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Google Backpedals On Turn-By-Turn GPS For iPhone

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the unforeseen-circumstances dept.

Google 145

Smurf writes "Last October Google's Vic Gundotra announced that Google would bring turn-by-turn GPS navigation to the iPhone: 'However, Google is working with Apple on bringing it to the iPhone, and it's not ruling out licensing the software to makers of portable navigation devices used in cars throughout the world, said Gundotra, vice president of engineering at Google for mobile and developers.' Nevertheless, after such plans were confirmed during a press conference in London yesterday, today the 'Don't be Evil' company backpedaled on them: '"We did not say we would bring it to iPhone, we said to date we've had it on Android and that in the future it may come to other platforms, but did not confirm this will be coming to iPhone at all," a Google spokesperson told PCWorld.'"

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Why would they? (5, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966064)

Apple is suing Googles allies, and is a rival to the Android platform. Why would Google want to help them by giving people a reason to stay locked into the iPhone when they can just get an Android phone instead? What does Google gain from people using its free apps on other platforms?

Re:Why would they? (2, Insightful)

walshy007 (906710) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966078)

What does Google gain from people using its free apps on other platforms?

Simply, more eyeballs to sell advertisements to. But in this and some other instances, it seems the cost/benefit to fighting apples system just isn't there.

Re:Why would they? (4, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966126)

Simply, more eyeballs to sell advertisements to. But in this and some other instances, it seems the cost/benefit to fighting apples system just isn't there.

"Turn left at Main Street"
"Did you know that Main Street Tires has Michelin XGV size 75R14 on sale? They're the same tires used on all the cars in Palo Vista Productions' comedy classic My Cousin Vinny, now available on Blu-Ray from Twentieth Century-Fox "
"Oh, you should have turned right back on Elm"
"Did you know ..."

Re:Why would they? (1)

Coopa (773302) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966266)

I imagine that with a Starship Troopers style "Would you like to know more?"

Re:Why would they? (2, Insightful)

eyrieowl (881195) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966738)

Which would make sense...if Apple were letting Google do ad sales for the iPhone. But Apple has decided they want to try to keep that pie for themselves as well, what with their new ad program. It's not a stretch to think that they will make it more and more difficult for 3rd parties to sell ads on their platform. Which, were I Google, would make me question the value to providing a new, fancy capability for this competitor that is hell-bent on making it difficult for anyone but themselves to make money on their phones. After all, if turn-by-turn never makes it to the iPhone, Google can offer all sorts of justifications. But once they've provided it, there would be a lot more hue-and-cry if they discontinued it even if Apple's changing business practices made it unprofitable for them.

Re:Why would they? (3, Informative)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966872)

The new ad API is specifically for developers to use in their applications.

Re:Why would they? (2, Funny)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966972)

Google probably just didn't want to use C, C++, or Obj-C. :P

Re:Why would they? (1)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966898)

Almost forgot. Mapquest already has a free turn by turn with voice prompts for iPhone. It's free although not as feature rich as Google's app. Google also powers the existing map app on the iPhone.

Re:Why would they? (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 4 years ago | (#31967552)

What does Google gain from people using its free apps on other platforms?

Simply, more eyeballs to sell advertisements to. But in this and some other instances, it seems the cost/benefit to fighting apples system just isn't there.

They could also just open maps.google.com in their browser.... The browser does support it, I hope. It runs on the regular stuff most browsers have.

Re:Why would they? (2, Insightful)

teh31337one (1590023) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966250)

Google are fighting back!? Good.

Re:Why would they? (3, Insightful)

rinoid (451982) | more than 4 years ago | (#31967126)

"google are fighting back"

Against what for fracks sake?!

Re:Why would they? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31967262)

"google are fighting back"

Against what for fracks sake?!

Er.. Apple? Their frivolous lawsuits and monopolistic stunts?

Google sponsoring Apple would seem pretty stupid, nevermind about the old wisdom about turning the other cheek.

