The Verge reported yesterday that Apple could have kept Google Maps until iOS 7 as Google’s contract to keep the maps app on the iPhone had more time remaining. A new report sheds more light on the matter, with sources claiming that talks between the two Silicon Valley technology giants crashed over voice-assisted navigation.

Long story short, Google fought hard to bomb the deal as it wouldn’t hand over the data needed to bring voice-guided navigation to a competing platform. Instead, the search Goliath continued to offer advanced location and navigation features on Android, widening the gap as it differentiated its platform from Apple…

John Paczkowski, reporting for the AllThingsD blog:

Multiple sources familiar with Apple’s thinking say the company felt it had no choice but to replace Google maps with its own because of a disagreement over a key feature: Voice-guided turn-by-turn driving directions.

One source told the publication:

There were a number of issues inflaming negotiations, but voice navigation was the biggest. Ultimately, it was a deal-breaker.

Of course Apple wanted Google to put voice-aided navigation in iOS Maps, clearly because Apple felt disadvantaged over Android in that regard:

Spoken turn-by-turn navigation has been a free service offered through Google’s Android mobile OS for a few years now. But it was never part of the deal that brought Google’s maps to iOS. And Apple very much wanted it to be.

And having chosen Google as its original mapping partner, the iPhone-maker was now in a position where an arch rival was calling the shots on functionality important to the iOS maps feature set.

As for other issues, The Wall Street Journal reported back in June that Google wanted to add features like Latitude in an effort to amass more location data on iOS users.

Apple wouldn’t budge.

Google also wanted more prominent branding in the stock iOS Maps app, which Apple was reluctant to agree to.

Apple instead chose to end the deal and ship the new maps and this was clearly its best option (John Gruber explains why).

And this is from “a person briefed on Apple’s strategy”:

Apple knew it had a lot of catching up to do in maps. But given what’s happened the past few days, I think they felt they were farther along than they actually are.

Apple’s a bit too hasty move is now backfiring and it’s not just bad press.

Cupertino needs additional manpower to work on that inaccurate map data and perfect crowd-sourced data gathering processes.

Plus, it’s gonna take years until Apple Maps become a viable alternative to Google Maps, which have been perfected for more than seven years now. For example, earlier today Google Maps added underwater locations to Street View. The company also announced availability of high-quality street-level imagery in Croatia, my home country.

Apple Maps don’t even have Street View.

On the other hand, Google too is feeling the heat because over a hundred million iOS devices no longer rely a Google Maps backend. That’s nearly a quarter of the more than 425 million iOS devices sold to date.

A geolocation exec quoted in the AllThingsD story summed it up nicely:

A hundred million devices upgraded is a big body drop.

Google on its part is thought to be working on a standalone Google Maps app for the iPhone. Its chairman Eric Schmidt says the ball is now in Apple’s court.

The New York Times claims the app will be released by Christmas because Google wants to do it right and incorporate 3D views from Google Earth, a separate iOS app, so its software would compare favorably against three-dimensional Flyover views in Apple Maps.

Do you perhaps think this whole Apple Maps think is being blow out of proportion?

  • getaklu

    is the picture on the article mislabeled, or a joke?

    • Rafael Damasceno

      Clearly not mislabeled as you can see the Google mapping info.

      • But judging by the way it looks… and all of the Apple map fails that are floating around the web, then it’s like someone swapped the Google | Apple text… because Apple has some strangely fucked up renders.

    • The Google image is from Google Earth on iOS the Apple is from their maps app.

  • ‘Thing will get worse before, it will get better.’ I’m with you Apple!

  • Apple map will improve hopefully sooner rather than later.

    • But when Google puts their own maps app out for iOS, Apple will lose a lot of it’s userbase. Forcing Google out and replacing it with a vastly inferior version of maps has lead to much anger and a lot of people looking for alternatives.

      • apple will never except the app

      • They can’t do something like that, at the moment to many people are unhappy about the Apple maps. So they have to fight it out on the phone itself, and try to fight Google that way.

