Apple Ditched Google Maps In iOS 6 Because Google Wouldn’t Provide Voice Turn-By-Turn Navigation [Report]

Apple Ditched Google Maps In iOS 6 Because Google Wouldn’t Provide Voice Turn-By-Turn Navigation [Report]

Siri can give turn-by-turn directions in iOS 6, and that’s because Google refused to.

Apple’s new Maps application in iOS 6 has come under quite a lot of fire since its public release last week. Directions are wrong. Locations are incorrect. Apple has begged its customers to give the new Maps app time, but complaints still run rampant. The mapping data has definitely changed, and that’s because Apple abandoned Google Maps.

Besides the obvious Android vs. iPhone rivalry, why exactly did Apple and Google part ways in iOS 6? According to a new report today, Apple wanted Google’s turn-by-turn navigation service in Maps.

AllThingsD is reporting that Apple and Google broke up over an internal power struggle:

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.

And this caused Apple — which typically enjoys very tight control over its products — no end of philosophical discomfort, sources say. It pushed Google hard to provide the data it needed to bring voice-guided navigation to iOS. But according to people familiar with Google’s thinking, the search giant, which had invested massive sums in creating that data, and views it as key feature of Android, wasn’t willing to simply hand it over to a competing platform.

Google wanted more control over Apple’s Maps app, and Apple wouldn’t let Google have its way. Then the tables switched and Apple wanted Google’s marquee Maps feature from Android. Google said no, so Apple decided to make its own service.

Apple wanted to kick Google out so quickly that it gave Google Maps the boot before its contract with Google had even expired.

If you’re already sick of Apple’s Maps, the good news is that Google is working furiously on its own Maps app for the iOS App Store. The New York Times reported earlier today that Google plans to have its new Maps app submitted to Apple by the end of the year.

  • RadTech5000

    I’m very happy with the new maps in iOS 6 and the voice navigation that goes with it, for me it works great and I think Apple made the correct choice ditching Google period.

  • James Jenkins

    I always wondered why Apple did not have the feature. I had a hard time finding an app that would not break the bank to buy for turn by turn. Some in the app store even had it as a pay periodically (as in once a month/year/timeframe) to keep the voice feature. I assumed that is why Apple was doing it to generate revenue.

  • Jason Knowlton

    never understood why people didnt grab the free apps that provided voice turn by turn that worked greatly.

    The app I have always used was Mapquest. Provided voice turn by turn directions and is FREE, and can log routes by signing into Mapquest.com… I still use it it to this day. A lot of other people use Waze, voice by voice and free.

  • flitzy

    Forgot Google – I’m so sick of all the fawning over them by tech blogs when they’re not even a decent company nor are they a decent mapping service.

    I honestly don’t blame Apple for wanting them off – sounds like Google was just being the typical arrogant company they always are.

    Now Google gets no data from iOS users *and* Apple has the better mapping tool. I love when Google ends up losing out big time.

  • german_wolfgang

    iOS 6 is great but would be better with google..

  • Kelly Boo

    ah thats very explained. i was thought apple kicked the google out because of the samsung stolen from apple’s invention iphones after sued and found out the google supported the samsung then kicked it out. now it says, apple ditched google cause of google REFUSED when apple asked for add the voice direction turn by turn. i was like oh thats explained..! but, honestly, i just dont like new maps with the junk bus route app and i wanted the google maps back then well, thats just happens with the samsung and google cause of all that, you know. so, hope you would be keep it up more update and more better much on new maps and add the transit bus instead that junk app someday.

  • Len Williams

    Finally! Thanks for posting this Alex. I saw this news originally last week but no one else did apparently. Since Google refused to license turn-by-turn navigation to Apple, what choice did Apple have but to develop its own mapping system. It’s curious that Apple released it with so many bugs instead of the use Apple polish (pun intended), although in most instances for me, Maps works just fine and it will only get better. I imagine that Apple wanted to get its new Maps into use as quickly as possible as a feature in iOS 6, but they should have given a bit of warning that it was still in development instead of touting it as a completed technology, which just shot them in the foot. Like the various media are prone to do, Mapgate will continue to get blown out of proportion into a huge subversive plot or “final proof that Apple is DOOMED”, as pundits have been predicting several hundred times a year since the late 1980s. I say “chill” and in a few months the bugs will be gone and we’ll all be in love again.

  • technochick

    Hey Alex, did you actually read any of Robs source articles. Nope you didn’t. Try it, because they don’t say what he says they do.

  • Matthew Gonzales Landry

    I always knew it was Google blocking Turn-by-turn navigation. It’s quite sad that so many iPhone fans are complaining that Apple isn’t doing a good enough job. For shits sake, they invested in 2 mapping companies and spent years building the application. Ungrateful group of whiners. Is it perfect? No, but it’s a sign that Apple will do what is necessary for you little assholes to get a feature you want—including dropping the ever-so-popular Map king’s service.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a staff writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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