Apple dumps Google Maps

The marriage is over. As widely rumored, Apple debuted its own mapping service alongside the unveiling of iOS 6 at the Worldwide Developers Conference Monday. The move had been expected for awhile now, considering the Cupertino, Calif. company's recent acquisitions.

Apple's Maps include turn-by-turn navigation with smooth vector-based graphics. "Flyover mode" is the company's answer to Google Earth and Street View: it includes photo-realistic views of major cities, even allowing you to fly around and see all sides of a particular building. Traffic including crowd-sourced reports are built in, which can be used to change directions on the fly.


The moves are a direct challenge to nearly everything about Google's mapping service, and made possible through Apple's various acquisitions. In 2009, it acquired Placebase which gave the company the maps it needed. This was followed by the purchase of Poly9 in 2010, which gave Apple access to high-resolution imagery. Finally, the purchase of C3 Technologies last October rounded out Apple's mapping endeavor with its 3D rendering technologies.

But Apple's plans to oust Google from maps may go even further back than that. Some reports indicate that Apple has planned to take over maps almost the whole time the iOS platform has existed. This contradicts some analysis out there saying Android was the cause: the massive growth only accelerated the planned divorce. Given Maps was the only native application that relied on technologies that Apple did not own, this was bound to happen.

Also with the increasingly strained relationship between the two companies, it looked likely. Eric Schmidt left the board in 2009, later saying "he just couldn't stand it anymore", and Jobs even said in the statement announcing his resignation that Google's business activities and Apple's planned ones created a "conflict of interest".

Google did not have any immediate comment on the move, but it's clear that its mapping service is about to see a significant decrease in traffic as a result.

30 Responses to Apple dumps Google Maps

  1. theermine says:

    Competition is good, Google has been allowed to get lax and they need the fire re-lit..

  2. brian m says:

    We have well and truly reached the point where Apple is playing catch-up with Android.I see nothing interesting or new here. This is a "stay with us!" release for those who thinking of leaving Apple not a "come to us" release.

  3. Joe F'n C says:

    really? google is lax?  How so, because I remember mapquest being LAX if there ever was a definition for the word.  Its a free service google offers and lets be honest they started 3d over a year ago and its already available on most android devices.  The only reason they lose traffic is because iphone users will be forced to use it because their is no navigation in your google maps app.  Google maps hasn't innovated anything as far as navigation goes, but they did it 3 years this is only exciting for iphone users

  4. Aires_OFFICIAL says:

    Hmmmmm. I'm hoping this is a realistic alternative to Google Maps and not an alternative to Google Earth.

  5. Sparxx2k7 says:

    Yay!  Another conference of Apple catching up to Android ....

    Last year it was push notifications and OTA updates!  This year it's a Gmaps clone!

    Yay to the fruits!

    • ToeKneeC67 says:

      ...I see it differently - Apple pushing Google out of the picture.  MS doing the same with Bing Maps and Search (hotmail, office365 so on)

      The question - can Google stand on it's own with just Android phones and the Chrome Browser.  

      • Sparxx2k7 says:

        Fair enough - I can see that too, actually.  Google may have gotten lax just because it was the only competitor 'in the game'.  Now they are forced to ramp up their efforts to remain on top.

        Thank you for making a clean, unbiased comment, that is also free of fanboy-ism and detriment to the others' point of view.

      • BK553 says:

        Well, Android, Chrome and 90% of all the search traffic on the planet.  Forgot that little tidbit.

      • ToeKneeC67 says:

        You just made my point on why I think Apple is trying to move away. No one wants to rely on someone else with so much dominate control. But it will be hard to do, Chrome is my favorite (not even sure why, as I think I have maybe 4 extensions).

  6. keymaker says:

    I remember google saying that iOS generated more revenue to them than the entire Android army, I guess Apple was listening. Now if Apple gave all that money google was getting to their own map team, the feature can get pretty interesting.

  7. woe says:

    Buh bye!!!!  I stopped using Google as the search on my iPhone as soon as I could.  Cant wait for this update!

  8. extremely_well says:

    All this satellite/3D imagery is a major waste of precious mobile bandwidth. Looks nice, I admit, but not worth the extra $$ you'd need to spend on a bigger data plan. The next step will be for someone to allow caching of your entire city offline (lets say upto 10GB) since physical memory is so much cheaper than mobile data. The cloud my arse. The best solutions are almost always hybrid solutions.

