Google’s map announcement, rushed to beat Apple at WWDC?

Ashleigh Allsopp
8 June, 2012
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On Thursday, Google announced that its mobile version of Google Maps is going offline, Street View is going off road and Google Earth will soon be 3D. But The Wall Street Journal’s recent report that Apple will do away with Google Maps in iOS 6, in favour of its own Maps app, has led experts to believe that Google’s sudden announcement was rushed due to the company’s concern about Apple’s upcoming launches at WWDC.

Some experts have come to the conclusion that Google rushed to hold yesterday’s event before Apple’s WWDC next week, because it is concerned that Apple might unveil a brand new 3D Maps app that will replace Google’s as the default mapping service on iOS. According to attendees of the event, Google’s Map app crashed several times during the presentation, adding evidence to the speculation that Google had rushed to show off the new features before Apple got in there first.

The New York Times thinks that Google’s announcement aimed to make Apple and iOS users aware of how difficult and costly it is to create a good mapping service.

Cult of Mac highlights that Google showed off its new mapping service on an iPad, rather than a device running its own Android operating system. This could be Google’s way of telling iOS users that, even if Apple replaces Google Maps as the default map app, it will still be available for iOS through the App Store.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has told investors that he doesn’t think Apple’s move away from Google Maps will damage Google’s mobile revenues. He noted that he expects that Google Maps will still be available on the iOS App Store.

During a Q&A session that took place after Google’s announcement, Vice President of Engineering for Google Maps Brian McClendon said that Google is “committed” to bringing all of the new features to iOS, as well as other platforms and it will happen “in the coming weeks”.


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