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Apple waived Google contract to make switch to new Maps

updated 10:02 am EDT, Wed September 26, 2012

New Google Maps app for iOS still sometime off

Apple abandoned its contract for Google Maps with over one year left when it decided to switch to new mapping technology for iOS 6, according to sources for The Verge. The decision is specifically said to have been made shortly before June's Worldwide Developers Conference. Because of this Google is said to have been unprepared, and despite recent suggestions to the contrary, it may not have a standalone iOS app ready for several months. The sources' claims elaborate on recent statements by Google chairman Eric Schmidt.

The Verge's sources are backed up by ones for the New York Times, who say that while Google is building a new iOS app, it will be some time before one reaches the public. The company was allegedly "caught off guard" by Apple's iOS 6 announcement, although it may nevertheless have an app ready by the end of 2012. The hope is that the app will also combine 3D data to compete with iOS 6's Flyover feature, but that may involve merging code from the separate Google Earth codebase.

Apple has come under heavy fire for the iOS 6 version of Maps. In some cases the app has incomplete or inaccurate data; people have also complained about having to use third-party apps for public transit directions, something that was previously built in. A number of graphics glitches can be found in different regions, such as the UK, where entire towns are in black-and-white or obscured by clouds.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. Gazoobee

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 02-27-09

    I don't understand why every article on this is floating the idea that Google, being caught flat-footed, will take a while to put out an app. It should be out already.

    It's been almost 6 months since the announcement (presumably when they found out), and we are talking about one of the biggest tech companies in the world with a staff made up almost entirely of engineers and coders. Also, they didn't anticipate this? They didn't have a single person working on plan B? Idiots.

  1. boomer0127

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 01-22-04

    I don't understand why Apple doesn't just buy mapquest right now, merge their maps data with their own and then work to make things even better. What else are they going to spend that 120 billion on? Just buy AOL for 4 million (25% profit to shareholders) and be done with it already!!! Am I missing something here?

  1. Athens

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: 01-15-03

    Originally Posted by boomer0127View Post

    I don't understand why Apple doesn't just buy mapquest right now, merge their maps data with their own and then work to make things even better. What else are they going to spend that 120 billion on? Just buy AOL for 4 million (25% profit to shareholders) and be done with it already!!! Am I missing something here?



    Wouldn't make a difference. Mapquest has errors too. So does Google. All the focus on Apple Maps and its errors is partially because its Apple, and partially because its new and being scrutinized more. At the end of the day, all the mapping systems have errors. Apple Maps is a version 1 product, and some of the errors it has which will be corrected over time are comical and funny due to the size and scale of the error. We are used to Mapquest and Google Maps, google maps have been out for years. So errors get ignored. No one goes out of there way to find them and point them out. And its just not news worthy. Anything with a Apple in it is new worthy though hence the extra attention. This will die down in a few months. I personally love the new Maps. Vancouver is represented well with few errors. I have only found a couple when I want looking. The funny thing is I also went looking on Google maps and also found errors after I went looking. The Maps will only get better. And at the end of the day its extra competition that will drive Google Maps better.

  1. boomer0127

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 01-22-04

    Originally Posted by boomer0127View Post

    I don't understand why Apple doesn't just buy mapquest right now, merge their maps data with their own and then work to make things even better. What else are they going to spend that 120 billion on? Just buy AOL for 4 million (25% profit to shareholders) and be done with it already!!! Am I missing something here?



    sorry - make that 4 Billion, not million.

  1. UmarOMC

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 08-09-01

    Apple Maps might be at version 1 but Apple, according to The NY Times, has acquired three mapping companies in the last three years. Why searches for a location in Brooklyn, NY would turn up locations in Manhattan is beyond me. I need accurate GPS for my job many times... like OS X, I might join the bandwagon after at least a 10.0.4 Cheetah update. :)

  1. wrenchy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 11-03-09

    Originally Posted by GazoobeeView Post

    Also, they didn't anticipate this? They didn't have a single person working on plan B? Idiots.



    Yes. It's ALL Google's fault.

  1. Arne_Saknussemm

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 04-05-11

    The not ready for prime time map application, the scratch prone aluminum case....

    Steve is gone just for a year and it shows.

  1. TheGreatButcher

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 06-11-00

    Originally Posted by GazoobeeView Post

    I don't understand why every article on this is floating the idea that Google, being caught flat-footed, will take a while to put out an app. It should be out already.
    It's been almost 6 months since the announcement (presumably when they found out), and we are talking about one of the biggest tech companies in the world with a staff made up almost entirely of engineers and coders. Also, they didn't anticipate this? They didn't have a single person working on plan B? Idiots.



    I agree with this, and note that there was also a YouTube app ready for download in advance of iOS 6.

    I call BS on Google. They're acting strategically here and giving Apple's Maps some bad PR by not immediately offering an alternative.

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