Apple Released Its Own Maps App a Year Before Google Maps Contract Expired

Google Maps

With the launch of iOS 6, Apple has stepped up its rivalry with Google by replacing the Google powered Maps application with its in-house developed Maps app and removing the YouTube app.

While Apple’s iOS 6 Maps app offers new features such as 3D Flyover and the much needed turn-by-turn voice navigation, it has been heavily crticized for the lack of public transit information, inaccuracies in Apple’s mapping data, errors in locating points of interest and sometimes weird 3D mapping imagery.

Apple’s move to replace Google powered Maps app has been seen as a strategic move to reduce the company’s reliance on Google, but people have wondered why Apple decided to release the Maps app with so many issues rather than relying on Google powered Maps app for one more year.

It was widely speculated that Apple may have been forced to roll out its own Maps app as its contract with Google was going to expire soon. However, The Verge reports that according to their sources that Apple had over a year left on the Google Maps contract.

For its part, Apple apparently felt that the older Google Maps-powered Maps in iOS were falling behind Android — particularly since they didn’t have access to turn-by-turn navigation, which Google has shipped on Android phones for several years. The Wall Street Journal reported in June that Google also wanted more prominent branding and the ability to add features like Latitude, and executives at the search giant were unhappy with Apple’s renewal terms. But the existing deal between the two companies was still valid and didn’t have any additional requirements, according to our sources — Apple decided to simply end it and ship the new maps with turn-by-turn.

The Verge also reports that Apple’s decision to release its own Maps application took Google by surprise and the search giant is scrambling to develop the native Maps app for iOS, but it is unlikely to release it anytime soon.

Meanwhile, Apple has responded to the criticism over lack of features and glaring mistakes in the iOS 6 Maps app and has said that it is working hard to improve it. Reports also claim that the team assigned to the Maps app is under lockdown right now working to fix it.

[via The Verge]

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  • DiDi

    Ppl working hard to for buy new Apple toys. iPhone should not be a beta, alpha test but perfect phone, because cost much

  • Hmmm?

    Don’t think Google was taken by surprise otherwise why did they announce their next generation Google Maps a few days before Apple’s announcement?

    • Zangpakto

      You cannot be serious right?

      The fact that in dev releases it wasn’t there already showed it. There is more to being told about something than first like the general public.

      What about us devs for instance? We had access to the information before the majority knew about it. And we aren’t included in the actual DESIGN of the OS. So google would have known likely months before us.

      • Uneasy

        Maybe Google did this on purpose. Yet another reason to switch to Android. I wonder if Google’s gonna release this map app at all.

  • Que Swanson

    I wouldn’t want to be those programmers on lockdown.

  • Pick A Name

    They should have done it a year ago.

  • Abel Goddard

    I’ve been fine with it so far, but today it absolutely would not find a particular local restaurant. It was quite frustrating.