Re:Why would they? (2, Insightful)

teh31337one (1590023) | more than 4 years ago | (#31967270)

Apple is suing Googles allies, and is a rival to the Android platform.

^ that

Re:Why would they? (4, Informative)

ajs (35943) | more than 4 years ago | (#31968688)

"google are fighting back"

Against what for fracks sake?!

Is that meant as humor? Lessee.. against the rejections of a large chunk of their software suite including latitude and voice (voice, BTW offers the same features now offered across several other iPhone apps that were approved). Against the painfully slow process of getting Apple to update the Google maps app on iPhone. Against the continued taunts of Apples CEO.

And really, that's just the stuff we see. Google has its own platform, and yet the continue to try to bring their tools to Apple's platform as well, and over and over again Apple rejects them without providing replacements that have even remotely comparable functionality.

Re:Why would they? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31966880)

Microsoft and Apple are rivals, yet MS still makes Office for the Mac. They do it because they can make money.

Re:Why would they? (1)

thepike (1781582) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966956)

Yes, but you have to buy Office for Mac, and for a decently high price. The google maps app would probably be free, or maybe a dollar, so not nearly as much profit, unless they get good ad revenue, which Apple probably wouldn't allow.

Re:Why would they? (4, Insightful)

GlassHeart (579618) | more than 4 years ago | (#31968402)

What does Google gain from people using its free apps on other platforms?

Wait, so when Apple attempted to lock you in by banning Flash, did you also ask the same question?

I'm not saying Google is evil or anything like that. I'm saying that if we're only supposed to consider Google's self interest, then don't complain if Apple or Microsoft or Oracle looks out for itself.

Doesn't that get old? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31966070)

Don't be evil company did this. Don't be evil company did that.

It's like you are trying to force a contrast between Google and not-evil. Sorry if they're not the knight in shining armor from the land of dreams, but they're still a long way ahead of the competition.

Could you understand the evil part? (5, Insightful)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966326)

"Don't be evil company did this. Don't be evil company did that."

I am one of the crazy people on Slashdot to question Google's "don't be evil" motto ending up -1 several times along with tinfoil hat jokes but I really fail to understand what kind of "evil" to reject sparing time and huge amount of money for a possibly rejected application.

Google really did good for mobile this time, at least some people from Apple will figure some companies doesn't like to be treated like a potential virus author and porn distributor.

Re:Doesn't that get old? (1)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966516)

Well, the GMM nav voice does sound pretty sexy. Even bordering on pornographic, I might say.

Re:Doesn't that get old? (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966590)

Don't be evil company did this. Don't be evil company did that.

Did you know B.G. bought evil from Satan.

--

Pigs can't fly, their wings are too small.

Re:Doesn't that get old? (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 4 years ago | (#31967540)

You really need to put a question mark at the end of that, it's hard enough to get tone from text, but incorrectly placing critical punctuation destroys the joke.

"Did you know B.G. bought evil from Satan." = wtf? Have this guy's brains been sucked out and replaced with a humorless robot's?

Whereas:

"Did you know B.G. bought evil from Satan?" = hehe, that's kinda funny.

Best:

"Fun fact: Satan now licenses evil from Bill Gates."

Though, to be honest, it's hard to call the guy who created the largest transparently operated charitable foundation in the world [wikipedia.org] "evil". He may be nasty when it comes to business, but I can't really call him evil.

Re:Doesn't that get old? (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#31968788)

Thank you sir, may I have another?

Have I lost enough face to be a donor?

Should I check into rehab?

--

Pigs can't fly because their wings are too small.

Google should be evil (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31966072)

Make turn by turn for the iPhone, but make it so that it directs users to drive off cliffs. Imagine the look on their faces when they realize what just happened!

Re:Google should be evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31966094)

And nothing (nobody) of value would be lost anyway.

