We continue to receive information about the discussions between Apple and Google that ultimately resulted in Apple ditching the Google powered Maps app and launching its in-house developed Maps app, even though there was over a year to go for Google Maps contract.
AllThingsD reports that “according to multiple sources familiar with Apple’s thinking”, one of the key reasons Apple decided to launch its own Map app was disagreement over the voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation feature in Google powered Maps app.
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.
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 sources say Apple very much wanted it to be. Requiring iPhone users to look directly at handsets for directions and manually move through each step — while Android users enjoyed native voice-guided instructions — put Apple at a clear disadvantage in the mobile space. And having chosen Google as its original mapping partner, the iPhone maker was now in a position where an archrival was calling the shots on functionality important to the iOS maps feature set.
Apple apparently pushed Google to provide the data needed to bring voice-guided turn-by-turn application to iOS, but Google was willing to provide the data only if it got greater control over the mapping experience. The search giant asked for in-app branding and suggested adding Google Latitude, but Apple declined these requests as it likes to keep very tight control over its products.
The report also confirms that Google is working on a standalone native Maps app for iOS app, which may take “another couple months or so” to be released.