Google makes Maps API cheaper for developers

Apple is set to drop Google Maps from its iDevices. Perhaps in response, the search giant has made its Maps API cheaper and easier for others to use. For most folks, there seems to be no cost associated with the API. A site must load at least 25,000 maps for 90 consecutive days to pop up on Google’s radar. Even then, there’s no guarantee a bill will arrive in the mail.

In a post on its Geo Developers Blog, Google notes that only 0.35% of the sites using its API exceed the free service limit. Those that have to pay can expect much lower prices. Google used to charge $4 for every 1,000 map loads; now, the same number will cost just $0.50.

To simplify things, Google has removed the distinction between normal and “styled” maps. The latter can be configured with custom colors and map features. Styled maps used to have different usage limits and pricing, but they’ll now be treated like standard maps.

I’ve gotta say, Google Maps is one of those things I’d rather not live without. Bing Maps has infected my Palm Pre, and it’s bad enough that I’m looking to replace the phone. The new Maps app planned for iOS 6 doesn’t look like an improvement over the incumbent, either. The maps are prettier, but they seem to have a lot less information than Google currently provides.

Comments closed
    • blastdoor
    • 7 years ago

    I propose a very silly and highly improbably conspiracy theory:

    Apple is only kicking google out of the default maps app in order to push Google to create a better Google Maps app for iDevices that incorporates turn-by-turn directions, a feature that Google has so far reserved for Android devices.

    While this conspiracy theory is almost certainly wrong, the way this plays out might actually make it seem right.

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 7 years ago

      I think Google would rather just focus on making Android better and get people to buy that than provide a free service for Apple.

    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    Yeah, Bing maps is pretty terrible. I see it a couple times on FB and I wonder how it ever got on there in the first place.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 7 years ago

    Google Maps is one of the best things about Android. I’ve used turn-by-turn on my phone a couple of times and it’s been a real life saver. Offline caching really helps; it’ll cache the entire route so if you lose data service you’re still (relatively) safe.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 7 years ago

    Wait, so Apple is actually disallowing Google Maps? I thought they were just rolling out their own mApple (see what I did there? :)) program, or at worst making people download Google Maps from iTunes rather than loading it standard. If they are preventing Google Maps from working there will almost definitely be anti-trust issues.

      • CampinCarl
      • 7 years ago

      Sorry, you must not have been paying attention. It’s Apple, it’s never an ‘anti-trust’ issue with Apple. It’s just “part of the experience, man”.

      • FuturePastNow
      • 7 years ago

      They’re not going to prevent you from using Google Maps. They’re replacing the default mapping application with one of their own. It’s so they can do turn-by-turn navigation, which Google doesn’t allow.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 7 years ago

        Google navigation does allow turn-by-turn with live updating with a data connection, or cached if you set up the route when there is a data connection.

        This is likely to get anti-trust scrutiny for the exact reason you state: “replacing the default mapping application with one of their own”…exaclty what MS got in trouble for with IE.

          • mikehodges2
          • 7 years ago

          It’d be odd for Apple to get in trouble for replacing a direct competitors product with one of their own. Google use their own maps on their devices, seems only fair that Apple be allowed to do the same.

          Locking out Google Maps would be a whoooole different ball game. And unlikely, I’d guess.

          • Corrado
          • 7 years ago

          Its only if they DISallow other map solutions, which they do not. Its also not a monopoly. Seems funny how the Android fans want to jump up and down and point to how Android has more marketshare, but when Apple does this, they want to scream ANTI-TRUST!

          It can’t be both. Either Apple has a monopoly, or they do not.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 7 years ago

            Not sure why you’re calling me an Android fan, it’s got absolutely nothing to do with the point I’m making nor am I especially an Android fan either. MS still ‘allowed’ Netscape to be installed on Windows so that is a meaningless qualification.

            Oh, and I would say that Apple has a monopoly on iOS software. 😉

            • Decelerate
            • 7 years ago

            Windows controls how much marketshare? iOS controls how much?

            That’s all it comes down to.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 7 years ago

            You’re right, I think iOS is around 50% of smart phones, with android catching up to it.

            • Corrado
            • 7 years ago

            I wasn’t calling you an Android fan, specifically. It kind of looks that way, I was talking more generally what I see on comments sections.

            Everything Apple does against anyone is ANTI-TRUST! But any time any market share or sales numbers are shown, we get told by those same people how many more Android devices there are than Apple.

          • MadManOriginal
          • 7 years ago

          Perhaps I’m mistaken, does Google Maps/Navigate not provide turn-by-turn for iOS?

            • Corrado
            • 7 years ago

            Its not Google Maps. Its Maps.app, built by Apple, but uses the Google Maps APIs.

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