Why Today’s Google Maps Event Proves Google Is Scared Witless Of iOS 6 [Opinion]

Why Today’s Google Maps Event Proves Google Is Scared Witless Of iOS 6 [Opinion]

That should be a white flag, Google, not a red one.

At this point, the consensus of everyone from the smallest Apple blogs to the venerable Wall Street Journal is that Apple will dump Google as its Maps provider in iOS 6 in favor of its own, in-house technology that will bring, among other enhancements, 3D mapping to the mix.

Apple’s move has caught Google not just off-guard, it’s put the search giant into a total panic. Need proof? Look no further than Google’s debacle of an emergency announcement today, in which they unveiled “the next dimension of Google Maps.”

During this announcement, Google coincidentally announced their own 3D Maps solution… coincidentally enough, just five days before Apple’s expected to unveil theirs. Oh, and they showed it working on an iPad instead of an Android tablet… and their app was so hacked together it crashed numerous times during the presentation.

Can anyone say “rushed?”

The whole event just screamed panic on Google’s part. After all, the search giant is having its own massive event, Google I/O, in just three weeks, at the same Moscone Center Apple will be holding WWDC 2012 next week. Why would Google hold their own Maps event three weeks before Google I/O if they weren’t in damage control mode?

And that iPad! Google’s got its own mobile operating system, Android, and they have been desperately trying to get people to buy Android tablets. So why is Google showing off their new 3D Maps technology on an iPad first, instead of an Ice Cream Sandwich tablet?

The answer’s self-evident. Google wants to send the message that even after Apple dumps them next Monday, their apps will still work on iOS. Sure, they won’t be baked into the core operating system anymore, but you’ll still be able to download them from the App Store.

The number of crashes that Google experienced while showing off the app during the presentation makes it look liket they literally just hacked together an iPad app to show off in the last few weeks, after they got an early heads-up that Apple was severing their business relationship.

Google’s scared shitless. Somehow, they were caught with their pants down. They seem to have been in denial for these last couple years that Apple was looking to sever its business with them… this despite the fact that Apple started gobbling up mapping companies back in 2009, and released iPhoto for iOS using OpenStreetMaps instead of Google’s API.

Why’s this such a big deal? Google makes more money off of iOS than it does Android. Most of that is through search, but licensing Google Maps to Apple is extremely profitable for the company. And it gets worse! Google makes a lot of money off of iOS App Developers who license the Maps API for their apps, but with Apple coming up with its own solution, app developers will likely be able to use this for free. That’s a huge blow.

With iOS 6, Google’s losing a big chunk of its iOS revenue. Worse, Google’s unlikely to make up much of it in other ways: why download Google’s Maps app from the App Store when Apple’s own Maps software is built into the operating system, and getting directions with it is as easy as tapping on an address in Mail, or asking Siri how to get somewhere.

Make no mistake. What we’re seeing here is Google finally realizing that they pissed off the wrong company. Not only did they betray a company that was once one of their great allies, they made a mess of it. It would be one thing if Android was making Google tons of money, but it’s not: if anything, it’s supplementing revenue Google makes off iOS, not vice versa. And why? Android’s fragmented, a complete mess, and its growth stalling as consumers get more savvy.

When iOS 6 debuts next week, Apple’s finally going to make Google pay for Android. And Google’s crapping themselves over it. With good reason, wouldn’t you say?

  • KurtALEXis

    exactly what i was thinking!

    and they should be scared.
  • InternDom

    Wouldn’t it be hilarious (probably false but funny as hell) if we were all wrong this whole time and the 3D maps rumored to be on iOS were actually Google’s new maps. They just didn’t want Apple to out their new feature first…

    Anyone?

  • joewaylo

    Apple has already made the decision it seems. The video below I found has someone who obtained iOS 6 beta. Review 1 minute 15 seconds. The video has OpenStreetMaps plus directions with 3D and Audio Navigation

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1racS_MTYs

  • Solowalker

    While the language and severity of this post may push it too far, I’m not sure very many people could argue with the basic premise particularly if they watch the whole video. The event was 1 hour and 20 minutes. There was almost literally nothing new or event worthy up until the last 10 minutes. Up until that point it was like they were patting themselves on the back.