    • ToeKneeC67 says:

      I don't really think that is Apple biggest concern.  You built it, they will come (in this case better data packages)  Plus it works over WiFi.  But I do agree.  If you turn on al the features and use there navigation, you could burn through your 2 Gig a month.  But this hold's true for any smartphone.

      • extremely_well says:

        Creating smart wifi caching of any large content source should be the concern of all mobile-product makers. Besides the data usage, there's the needless radiation involved as well. I personally went as far as offline downloading all my babygirl's youtube videos for offline viewing on her Kindle Fire. I won't let her touch a smartphone, either, unless it's in airplane mode...

      • ToeKneeC67 says:

        To be truthful, in the USA our testing says there is no issue. But, I'm smart enough to know the USA has smart people (driven by money) but other countries have some pretty smart people too. A lot of countries are warning about the radiation - as they have a huge increase of brain tumors.
        But...I will be that stupid person and just use it. I have gotten better about trying to take it out of my pocket as much as possible. Downloading (Caching) was popular, but there is no money in it...

    • TroyGates says:

       You might be interested in a Nokia Lumia, you can cache entire countries with it.

      • extremely_well says:

        Not satellite/3D imagery. 2D mapping/navigation has been available in offline GPS systems for nearly 20 years.

      • TroyGates says:

        20 years ago GPS systems had to have the maps on board because there wasn't fast enough cell data to stream as needed. Besides,  this is a discussion about smartphones not GPS systems.

        Apple maps doesn't say anything about pre-downloading maps or caching areas for offline. Google maps just recently added caching for a certain area around your trip, but doesn't allow you to adjust the cached range. Nokia allows you to download entire countries so you always have the map data available.

  9. LasseX says:

    I think I've figured out why Apple tries to hurt Google all of the time. There is only one real explanation to this, Google is God!... We just don't know it yet.
    We already know who Satan hates the most! ;-)

  10. sapphir8 says:

    I still want a street view equal, not a flyover.  

  11. sapphir8 says:

    I still want a street view equal, not a flyover.  

  12. bmovie says:

    Adopters of the iPad and the iPhone have tended to be wealthier, more intelligent and more social. With Apple Maps defaulting over Google Maps in iPads and iPhones and eventually to the desktop, major advertisers will drift away from using Google advertising, the lifeblood of Google. 

    Analytics, Market Research based on Ad Response and personal search will not be as broad or as impactful as once before. Why waste money advertising on the broad and now non-inclusive Google market when a high end advertiser can spend less money and focus on a knowable segment, receptive to their message and willing to spend the dollars? 

    It won't be long before the soon to be White Trash Android and Chrome users get pop up ads for mundane items like head lice medications, prayer cloths, trailer park shares, instant chitlins, and sun-roasted crickets. When you live in a trailer park, street view is going to be a necessity.

    Just joking, but possible!     :))

    • ToeKneeC67 says:

      There is some truth in each paragraph :)  

    • extremely_well says:

      Apple's search engine (Siri) is 5-10 years behind Google it's safe to predict that Google will keep getting paid whenever someone uses an iPhone/iPad for the next oh, 10 years or so......

    • John Stock says:

      Yeah, just like for the last 20 years Mac desktops have dominated over Windows. Even in the mobile arena, Android mobiles outnumber iOS by over 2:1. So advertisers will care far less about marginal iDevice.

      iPhones are usually owned by brain dead blonde girls who get them because they are a fashion accessory. 

      Apple is mostly just smoke and mirrors, and it's becoming very clear even to the deluded followers these days.

      Just joking, but real :))

      • ToeKneeC67 says:

        I think iPhone users are people that just want to get sh*t done without having  to think.  Not sure that is a bad thing.  It's just a tool. 
        On that - you could stereotype Android users with tons of time to waste customize their phone, striving deeply to feel unique in an over populated world. I do not use an iPhone for my primary phone.

  13. 4rcane says:

    apple will need somethign to match street view because its one reason why I love google maps. Given that its very expensive and time consuming to take photos on a car, if they could do similar photos using low flying drones, it may able enough if they update once per year

    • extremely_well says:

      When was the last time you saw a low flying drone in your 'hood? Unless you live in 
      Afghanistan, I urge you to call the FAA right-quick.

  14. ismail hammoud says:

    Latest update states turn by turn navigation is coming only to 4s. such a sleazy way to force people to upgrade...more reason to hate apple. With android, no feature what so ever is blocked...

  15. apogee001 says:

    Apple is getting their map content from TomTom.

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