There is no question that Apple could have done a better job developing the new maps application for iOS 6. To be fair, Google has been making Maps apps for quite a long time. It was always going to be difficult for Apple to duplicate that experience with this new app. Google and Apple do not have the best relationships anyway. So it is not a surprise that this move went ahead. But there may be a whole other reason why Apple parted ways with Google Maps.
Google Chairman Eric Schmidt explained a few days ago that Apple should have probably continued with Google Maps. What he did not mention was that Apple might have if Google improved the Maps app by adding voice-guided directions to it. That feature has been available on Android phones for some time. But Apple’s iOS platform was not getting that feature.
Sources tell AllThingsD that Google, for example, wanted more say in the iOS maps feature set. It wasn’t happy simply providing back-end data. It asked for in-app branding. Apple declined. It suggested adding Google Latitude. Again, Apple declined,
reports AllThingsD. The breakdown of talks led to Apple fast-tracking the development of its own maps app. Perhaps that explains why the new Maps app feels quite rushed. Unlike what Eric Schmidt has suggested, Google is indeed working on a new app for iOS. This relationship was going to go south anyway. The breakdown of talks between Google and Apple over Maps simply sped up the process.
Did Google win the battle? Apple was always going to have its own Maps app. Google’s demands to have more control over the Maps app led to to Apple going with its own solution. The company is already hiring more developers and strengthening its team and portfolio to catch up. Let’s hope it gets to fix its Maps mess soon.
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