole PR shitstorm, which is what you're really after, but other app publishers seem to be able to manage to get their apps published so I imagine Google

  • by Legion303 (97901) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @07:58AM (#41892015) Homepage

    to ameliorate customers upset with Apple's new default Maps app

    They're going to make their customers better? How does that work? And more importantly, why do Slashdot's editors still suck so hard?

  • Walled gardens are lovely this time of year.

  • The current iOS map app is terrible. No searching for businesses (well, no businesses listed), no street view, etc. I used google maps a lot, and the current app offers nothing new while taking giant leaps backward. And no, maps.google.com via mobile safari doesn't work well enough (because mobile safari has sucked hard since the first iPhone).

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