      • Howard Ellacott

        Yes, but apple maps will be fully integrated into the OS, Google’s will be a standalone app. Apple could also find a way to refuse google maps onto the app store…

      • Emre SUMENGEN

        And, after reading all these (which, I thought was the case, but never knew for sure), I think they should find a way to keep them out, or stall them at least…

        It’s plain simple a stab in the back, and it’s interesting how Apple took it so long… They might even go grab a deal with Bing… (Even though I dislike Microsoft, Google seems to be a bigger bitch.)

        By the way, from what I read, I understand that Google actually doesn’t have any app ready for now. The fact that they are bringing streetview into mobile maps (on web) strengthens that idea… But, they are still playing in the mud, saying “it’s apple’s ball now”… How come? They are trying to gain time, while they work out their app. But also trying to use this time to build PR, for when they submit their app, hoping people will think Apple was the one stalling it all the time…

        Shitty strategy for Google, but not unexpected, for me.

      • Liu Zhenyu

        Because people like fandroids joke around on how apple is dependent on Samsung for parts and Google for software, Apple doesn’t like it, if only they could get along and make the ultimate phone of the century…

      • So you are saying that fandroids are the reason Apple dumped Google maps? *cough*delusional*cough*

    • seyss

      if you take Siri as an example.. I’d suggest to hang your hat

  • Dale

    Im a truck driver and the new maps app has got me there everytime where as the google maps app directed me to a cornfeild when looking for a lowes the apple maps found it and even directed me how to get turned around

  • It’s time to change the iPhone at the bottom of the page with an iPhone 5. Black please.

    • Kurt

      black is so 2007

  • So in other words…

    Apple: we want to copy your navigation app in Android
    Google: wait… what? don’t you guys get pissed when you get copied?
    Apple: well it’s different when we do it. give us navigation or get the boot
    Google: LOL whatever
    Apple: fine, we will make our own
    Google: good luck with that hahahaha

    • hahaha. Good one . . .

    • Ron McLaughlin

      I don’t think Apple asked to Copy it, they asked Google to unlock the voice option on iOS like all android phones have. Google said no, So Apple said ok, we need to give our customers Voice, so lets make our own.

      • I see it as they asked Google to copy a feature that was in the Android version.

        There were already turn by turn map apps in the App Store.

        Now let’s look at it like this… when Microsoft started adding Internet Explorer to Windows 95/98… Netscape got very upset because it ruined their business model. Microsoft got accused of being a monopoly and making it difficult for others to compete.

        Now TomTom and others have been selling navigation apps for several years in the App Store… doing exactly what Apple Maps is “supposed” to do… but no one is standing up and saying that Apple is making it difficult to compete in certain aspects when they add features and apps in iOS that follows the same logic that got Microsoft in so much trouble.

        Why does Apple get a free pass? Because it’s their phone, their OS and their App Store? Nothing stopped people from downloading Netscape or Opera for Windows back when Microsoft was accused of being a monopoly.

        Apple took a great aspect of iOS and replaced it with a very shitty clone that is far behind. Big deal that they have 3D maps in an extremely extremely small amount of cities… that doesn’t make up for the fact that there are so many things wrong with it. They are driving more people to the mobile web version of Google Maps and when the Google Maps releases it’s own iOS app, a lot of people will never open Apple Maps again.

      • EpicFacepalm

        Safari is the default browser and you can’t change it 🙁

      • you can if you jailbreak.

      • EpicFacepalm

        I already did. But the problem is, Apple forces you to use its own web browser like making it the default browser, the only iOS browser which has Nitro JS Engine and running in background rights etc. Oh and yes, you can disable these restrictions if you jailbreak. Like you told, MS didn’t make restrictions like these or in other words, we didn’t need to jailbreak Windows, but making its own Web browser installed by default was enough to make people angry and MS get sued.

        So, this isn’t an excuse when they ultimately block (untethered) jailbreak way again and again, while they are acting like “they are fixing security vulnerabilities” but not giving or giving funny prizes to WhiteHat hackers. In my opinion, it shouldn’t even need jailbreak for these simple things, though.