Re:Google should be evil (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966096)

Without a 'front facing camera' Google will never be able to get the pic uploaded to formeriphoneusers.bye ;-)

Reminds me of when Homer was faxing Chaka Khan for help as his car went off the pier when his windshield got foggy after deep frying tater tots in the front seat while driving.

Re:Google should be evil (4, Interesting)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966104)

That's already a feature [bbc.co.uk] on some devices.

Re:Google should be evil (1)

Quantumstate (1295210) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966462)

What thought process does it take to follow a sat nav when it instructs you to go off road down a rocky path?

Re:Google should be evil (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966824)

Meh, guilty as charged. Once followed my GPS down a pithole filled dirt road when there was a proper much better route I should have taken.

Simple (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966886)

What thought process does it take to follow a sat nav when it instructs you to go off road down a rocky path?

Answer: a.

To clarify for the the people that follow satnav blindly: As in "a thought process".

Don't ask what kind of IQ it takes to do something stupid when the answer is "an IQ". You would be amazed how many times people just don't think. Like stepping into an elevator when the doors open and there is no elevator. It happens. How? Because people often just don't think. At least not "hmmm that is odd, elevator is all dark and empty and no floor and no ceiling in sight and the walls have runners on them and I can see the lift cables".

We all do it, but deny it so we can laugh at people who go "Hmmm, satnav tells me to drive on this cliff edge, oh well, should be alright, just hope I am not hit by any of the mountain goats that keep falling off".

Re:Google should be evil (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 4 years ago | (#31967632)

Perhaps the one where he didn't have a clue where he was going? That's usually why people use sat-nav.

He just said "Wait a minute, that's not right at all" much, much later than he would have had he not been focusing on the sat-nav.

Of course, he'd probably be miles away from his destination and much more lost without it, but hey, whatever!

Re:Google should be evil (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#31968112)

What thought process does it take to follow a sat nav when it instructs you to go off road down a rocky path?

It's a similar thought process to the one that people follow when they follow their sat-nav onto [telegraph.co.uk] railway [bbc.co.uk] tracks [bbc.co.uk] .

Re:Google should be evil (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966862)

Make turn by turn for the iPhone, but make it so that it directs users to drive off cliffs. Imagine the look on their faces when they realize what just happened!

GPS coordinates for painful 90mph death cliffs please.

Re:Google should be evil (1)

dosle (794546) | more than 4 years ago | (#31967264)

Just wait until the next gen iPhone comes out with the front-facing camera.
We will no longer have to imagine the look on their faces...

Apple's been begging for treatment like this (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31966090)

Apple's behavior towards developers for the iPhone has always stuck me as a "You should feel privaleged to develop for our platform." Think about it, if you invest a lot of time and money into developing for a platform, you expect to reap the rewards of that work based on the merits of your program. Apple has decided that you should only reap those rewards if you conform to a strict ever changing set of arbitrary guidelines that are enforced in a sometimes hap-hazard way.

Well at some point it will come time to pay the piper. People won't want to develop for your platform if all you do is stand as a barrier to making money. Google got royally screwed over by the iPhone. They had pre-approval for their app from Apple and then Apple had a change of heart. It doesn't matter why it happened, what matters is that it happened. Somebody lost money because of it. And if this happens to enough devs, eventually people will take their time and money elsewhere.

Re:Apple's been begging for treatment like this (3, Informative)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 4 years ago | (#31967362)

I know it's popular to bash Apple these days but if you recall, Google gained inside knowledge of the iPhone from their close ties with Apple. They broke those ties and created Droid. Apple denied google's app after that fact. Tit for Tat. Google is hardley innocent here no matter what open platform they develop.

As to how they treat developers, the rules are posted and any who wander into questionable areas have to accept that thy may be rejected. All to often we hear someone submitted an app that they knew duplicated functionality or violated guidlines in some way then they fain shock when it's rejected. The simple truth is that the App store has millions of customers which is a powerfully draw for a very easy distribution system. Most of the hundreds of thousands of apps are are approved without issue. We only hear about the rejected ones.

