Steve Jobs Loathed Google So Much He Wanted To Drop Google Search And Maps

Steve Jobs Loathed Google So Much He Wanted To Drop Google Search And Maps

Jobs wanted Google out of the iPhone altogether.

While iOS 6 may be “the world’s most advanced mobile operating system,” its new Maps app is, quite frankly, a heap of trash. It boasts some terrific features, such as 3D Flyover and voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation, but they’re only terrific when the Maps that power them actually work. And Apple’s don’t in a lot of places.

The Cupertino company’s CEO, Tim Cook, has apologized to customers for the frustration the new app has caused, and it’s led us to wonder why Apple even released it. It still had a year left on its contract with Google, so why did it rush into releasing its own, half-baked service so quickly?

Well, one reason behind the move is that Steve Jobs had grown to hate Google. So much so that he set up a new Maps team just to kick Google Maps off the iOS devices.

According to two former Apple executives speaking to Bloomberg Businessweek, Jobs loathed Google because it stole so many of the iPhone’s features for its Android platform, yet wouldn’t allow Apple to use its voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation technology in the Google Maps app.

It frustrated Jobs so much that he also wanted to kick Google Search off of the iPhone and iOS devices, but he knew that users would reject the move. So Maps was his target, and he set up a dedicated team on the third floor of Building 2 on Apple’s campus to build a Google Maps replacement for iOS.

Whether or not the Cupertino company could have waited another year and spent some more time improving Maps before releasing it, we don’t know. But the move had to happen. Tim Bajarin, an analyst with Creative Strategies, said:

I don’t think Apple had any choice but to make a major break and say: We are going to just start from the beginning. The best thing Apple could do was take the hit now.

So if you’ve been asking whether this whole Maps debacle would have happened under Steve Jobs, the answer is probably yes. The only difference is, Jobs wouldn’t have issued an apology for it.

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  • James Kent

    Apple don’t have to kick Google search off the iPhone, all they need to do is make Bing the default search engine. Hardly anybody, apart from Google, would even notice the change.

  • matrix3D

    I am still not seeing the big deal with Apple Maps. It seems entirely accurate for the most part in my area, aside from not knowing about the gas station right up the street from me, but I guess if you used Street View a ton or transit directions then I would see those as valid complaints.

  • monstermasten

    This tells me he wasn’t himself at the end. Honestly. “We just want to make great products for our customors”. What.

  • Shaun Green

    I applaud them for building their own Maps app but not at the expense of their users. It would have been very simple to keep the Google Maps app for now and release Apple Maps as a beta – like they did with Siri. Then when Apple Maps is up to the standard required they could just kick out the Google Maps app in iOS 7 or whenever.

  • pfftsigh

    I applaud them for building their own Maps app but not at the expense of their users. It would have been very simple to keep the Google Maps app for now and release Apple Maps as a beta – like they did with Siri. Then when Apple Maps is up to the standard required they could just kick out the Google Maps app in iOS 7 or whenever.

    The Maps app is done. It’s the data that’s lacking. Maps will be improved much faster with users feedback than they could have been in private. Also, through crowdsourced data. IMO, it’s a good move. TheVerge article said it being updated quickly. They will catch up much faster than leave old iOS map for another year. By the way, Google took 7 years with their maps to get where they are now.

  • Wackintosh
  • Hal Summers

    The Maps issue is overblown.

  • Hal Summers
  • LTMP

    This tells me he wasn’t himself at the end. Honestly. “We just want to make great products for our customors”. What.

    It seems to me that Google Maps has been seriously downgrading the iOS experience. No turn by turn is only the most obvious problem with it.

    Also, This decision was clearly made at least a few years ago, before Apple started buying mapping companies

  • Lane Jasper

    Choosing another search engine away from Google is just as a big a mistake as, let’s say….Google maps

    *sigh*

    I agree…Apple while wanting (and being) cutting edge etc. needs to trust what works and has worked. Google Maps for instance was awesome, I don’t think Apple should have killed them off as the main provider just yet or at least should have given the users the option to choose (which now I know, maps is coming back to iOS 6 etc.) As far as changing the search engine who would they have chosen other than Google? Ask? Yahoo? Bing? NO…. Create their own called “spotlight”? perhaps…but Google has been the standard and perfected for many years. Apple needs to trust competition and partners a bit more imo.

  • 5imo

    Jobs potential response to “mapgate”

    Since iOS 6 debuted in late September we have seen some reports in the meda that some of our customers are unhappy with our new Maps app with Apple-designed cartography turn-by-turn navigation and an amazing new Flyover view. We belie that these reports are false and that there is a simple straight forward solution to this “problem”, move or live in a well populated urban area.

    Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.

    -Steve

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a freelance writer based in the UK. He has an interest in all things tech, but most enjoys covering Apple, anything mobile, and gaming. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell, or through his website.

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