Apple may ditch Google Maps, launch own service

Could the days of Google Maps on the iPhone be numbered? According to ComputerWorld, Apple has quietly purchased a mapping-software firm, and it may be planning to develop its own maps application in-house.

The first whispers about the acquisition came from a Twitter post in July, which said Apple had purchased Placebase "all hush hush." ComputerWorld has now confirmed the rumor after digging around on LinkedIn, which says Placebase founder and CEO Jaron Waldman is now part of the "Geo Team at Apple." Placebase’s former CTO now works as an Apple engineer, too, and the Placebase website is largely offline except for developer documentation pages.

Placebase offered world mapping functionality similar to Google Maps. However, according to an older story by GigaOM, the Placebase software had two advantages: customization options and an application programming interface called PushPin, which allowed developers to "layer commercial and other data sets (such as demographics and crime data) onto the maps."

Why would Apple want to part ways with Google Maps, though? ComputerWorld has a few ideas, pointing out that Google recently tried to offer its own mapping application for the iPhone, which Apple subsequently rejected on the grounds that it was too similar to the built-in software. Google CEO Eric Schmidt also left the Apple board of directors in August because of overlap between Apple products and Google’s Android and Chrome OS platforms.

Comments closed
    • indeego
    • 13 years ago

    It is a subversive shell that wraps around the browser and misleads users. People might think they are using IE when they really aren’t, which might break sites that worked fine under IE. I’m aware Chrome is a better browser than IE, but what if Chrome crashed IE on every specific page load? That is evil, or at the very least potential evilg{<...<}g

    • indeego
    • 13 years ago

    I never claimed MS to be innocent, just less evil. They had the most open smartphone platform from the day they started it. They have the most accessible development platform of any operating system. My point is that Apple has done far worse since they have gained some power than Microsoft. I don’t feel sorry for any company, ever, under any circumstances. They aren’t people. They deserve no empathyg{<.<}g

    • indeego
    • 13 years ago

    Bummer about the network you use it on thoughg{<.<}g

    • A_Pickle
    • 13 years ago

    I don’t mind the Windows Live application for Windows Mobile, though, for mapping I do prefer the latest version of Google Maps. I actually switched from Google Maps TO the Windows Live app for awhile, but then Google added street view and search to their app… which toasted the Windows Live app.

    Both of them are fairly competent, I just happen to prefer Google’s for it’s featureset and for the fact that it isn’t trying to be six applications in one. It’s a mapping app, and that’s what I want. Live is just… trying to be maps + my iGoogle homepage and… it’s silly. 😀

    • A_Pickle
    • 13 years ago

    I do, and I didn’t. I use a Palm Treo Pro. I can use Google Voice. I can multitask. I can sync over-the-air without paying $100/year, and I have /[

    • A_Pickle
    • 13 years ago

    Uh…

    …yeah, I am. Who’s forcing you to buy that stupid app? No one. Absolutely no one. You don’t HAVE to pay $1,000 for an app that literally does nothing but show a digital picture of a dollar sign on the screen — you really don’t. No one is forcing you to buy it, the developer is merely asking for $1,000 for his efforts.

    Now, we can debate about whether or not his efforts have resulted in fruit that’s actually WORTH $1,000… but that would be a pointless exchange of words — because we ultimately have no right to set the price on his work. $1,000 for that app is ridiculous — that’s why most people simply wouldn’t buy it.

    You see, there’s this thing called “competition” which is the engine behind a “free market.” Businesses which offer similar goods and services must /[

    • End User
    • 13 years ago

    Yup. I want to hear it you. Especially about the Mac side of things.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 13 years ago

    Google submitting an app and users being able to use it are two different things 🙂

    • SGT Lindy
    • 13 years ago

    Vote with your wallet, and dont buy one. I am sure Apple will care.

    • SGT Lindy
    • 13 years ago

    Choice, I am sure Google will submit the original maps as an app for download.

    There are many now.

    • Trymor
    • 13 years ago

    Personally, I like “cough” MS Streets and Trips and Street Atlas USA for laptops with a GPS puck, iGO, Tom Tom, iGuidance and others for WinMo.

    There was always ‘something?’ that I didn’t like about GM on the iPhone…

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 13 years ago

    Except for directions or traffic information?

    • 5150
    • 13 years ago

    Oh, so choice is a bad thing?

    • 5150
    • 13 years ago

    Examples?

    • adisor19
    • 13 years ago

    Dude, give it up. The whole “Store apps only” policy from Apple is wrong and BAD for consumers. Anyone can see that.

    Adi

    • stmok
    • 13 years ago

    r[< MS could never get away with this same behavior.<]r While I don't care for Apple, and I'm a bit weary of Google; Don't make it sound like Microsoft is an innocent victim and its all unfair; they aren't innocent. They know what they did. They've been caught in anti-trust cases (and fined for their behaviour). Its all about one's behaviour when they nearly have total dominance of a certain market they are in. If you do everything you can to undermine everyone (anti-competitive behaviour), while you're in that position; folks like the EU and US DoJ will start knocking on your door.

    • KoolAidMan
    • 13 years ago

    What else would he do in his basement if he couldn’t obsess with generic nerd rage at Apple?

    OOOH, FUCKING APPLE! *shakes fist*

    • KoolAidMan
    • 13 years ago

    You’re defending the right for someone to release a $1000 app on the store?

    In an alternate universe you would be crying about how Apple does nothing to vet apps in the store or protect its customers, with the presence of /[

    • MadManOriginal
    • 13 years ago

    I was just going to ignore you but you keep replying. Are you retarded man? Do you really need examples of Apple lockdown?

