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Google's Work Toward Standalone iOS Maps App Complicated by Integration with Google Earth

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Amid varied reports claiming that Google has been working on a replacement standalone Maps app for iOS to replace the bundled app included with every version of iOS until last week's release of iOS 6, The New York Times weighs in with its own sources claiming that Google is indeed working on a standalone app for iPhone and iPad and is hoping to have it available in "another couple months or so".

As was noted yesterday by The Verge, Apple and Google still have over a year left on their contract for Google to provide Maps for iOS, and thus Google was caught off guard when Apple announced in June that it would be replacing Google's solution with its own Maps app for iOS 6. As a result, Google still needs several more months to complete work on a standalone offering to be submitted to Apple for inclusion in the App Store.




The New York Times notes that another challenge faced by Google stems from its desire to build 3D imagery into its upcoming Maps app for iOS 6. The functionality was added to the Google Earth app several months ago, but moving it to the more traditional mapping app will require additional work.
Another complication, according to a person with knowledge of Google Maps: Google would likely prefer to release a maps app that includes 3-D imagery so it is comparable to Apple's. But Google has 3-D images in Google Earth, which is a separate app with a separate code base from Google Maps, so it would take some time to combine the two.
Apple's new Maps app has come under significant criticism for a number of issues, including incomplete or poor imagery, errors in locating points of interest and even cities, and a lack of transit information. As with Google Maps, users can report problems to Apple to help improve the product.

Article Link: Google's Work Toward Standalone iOS Maps App Complicated by Integration with Google Earth
 

SethBoy

macrumors regular
Jun 23, 2007
212
552
All these months of iOS 6 betas and Google was somehow taken by surprise? :rolleyes:

Edit: Okay, apparently Google has been “surprised” since June.
 

chrmjenkins

macrumors 603
Oct 29, 2007
5,322
154
CA
Google didn't think to merge the functionality before Apple's announcement? That seems hard to believe.
 

ipedro

macrumors 603
Nov 30, 2004
5,411
6,493
Toronto, ON
By then, a lot of Apple's maps glitches will have been resolved.

The first couple of months will see a significant improvement in maps as millions of users calibrate data by simply using maps. If thousands of people travel on a road that is slightly off in maps, that road will be adjusted. If businesses find that their store pin is off, they'll Report a Problem and drop a pin in front of their door.

There will be a big bump in improvements in the first couple of months, then a gradual improvement as Apple tackles glitches and obvious problems over the year and then another big bump with the release of Maps 2.0 in iOS7 when Apple improves the codebase and adjusts/adds features.

Ripping off the bandaid is only going to hurt for a quick moment but Apple will gain control of their maps and we'll see steady improvements over the long term. It'll be worth it.

Big opportunity missed by Google in not having their app ready. Duh, who didn't see this coming??
 
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Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,925
1,235
Washington DC
If Google had been founded by Steve Jobs they would have been working on a stand-alone map app "just in case" ever since 2008.

I'm not bashing Google here, they're probably acting like almost any other company would have. I'm just saying that this is interesting to me that as an organization they were apparently caught off guard by this.
 

sclawis300

macrumors 65816
Apr 22, 2010
1,324
140
looks like Apple may have played this one perfectly. Catch Google off guard, fix the problems as fast as you can, then by the time google does come out with something people will be used to Apple's map. BOOM. As long as Apple gets the map together, I don't think anyone will care about google maps. Apple actually gave me a much better route to take yesterday than what google suggested.
 

azentropy

macrumors 68030
Jul 19, 2002
2,541
1,769
Surprise
All these months of iOS 6 betas and Google was somehow taken by surprise? :rolleyes:

Edit: Okay, apparently Google has been “surprised” since June.

It was public knowledge that Apple had purchased Mapping companies over the past several years. If Google didn't know this could be coming and were not already working on a standalone map app for iOS they haven't been paying attention.
 

KdParker

macrumors 601
Oct 1, 2010
4,793
998
Everywhere
Well, they need to hurry up.

When I first worked with the betas for IOS 6, I had all intentions of downloading the google maps stand alone app asap. But since the final release, Apple maps is working perfectly fine for me and I don't miss google maps at all.

As Apple improves there maps, more and more people will simply move on and not need google maps.
 

JDee

macrumors 6502a
Aug 31, 2008
535
11
Ireland
I really hope that the new Google Maps app will conform as much to the standard as in the old & current Maps app... but for some reason I think Apple will reject it if it's in that state.

I don't like the current Google Earth app navigation.
 

coredev

macrumors regular
Sep 26, 2012
163
270
After the carbon fiber story...
I was hoping we were going back to rumors reporting now.
But ... the maps crisis seems to be in full swing still.
 

Wolffie

macrumors regular
Sep 6, 2008
163
8
Release Google Maps with a "open location in Google Earth" button.
That gets the maps out now for those who are having issues with Apple maps.
Then Google can work on integrating the 3D imagery to Google Maps.
 

chuges

macrumors member
Oct 31, 2011
93
8
competition FTW!

Google wouldn't have as much incentive to make a kickass standalone maps app if apple didn't put some pressure on them
 

andyjam

macrumors regular
Aug 30, 2008
163
47
Sydney, Australia
Why not just put out an app that replicates the old Maps app (perhaps with turn-by-turn?), then update it in a couple of months once the 3D mapping issues have been solved? Google needs to get their foot in the door now, and capture those who want an alternative solution. Once they have that market, chances are that they won't go back to Apple Maps once the issues are fixed, because they simply won't be aware that the app has improved...
 

a0me

macrumors 65816
Oct 5, 2006
1,074
166
Tokyo, Japan
All these months of iOS 6 betas and Google was somehow taken by surprise? :rolleyes:

Edit: Okay, apparently Google has been “surprised” since June.
Or "surprised" since March, when iPhoto '11 was released and ditched Google Maps for what has become Apple Maps.
 

rmatthewware

macrumors 6502
Jul 22, 2009
493
126
I'm a bit confused on this. Google had a Maps app built into the iPhone. Why couldn't that data be used until they came up with a long-term app?
 

jhpadilla

macrumors member
Sep 23, 2008
32
0
*sigh*

Mark my words: google will release a half-baked app on purpose and will claim that if you want the full experience you will need to get Android.

I trust Apple will make the best map experience on the planet. Just hope they don't take too long. I admit that Apple's Maps are not very good, but so are google's (I live in Mexico, so maybe that's why we get 13th world treatment ¬¬). Actually the new Maps app for us is a colossal (yes, I meant COLOSSAL) improvement over the old ones.

Anyways, hope they get better. I'm already reporting all the problems I encounter. It's nice that they have that option now! Hope they take care of them soon though.

----------

I'm a bit confused on this. Google had a Maps app built into the iPhone. Why couldn't that data be used until they came up with a long-term app?

Apparently that Maps app was made by Apple not google, as was the original YouTube app too.
 

dscuber9000

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2007
665
1
Indiana, US
Anyone else think Google is in no rush to help out a competitor platform? I don't see how it could take several months to make a maps app. Use the Android one as a basis. Or use the old iOS one as a basis. I mean, there were working navigation apps within a month of the App Store's launch...
 

ctyrider

macrumors 6502a
Jul 15, 2012
999
539
Google really needs to consolidate their Earth and upcoming standalone Maps app into a single app.

I don't really see the point of Earth and Maps being two separate apps...
 

lazyrighteye

macrumors 68020
Jan 16, 2002
2,045
866
Denver, CO
In Denver, Apple's Maps app works pretty well. The UI is very nice. But the lack of mass transit data is a really big disappointment for me.
Hopefull they can tap into that data feed sooner than later.
 
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