      • Agreed. You shouldn’t need to jailbreak to make a default browser and allow access to the same rendering engine. That’s just being the greedy stingy kid down the block that everyone hated because he wouldn’t share :]

  • I don’t see why everyone is so mad about losing google maps. I never used it for navigation, I wanted turn by turn spoken directions and it didn’t offer that. I downloaded apps, and now I use apple maps and I’m quite happy with it. Granted, it does have its share of problems but they will improve over time.

    • Al

      Agreed! Spoken turn by turn is a critical feature.. And over time it will get better… Took Google years to implement their mapping service… I understand that Apple Maps is sorely lacking… But they are other apps out there to solve what Apple lacks… And with time Apple will close the gap on their issues… by the way I use TomTom…

  • I wouldn’t go as far as to call Google Maps perfect. I used to get a lot of bad search results on iOS5 as well.

  • Ron McLaughlin

    I’m with you too Apple, google should let you use Voice, but instead, you have to make the decision to make your own! I know Apple can do it!

  • Shouldn’t someone point out to the guy doing the galaxy s3 google maps vs apple maps that he should of selected the standard view for GPS navigation on the 4s that way he could of spared us 10 minutes of looking at clouds and saying how wrong it looked and maybe could’ve got on with doing an actual comparison?

  • Honestly the apple maps really aren’t that bad. They’ve yet to let me down, and I’ve been trying to use it extensively to see the issues that everyone keeps talking about, but I’ve yet to see it. The maps app has helped me out when my 1 month old Garmin Nuvi has let me down. What more do you really want for a free native app?

    I’ll definitely download the google maps app when it comes out but honestly this whole problem is blown WAYYY out of proportion. Seems to me people are looking for any excuse not to like the iPhone 5.

  • G

    Apple simply launched its own maps app too early. Although tomtom has been in the GPS game for quite some time I doubt they have the resources google has used to develop its maps.

    Apple used to stay out of areas it felt were being properly executed so I see their release of an app that has far fewer features and integration as confusing.

  • Where is the aircraft picture taken?

  • BossWaw

    Lets make a jailbreak google maps appthen as simple ass that,, using google maps while waiting for great apple maps right:)?

  • The guy in that video is clearly a major Android fanboy! Apple makes aren’t great, but here in the US, they aren’t quite that bad. His is worse because he lives in Sweden and I’m sure Apple doesn’t have quite the same presence there yet.

  • I just don’t get what everyone is getting their panties in a bunch for. The biggest issue with the maps was the lack of turn by turn and Google refused to deliver, so Apple had to come up with a solution and it works absolutely great, even on “middle of nowhere” roads. Granted, it lacks point of interests and street view, but its brand new and will continue to grow. And honestly, who really uses satellite view for anything other than to look at the roof of their own house? There is no practical use for it whatsoever other than entertainment value. If you have that big of an issue with it, get google earth and quit crying.

    • wadjj

      Lack of POI, street view and pubic transit are the real problems.

      • MagicDrumSticks

        first world problems

      • wadjj

        Any problem on this site is probably a first world problem

  • Does Apple Maps use constant online data?

  • I’m from Croatia too! Yaay! 😀 Anywho, I hope Google hurries up with their iOS app so that everybody can find my beautifull country :”D

  • shinx2ran

    it’s just not right by rushing with their own map. it’s just like Siri when first introduced with “Beta” label. anyone notice, is siri still have a “Beta” label?

    if you want to make your customer satisfied, you need to serve them right. Apple should know that from earlier. I still stick with ios 5 until Google release their own standalone maps app. I love my bookmarks on older maps app.

  • nima

    ios 6.1 beats google maps!!!

  • Has no one noticed that in the vid s3 n 4s maps at bottom of page when he goes to turn by turn on s3 he seems to think he going to turn by turn on the 4s but all he is doing is hitting for his location, if your going to try a review don’t you think he should at least know how to do it.

  • GeoffBerg

    Apple’s Maps I personally found BETTER than Goggle’s….ok there are a lot of critics about Apple’s inaccuracies with theirs, BUT I am sure they will improve on it.