    “Oh, our services are so great. We get our data from lots of sources now, including users. We have so many locations. Traffic updates so fast. Oh look, here’s a Ghostbusters/Yoda backpack with a ridiculously large camera we’re using to get more street level data in places we can’t drive our automated cars. Google Earth can be awesome if you use it right.” The rest of it was, “This is where Google maps started. Here’s how we progressed over the years. Here’s a demo of what’s coming soon.”
    It really wasn’t that polished of a presentation and whether or not you agree with the idea of Google “being scared” of Apple’s rumored upcoming service, I think you’d be hard pressed to deny that rushed feeling most especially when considering that Google I/O is so close. Such a fluff-filled presentation surely could have been crammed into that event. So why else do it now other than to try to beat Apple to the punch?
  • technochick

    Wouldn’t it be hilarious (probably false but funny as hell) if we were all wrong this whole time and the 3D maps rumored to be on iOS were actually Google’s new maps. They just didn’t want Apple to out their new feature first…

    Anyone?

    Perhaps possible however if that was the case Google would have known it and hopefully taken more time to do a decent announcement. Especially one that didn’t repeatedly crash. 

    That said, this move has been in the cards for a while. Apple didn’t buy Placebase etc yesterday after all. Much of this has been in the works way before Google really got going on their nonsense. 
  • baby_Twitty

    John Brownlee, i am beginning to like you more.

  • technochick

    Apple has already made the decision it seems. The video below I found has someone who obtained iOS 6 beta. Review 1 minute 15 seconds. The video has OpenStreetMaps plus directions with 3D and Audio Navigation

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1racS_MTYs

    Apple hasn’t released that Beta yet so if somehow this kid got it (two builds even) and put out real information he was a developer and I stress was because Apple will have him booted out if he’s not already.

    He disabled comments probably because folks were yelling fake or he didn’t want them to be able to and if you look at the video he’s careful to keep the camera far enough away that you have to trust him that what he says is on the screen is what is there. That’s classic wind up for a fake out. 
    Also why would they use Open Street Maps with all its watermark conditions etc when they bought their own map company and could use their own maps. Doesn’t make sense. Launching this app now after so long with OSM if their maps aren’t ready also doesn’t make sense. They could have waited another year or made it a half year add on feature.
  • extra_medium

    Sorry but a lot of this article is ridiculous. Yes, its obvious that this presentation was made to upstage apple’s mapping software. But saying they are “scared shitless” because of it is taking it beyond way too far. Its way more of a poorly executed “screw you” to apple than any kind of desperate plea to users.

  • cindella204

    HTML fail at the end…and I pretty much agree with everyone else. Google’s worried, yes. But they are “scared sh*tless”, “caught with their pants down”, etc? Unnecessary, and talking smack to the point of it be obnoxious. And this is coming from someone who loves to talk smack about Apple being better than everyone else.

  • Matthew Gonzales Landry

    John Brownlee, i am beginning to like you more.

    I know, right? That guy don’t take shit from Google lol!

  • baby_Twitty

    Apple has already made the decision it seems. The video below I found has someone who obtained iOS 6 beta. Review 1 minute 15 seconds. The video has OpenStreetMaps plus directions with 3D and Audio Navigation

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1racS_MTYs

    i’ve watched the video, infact both of the iOS 6 beta videos in his channel. It seems legit.

  • Matthew Gonzales Landry

    A Google presentation that didn’t go on without a hitch? NO……THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE!!!!!! What I mean to say is that Google most definately is scared. I don’t think the particular extent posed in this article, but definately to a somewhat extreme degree.

    Aside from the ongoing legal battles between Apple and Google’s partners, Apple really hasn’t made any effort to thrawrt Google products on iDevices. This is the first fire being shot by Apple and it could be a big blow to Google. I think this move was more so for developers than consumers. I think a good number of consumers are disappointed in Google for shortchanging us. Yes, most users of iDevices are probably still impressed that you can even see a map on an iPad, but people are becoming more knowledgeable.

    Unlike iAds, Maps are something that give good press. Nobody likes an ad company. That’s why iAd failed to do much of anything good for Apple. Making ads more tolerable doesn’t make you any less annoyed for accidentally clicking on them. Google, from what I understand, still remains king of ads on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

    On the other hand, Maps is good press and much needed press in a space that has remained the same for a while. People want to see new innovations from companies. Apple Maps will do that. I even think that Apple will impress more people because they don’t typically show something that isn’t ready for human eyes.

    WWDC will be an interesting event, indeed.

