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June 13, 2012

A Blessing in Disguise for Google Maps

The next version of Apple's iOS includes a new maps app that's no longer powered by Google Maps. Apple now uses data from TomTom, OpenStreetMap, Yelp to provide a more comprehensive experience that rivals the Android app for Google Maps. Apple Maps offers turn-by-turn directions, Siri integration, local business reviews from Yelp, "flyover" 3D maps.

Flyover lets you "see major metro areas from the air with photo-realistic, interactive 3D views" and it's a clever combination of Google Earth and Street View. Last year, Apple acquired C3 Technologies and used its technology for the 3D maps.

Obviously, Apple's new maps app no longer includes Street View, Google Transit, Google's comprehensive maps and local search and many users will miss these features. Google will lose a significant amount of mobile traffic and an important data source for Google Maps, but it will be able to release a much better Google Maps app, assuming that Apple approves it. After all, Google Maps is one of the best apps for Android and Google has constantly added new features, while Apple's maps app hasn't improved too much.


  1. Good luck to Apple fans not living in metro areas in the developed world. Maps for these areas are likely to suck in Apple's Maps app for the near future.

  2. Near future? I would say relatively extended future.

  3. That's what they call innovation and magical etc :)

  4. Actually that was the last straw that has convinced me to ditch my iphone and get an android device.

  5. I seriously doubt Apple is going to approve a iOS Google Maps app

  6. Google Maps is a stripped down version of Google Earth is it not?
    Google Earth is in the App Store, so I see little reason why Apple could ban a re-submitted, better version of Maps.
    If they do ban then they will need to remove all mapping apps in the app store.

  7. Looks like a decision from Apple based on commercialism rather than providing great content for their users. When a company panders to profits and shareholders, their views tend to become more short termism and this is a classic example!

    1. The only other alternative is communism in which the government will only release what they want you to see which they will pull the plug at anytime.

      Seems to me we are in a *catch 22* stuck between either rich and greedy people or overbearing governments like choose your poison.

  8. I've decided to delay my iphone5 purchase until I know for sure if google maps will be available. I need a new phone, so within a couple weeks I'll probably get an android if there is no google maps app available for iphone at that time.


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