Google chairman weighs in on Apple Maps fiasco
"I'm sure Apple's mapping will improve and in the meantime there's still the glovebox old map book you can buy at the gas station – assuming Gens Y & Z actually know how to read one that is!"Featured comment
Google chairman Eric Schmidt has weighed in on the Apple Maps fiasco - and for iPhone and iPad users who use Google Maps, the news is not good.
It seems no Google Maps app for iOS 6 is in the immediate pipeline.
Apple removed both Google's YouTube and Google Maps from iOS 6, the latest upgrade to its software than runs the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. (iOS 5 featured them as pre-installed applications.)
YouTube fans can download a YouTube app from the iTunes AppStore as a substitute
But in terms of offering a Google Maps app for download, Schmidt said "We have not done anything yet," he said.
Once Google builds an app, Apple will have to approve it for the AppStore, the Google chairman noted.
Your correspondent has installed iOS 6 on his iPhone, and was immediately frustrated by Apple Maps.
Beyond the basic cartographic blunders (the Auckland CBD railway station is located in the harbour, and the Timaru and Dunedin airports in the wrong place), roads are harder to see, and the Street View option available in Google Maps is missed.
It's worth noting for those frustrated by Apple Maps that Google Maps can still be loaded by typing maps.google.co.nz into your iPhone's web browser - then creating a home page icon. You have to switch from the Mobile to Classic view go get all features - although the desktop version is a bid fiddly on a small screen.
Though also that Apple Maps is not all bad. It's fast; it can somehow tap a list of previous Google Maps searches you're made on your iPhone (or iPad), its predictive search is excellent and its turn-by-turn directions well executed.
Why the fall-out?
According to one US report, Apple's Google Maps contract still had a year to run.
Why the rush to replace it with the home-grown Apple Maps?
The logical motivation would be that Apple wants to control the location-based advertising and business directory services revenue that goes along with mobile maps.
For its part, Google was reportedly pushing for more prominent branding, and frustrated that it was not blocked form adding features like Latitude (location-based services) or turn-by-turn voice directions to the iOS version of Google Maps - which was falling behind the Android version (and Apple, one assumes is also irked that its once close friend Google is now pushing Android so heavily).
But on the record, nobody's talking - at least in any detail.
Apple has made no comment.
Schmidt told a group of journalists in Tokyo, "We think it would have been better if they had kept our [Maps]. But what do I know? What were we going to do, force them not to change their mind? It's their call."