  • djfurst5

    I bet sometime in the near future we will also begin to see an Apple search engine. Microsoft has Bing. And if Apple’s search engine is baked right in as the default to iOS, it could skyrocket in a way that Bing didn’t.

  • Andrew John

    Everything they do is done in haste. Even their buggy OS.

  • MaleCABayArea

    I couldnt agree more! This is such an obvious panic move. People who use google maps  on iPhones are not using google maps…. WE are using Apple’s native maps offering and google knows this. No iphone user is loyal to gmaps.

    Google is evil and I cannot wait for Windows phone to start catching up on marketshare.

    Lets face it, we Appleites are loyal. Androities are not and WinPhone7 is much better than all android garbage.

  • cstewbacca

    Android’s fragmented, a complete mess, and its growth stalling as consumers get more savvy.”


    *sigh*

    Why can’t people realize that both iOS and Android have their benefits. Its sad that you must bash android on such things.

    At one end of the spectrum you have competition and choice (android), and some fragmentation because of this. On the other hand you have stability and no fragmentation (iOS) but one phone to choose from and no flexibility/customizability.

    That being said – Android is booming and is only growing in brand recognition, and I’m not quite sure what you mean by ‘a complete mess’ or consumers getting more “Savvy”.

    Although I suppose I should suspect nothing less from a website named “CultOfMac”

    -Sent from my iPad 2
  • SomeoneOrOther

    “Let’s put a dent in Google’s mobile ad revenue stream in iOS by eliminating:

    1) Google Maps = check !
    2) Google default search = TBD “

  • SomeoneOrOther

    “Let’s put a dent in Google’s mobile ad revenue stream in iOS by eliminating:

    1) Google Maps = check !
    2) Google default search = TBD “

  • joe smith

    Here is a link to the video that shows the embarrassing moments of the app crashing.

  • markrlangston

    The title of the article ends with [Opinion], which should immediately alert you to the idea that this isn’t going to be pretty. Some opinions can be downright brutal, just ask anyone that listens to Rush Limbaugh.

    Hyperbole aside, yes, Google is worried because it will greatly impact them financially and today’s rush presentation was a clear sign of that. The fact that they have an event in a few weeks and felt the need to dissect this from their I/O event does smell of fear and worry in the house of G. 
    Everyone expects Apple to have 3D maps as well but something tells me that they’ll find practical applications for using the 3D. That the 3D will be more than just eye-candy but actually add to the overall user experience rather than being pretty for the sake of being pretty. 
    As for the on-stage crashes, shame on the presenter for not going into the multitask bar and shutting the app down rather than continuing to relaunch it. Never see that kind of crap at an Apple event so it’s clearly not the hardware or the OS that’s the problem. 
  • TheNobleRobot

    Woah… so, “cult of mac” isn’t just a name, then?

  • DilbertAsended

    Great article.

  • snookasnoo

    Google is scared shitless.  You know they are when they use an iPad instead of some crap Android tablet.  Not only are they scared of loss of revenue from Apple and iOS they are also scared of loss of revenue from everyone who licenses or uses their Map api.  Apple is showing you don’t have to use Google for mapping.  How long before people start realizing you don’t have to use them for other things too?  Watch Google stock go down…

  • ApplePr0n

    Trying to be as not biased as possible here, but yes. It looks like Google threw this presentation together in just a few days in order to try and beat Apple to the punch, I think it’s safe to say that by doing that it’s practically a public admission that they are somewhat fearful of what Apple has developes

  • editingwrite

    Apple’s move has caught Google not just off-guard, it’s put the search giant into a total panic.” 


    Where’s CultOfGrammar when you need them? The “catching” of the first clause changes to “putting” in the second clause. So the “caught Google not just off-guard” is left hanging. There is no other instance of “catching” to complete the parallelism implied by “not just….” The sentence should read something like: “Apple’s move has not only caught Google off-guard, it’s also making the search giant panic.”
  • Shane Bryson

    Apple has already made the decision it seems. The video below I found has someone who obtained iOS 6 beta. Review 1 minute 15 seconds. The video has OpenStreetMaps plus directions with 3D and Audio Navigation

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1racS_MTYs

    i’ve watched the video, infact both of the iOS 6 beta videos in his channel. It seems legit.

    There are SOOOOOO many things in that video that prove it’s fake. The biggest one being that he claims that having battery percentage is a new thing for iOS. That was introduced in iOS 3.

