A report earlier today has claimed that Apple made a quick decision to end its contract with Google, and remove Google Maps from iOS permanently more than one year before its contract ended.
Two sources close to the matter have claimed that Google wasn’t given much notice of Apple’s decision to give Google Maps the boot, leaving the search giant with very little time to craft its own native app for iOS. These same sources also claimed that Google is working on a maps app for the App Store, but it’s far from complete and will not ship for “several months.” Eric Schmidt confirmed this, stating that Google has “not done anything yet.” The Google Chairman also had some pointed opinions on the matter:
“We think it would have been better if they had kept ours. But what do I know? … What were we going to do, force them not to change their mind? It’s their call.”
He did, however, express some optimism regarding the future of the Apple / Google partnership, saying “We want them to be our partner, we welcome that.” He also mentioned that Google has ”been talking with (Apple) for a long time. We talk to them every day.”
Apple’s new Mapping service has been heavily scrutinized in the media since its debut, with some big names like Motorola even taking out online ads specifically targeted at this new chink in Apple’s armour. It’s clear that many people – users and bloggers alike – would’ve preferred Apple stick with Google Maps, at least for that one remaining year. However, Apple’s Maps do offer great turn-by-turn directions with assistance from Siri, and breathtaking new 3D Maps (when they don’t turn your local airport into a mountain). Apple has already admitted that Maps is a work-in-progress, and have even taken out ads looking for new hires for its Maps team.
Hopefully, Apple will get Maps in tip-top shape in the next few months, or customers might just opt for Google’s third-party option when it hits the App Store. And, honestly, if the difference between the two mapping apps is in any way similar to the difference between the Apple-built YouTube app and Google’s third-party version, customers might choose Google’s offering anyway.
How has your experience been with Apple’s Maps? Do you prefer them to Google’s, or do you still long for Street View and Transit Directions like I do? Leave your comments below!