    However the execs want to run their company is fine, I’m not an Apple hater or lover although I don’t find their products particularly compelling, but a huge part of Apple’s business model is based on lock-in from Macs to iStuff.

    • A_Pickle
    • 13 years ago

    g[<"There are only 31 apps in that list. One of which was an app that did nothing and cost a grand."<]g Oh, great. So it's justifiable, then, to prohibit users from installing whatever app they want?

    • End User
    • 13 years ago

    You posted that lame list already. Stop obsessing.

    • End User
    • 13 years ago

    There are only 31 apps in that list. One of which was an app that did nothing and cost a grand.

    The approval process is not perfect but keep in mind they have approved over 85,000 apps.

    • End User
    • 13 years ago

    Wow. Right back at you. You don’t even have the balls to put you points on the table.

    • internetsandman
    • 13 years ago

    hmm…not to happy to hear this. google maps on the iphone has got to be one of my most used apps, not counting SMS, the ipod, or the games of course. but it’s brilliant, and it makes damn near every single app available on the navigation section of the app store completely obsolete. as much as I love apple I’m not to confident on them pulling off a better maps function than google

    • KoolAidMan
    • 13 years ago

    There really is nothing to complain about unless Apple’s implementation is worse. As it stands, Placebase’s maps seems to have better and deeper functionality than Google’s: §[<http://gigaom.com/2008/05/21/placebase/<]§ Google Maps cannot natively aggregate other data sets onto their own maps while Placebase can, so it makes sense that Apple would acquire them if they wanted to add more functionality to the iPhone/iPod Touch but are being hamstrung by Google's own development pace.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 13 years ago

    Well Jobs i[

    • SomeOtherGeek
    • 13 years ago

    And blackberries taste better than apples…

    • Tamale
    • 13 years ago

    Nokia maps is pretty sweet 🙂

    • indeego
    • 13 years ago

    Actually Windows live maps is decent, and they all pull data from sources that Apple or any company can license, so I don’t see why Apple couldn’t pull this off.

    I think it would be fine if Apple just released another map app, and on first launch pulled the “Apple Maps doesn’t appear to be your default Map App, do you wish to make it so like Picard?”

    If Apple touches the Google map app, then I think war is called, unless Google doesn’t care and moves on.

    I went into it below, but I think all three of these companies have evil within them, but I am finding Apple’s evil getting worse and worseg{<.<}g

    • Mourmain
    • 13 years ago

    Apple, Blackberry… They’re all fruit to me…

    • eitje
    • 13 years ago

    but… but… APPLE, man.

    • 5150
    • 13 years ago

    *crotch chops in the general direction of End User*

    • A_Pickle
    • 13 years ago

    Alright, I’m kinda tired of idiots like you. Enjoy.

    §[<http://boredzo.org/killed-iphone-apps/<]§

    • A_Pickle
    • 13 years ago

    As for Google being evil, I don’t know enough about the issue…

    …but for Apple locking down the iPhone? Are you frigging serious? Go home, Apple shill. That is the most obnoxiously locked down “smartphone” platform in existence.

    EDIT: *cough* §[<http://boredzo.org/killed-iphone-apps/<]§

    • moriz
    • 13 years ago

    apple: “it ain’t broke? there’s an app to change that!”

    • 5150
    • 13 years ago

    Just take your ball and go home.

    • End User
    • 13 years ago

    l[

    • End User
    • 13 years ago

    l[

    • A_Pickle
    • 13 years ago

    Haha, what a stupid idea. I’ll eat my words if they pull it off, but Google Maps will always be better than anything that they can design in-house. Anyone used Blackberry Maps for the Blackberry? Anyone used Google Maps for the Blackberry?

    Yeah, it’s no friggin’ comparison. Blackberry Maps blows chunks.

    • adisor19
    • 13 years ago

    These are just rumours pple but i think the reason is that Apple wants to add the maps to the SDK and not have to pay google or to have every dev pay google for using the google maps framework in their app.

    This is my hunch but i could be wrong. I also feel that Apple’s/ATT’s refusal to allow Latitude or a separate latitude app on the iPhone might have google pull their licence for google maps especially since they’re not so buddy buddy anymore.

    Adi

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 13 years ago

    Apple: “It ain’t broke, but we can fix that!”

    • 5150
    • 13 years ago

    Where are all the Apple apologists at?

    • indeego
    • 13 years ago

    Oh absolutely. MS could never get away with this same behavior. Google is now “being evil” on a scale that I think MS never quite touched with their chrome browser plug-in, now rumored for Firefox and Safari/Opera.

    I know why they all do it, (Apple/control) (Google wants better online app performance,) doesn’t make it any betterg{<.<}g

    • MadManOriginal
    • 13 years ago

    In Soviet Apple, iPhone apps run you!

    er…yeah. Just typical Apple lockdown. It’s kind of funny to think that after a year or two of success they might throw away their lead with more and more lockins and restrictions. The smart phone market is not the personal computer market but Apple would like to treat it that way.

    • Satyr
    • 13 years ago

    That, the iPhone’s lack of support for multi-tasking, and the fact that you could only develop for the device on the mac (maybe that’s changed now?) have always been why I’ve avoided the platform myself.

    • CampinCarl
    • 13 years ago

    Edit: Double post, whoopsies.

    • CampinCarl
    • 13 years ago

    l[

    • Satyr
    • 13 years ago

    Those advantages don’t sound like advantages considering Google has a similar, extensive, API.

    • dpaus
    • 13 years ago

    They don’t own it, so, yes, it /[

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 13 years ago

    Boo! It ain’t broke, Apple. Don’t fix it.

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