  • anonymous13

    I’m going to go about saying what I have to say in the best way possible..

    I own both apple and android products. From an iPhone 4s to an HTC EVO 4G, from the new iPad to the asus transformer infinity, and from a google apps account to an iCould account. And let me just say, as someone who started off this “war” on the side of apple, you’re too biased to be making posts like these. You critique android, a product you’ve probably never had, only used, as if you wrote it yourself. Because of this you’re failing to see the big picture here.

    Companies like Google do not “wet their pants”. Do you know why? Because Google owns the Internet. They own 100% full market share of THE INTERNET itself. Microsoft figured it out first, and they released their cloud service along with “bing”. Now, here we are some year and a half later, and
    apple realizes it too. Apple is the one wetting their pants here, genius.

    Even now, a week or two after the release of iOS 6, apple’s maps solution is a catastrophic failure. They’re getting sued left and right for inaccuracy and causing thousands of apple users to be late or download Google Maps (you know, that sucky app that crashes a lot?) from the app store.

    The point to make here is this – Google didn’t cross a line, Apple did. Apple should never have started making software in the first place. Why not? Well because we’re in the generation of cloud computing, something where the Internet is build in to everyone’s software. And as we’ve already established, Google owns the Internet.

    Apple makes good hardware. That’s why I appreciate them. Yes, the iPad 3 may get 200 F when I’m surfing the web, and my iPhone 4s may be one of the most easily breakable phones out there, but it’s still better than anything Samsung/Asus/HTC/etc can do. They’re beautifully made products and to be honest i like them a whole lot. But ten we have android. Do you know how long Google has been writing software? Not long. And already they’ve done a phenomenal job with android, and they weren’t even trying (like you said, they don’t get any money for it!). And this scares the hell out of Apple.

    Apple didn’t create their own maps/iOS 6 to get back at Google for Android. Apple created them because Apple is the one with the tail between their legs. They see the storm coming and buddy, unless they release their own search engine sometime soon, they’re out of this race and they know it.

  • anonymous13

    I’m going to go about saying what I have to say in the best way possible..

    I own both apple and android products. From an iPhone 4s to an HTC EVO 4G, from the new iPad to the asus transformer infinity, and from a google apps account to an iCould account. And let me just say, as someone who started off this “war” on the side of apple, you’re too biased to be making posts like these. You critique android, a product you’ve probably never had, only used, as if you wrote it yourself. Because of this you’re failing to see the big picture here.

    Companies like Google do not “wet their pants”. Do you know why? Because Google owns the Internet. They own 100% full market share of THE INTERNET itself. Microsoft figured it out first, and they released their cloud service along with “bing”. Now, here we are some year and a half later, and
    apple realizes it too. Apple is the one wetting their pants here, genius.

    Even now, a week or two after the release of iOS 6, apple’s maps solution is a catastrophic failure. They’re getting sued left and right for inaccuracy and causing thousands of apple users to be late or download Google Maps (you know, that sucky app that crashes a lot?) from the app store.

    The point to make here is this – Google didn’t cross a line, Apple did. Apple should never have started making software in the first place. Why not? Well because we’re in the generation of cloud computing, something where the Internet is build in to everyone’s software. And as we’ve already established, Google owns the Internet.

    Apple makes good hardware. That’s why I appreciate them. Yes, the iPad 3 may get 200 F when I’m surfing the web, and my iPhone 4s may be one of the most easily breakable phones out there, but it’s still better than anything Samsung/Asus/HTC/etc can do. They’re beautifully made products and to be honest i like them a whole lot. But ten we have android. Do you know how long Google has been writing software? Not long. And already they’ve done a phenomenal job with android, and they weren’t even trying (like you said, they don’t get any money for it!). And this scares the hell out of Apple.

    Apple didn’t create their own maps/iOS 6 to get back at Google for Android. Apple created them because Apple is the one with the tail between their legs. They see the storm coming and buddy, unless they release their own search engine sometime soon, they’re out of this race and they know it.

  • Tallest_Skil

    Apple didn’t create their own maps/iOS 6 to get back at Google for Android. Apple created them because Apple is the one with the tail between their legs. They see the storm coming and buddy, unless they release their own search engine sometime soon, they’re out of this race and they know it.

    Keep dreaming, kiddo.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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