Google’s Blown Call on Maps
By Jim Lundy
AllThingsD.com is reporting that Apple wanted Google to add turn by turn directions to the iOS Maps app, which was supplied by Google to Apple. For those that don’t know, Google Android has had voice based turn-by-turn directions for some time. A co-worker has an Android phone and we have used that feature quite a bit on trips. Did Apple need turn-by-turn directions on its Map app? Of course it did.
So was it greed that prevented Google from working with Apple to keep its Map app as the main Map app on iOS? Maps on mobile devices are one of the most used features and there is no doubt Google was able to gather a lot of data about users of the Map application. To me this is a blown call by Google.
In the recent National Football lock out with the referees, the locked out NFL Referees were hard to replace. Apple has worked on its map app for a long time to get it ready for primetime. It isn’t perfect, but it is pretty decent for the first release. If more issues crop up, it could force Apple back to the negotiating table with Google.
That said, it looks like the Apple’s new Map app is here to stay. I’ve used the new iOS 6 Maps app and in the Bay Area, it has worked flawlessly on several trips. Compared to my in car navigation system, it was more precise on when to make the turn.
So this leaves Google on the outside looking in on iOS and Maps. It raises a lot of questions about Google’s ability to maintain its relationships with their partners. Google Chairman Eric Schmidt made comments today about the situation, but this was all preventable. Right now, it is increasingly looking like Google blew the call.