The saga over Apple’s new Maps app just continues to get more interesting by the day. The Verge is reporting that Apple’s contract with Google regarding Google Maps on the iPhone still had 1-year remaining but that Apple surprised the folks at Google by announcing their own Maps initiative at WWDC this past year.
The decision, made sometime before Apple’s WWDC event in June, sent Google scrambling to develop an iOS Google Maps app — an app which both sources say is still incomplete and currently not scheduled to ship for several months.
At the root of Apple’s dismay with Google Maps was that the iOS version lacked turn by turn directions, something which its Android counterpart had had for years. This left Apple’s iPhone at a distinct functional mapping disadvantage, and when Apple tried to broach their concerns with Google, Google naturally wanted their own concessions from Apple, namely more prominent branding on the iPhone and the inclusion of features like Google latitude.
Apple didn’t wan’t to play that game and so they were forced into a decision – go ahead with its own Maps app or wait silently for another year as the iPhone remained a premier smartphone without built-in turn by turn directions. Apple was going to have to cut the cord at some point and no matter when that was going to be, it would have elicited a backlash. That said, hopefully Apple can work out the mapping kinks its experienced thus far rather quickly.