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1 dragonfire1981  Fri, Sep 21, 2012 9:39:21am

Microsoft isn't much better. I got introduced to Bing's map tool yesterday and found it far inferior to Google Maps. In particular the detail and color scheme of the map itself.

2 Mocking Jay  Fri, Sep 21, 2012 9:44:29am

re: #1 dragonfire1981

Microsoft isn't much better. I got introduced to Bing's map tool yesterday and found it far inferior to Google Maps. In particular the detail and color scheme of the map itself.

All Windows phones will soon have access to Nokia maps. We'll see if that's any better. But that's not the same as fixing something that isn't broke.

3 Strangeite  Fri, Sep 21, 2012 10:55:06am

You are making a large assumption, that this was Apple's decision.

The initial contract between Apple and Google for map data expired this year. When the contract was first negotiated, there was no Android. We do not know if Apple choose not to renew the contract or if Google refused to renew.

Also, there is speculation that Google has a standalone iOS Google Map app ready to go and that in fact they would prefer to have their own app in the store. Primarily because a Google Map app in the app store can carry ads, something the original app did not.

Looking at the long term ramifications, Apple had to bite this particular bullet. It is very dangerous to leave such a vital component to your flagship product at the mercy of your biggest competitor. It was not tenable over the long term for Apple to solely rely on Google for maps.

Most people forget that when Google Maps was first released it was plagued with worse errors, but because people used it and they were able to gather data based on said usuage it got better.

Apple was in a position where they knew they needed to release their own mapping solution. They also knew it would be bug ridden, but the only way to fix the bugs is to release it into the wild on the largest amount of devices possible and let that enormous amount of data help them fix the errors.

TL;DR. Yes it sucks but Apple had really no choice.

4 Buck  Fri, Sep 21, 2012 12:18:50pm

We know Apple choose not to renew the contract.

We know Google rushed to get an app that would replace it, and has submitted it for approval.

We know that Apple could reject it for a whole bunch of reasons, as they control the app space 100%. If they don't want to be shown up, or if they feel it would harm their business, they can simply reject it.

We know that Google has changed the streetview 360 virtual tours from flash to HTML5 in order for it to work in the iOS6 browser.

5 Strangeite  Fri, Sep 21, 2012 12:48:35pm

re: #4 Buck

We know Apple choose not to renew the contract.

We know Google rushed to get an app that would replace it, and has submitted it for approval.

We do? Do you have a source? I have read both Apple's and Google's statements on the matter and with regard to the contract, it is very unclear. Google did state two days ago that...

Our goal is to make Google Maps available to everyone who wants to use it, regardless of device, browser, or operating system.

I don't have any type of Deep Throat source, but my guess is that neither party really wanted to renew the contract. Google didn't because it frees them to earn ad dollars on Google Maps (either as a standalone app or via Safari) and Apple didn't want to renew because they knew eventually being dependent on Google for maps would bite them, and it would be best to rip the band-aid off while they are on top.

With regard to if Google has submitted an app, I have no idea. Google hasn't said if they have and Apple hasn't said if they have. Again, my best guess, is that they have. We have known for months that io6 wasn't going to include Google Maps natively and the iPhone ecosystem is too large to ignore (especially since they can now start to earn ad dollars).

Personally I respect both Google and Apple, the two companies are by far the most innovative in the industry (Amazon has cruised into an interesting and unexpected third place, EC2 is a wonderful achievement).

There is no doubt that the current mapcoplypse is bad for Apple, but the situation is more complicated than Apple just wanting to stick it to Google or vice versa.

6 Virginia Plain  Fri, Sep 21, 2012 5:43:49pm

I loaded iOS 6 onto my iPad, and while the update has added a lot of good features, I miss the built in Youtube and Maps apps. Apple Maps is just not that good as it stands now, and the mobile Youtube website sucks. I know Google released a Youtube app for iPhone, but not yet for iPad. I will wait for it.

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