As a final point, there is no pre-approval for apps. I don't know where you heard that but you were mislead.

Re:Apple's been begging for treatment like this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31967556)

I know it's popular to bash Apple these days but if you recall, Google gained inside knowledge of the iPhone from their close ties with Apple. They broke those ties and created Droid.

And what would that "inside knowledge" be? Touchscreen? Oooh, aah.

IFHA.

Re:Apple's been begging for treatment like this (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 4 years ago | (#31967602)

Google gained inside knowledge of the iPhone from their close ties with Apple. They broke those ties and created Droid.

I don't see how that has any bearing on this issue. And Google didn't create "Droid", Droid is a phone (with what I think is a cheap and retarded name). Google created "Android", which is a mobile OS.

Android is not like iPhone OS in very many ways. It's a competitor sure, but tit for tat is petty childish stuff. Wanting to make their own system because they think they can do better is hardly a sin. Saying they deserve punishment for it is, frankly, wrong. Apple approved, then unapproved Google's app because they wanted to make their own (I forget which app it was, exactly, I recall it being a big deal though). Rather than compete in their own marketplace, they decided to stifle the competition so their app would be the only option. That is just plain evil.

So it sounds like Google has simply said "Fine, if you don't want to work with us, why should we work with you?" What it means is now pretty much everything but the iPhone will have the best free turn-by-turn navigation system on the planet. Way to go Apple!

Re:Apple's been begging for treatment like this (3, Insightful)

node 3 (115640) | more than 4 years ago | (#31968656)

Google created "Android", which is a mobile OS.

No, it was created by Android, Inc., which Google later bought. If you're going to be pedantic about it...

Android is not like iPhone OS in very many ways. It's a competitor sure, but tit for tat is petty childish stuff. Wanting to make their own system because they think they can do better is hardly a sin.

No, they aren't doing it because they think they can do better. They're doing it because they want to get their ads on the increasingly lucrative smartphone market.

Saying they deserve punishment for it is, frankly, wrong. Apple approved, then unapproved Google's app because they wanted to make their own (I forget which app it was, exactly, I recall it being a big deal though).

First off, Apple didn't approve, then unapprove, Google Voice. And no, Apple did not make their own Google Voice app (or Apple Voice app, or anything like that). They didn't approve it because it was designed to replace the core phone functionality of the iPhone, which is very consistent with Apple's previous actions.

But all that aside, it's extremely ironic that you say Apple shouldn't retaliate against Google for Android, but that Google should retaliate against Apple for not approving Google Voice.

Rather than compete in their own marketplace, they decided to stifle the competition so their app would be the only option. That is just plain evil.

Name one such app that Apple has in the App Store that they refuse competing apps for. The only thing they do that is even similar to what you are saying is they don't approve apps that replace certain fundamental functions of the iPhone. This isn't due to competition, but due to wanting to ensure a specific, consistent user experience that has a certain level (to Apple, at least) of quality. You may not agree with their decision to do things like this, but it's worked well for them, and it's absolutely absurd to call it "evil".

So it sounds like Google has simply said "Fine, if you don't want to work with us, why should we work with you?" What it means is now pretty much everything but the iPhone will have the best free turn-by-turn navigation system on the planet. Way to go Apple!

Yawn. If the single biggest knock against Apple is that they don't have Google's GPS Nav app, Apple is still coming out ahead in the game.

Even with all that, Google didn't say they *won't* release their app for the iPhone, and from a business standpoint, it would be counterproductive for them to specifically *not* create one. The reason is that they will be deliberately missing out on revenue. No one (in any statistically relevant number) is going to buy an Android phone over an iPhone solely due to the lack or presence of Google's GPS Nav app. So Google may be able to get a few more ads on a few more Android phones, while simultaneously giving up on a *load* of ads on tons of iPhones.

Re:Apple's been begging for treatment like this (1, Informative)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 4 years ago | (#31967722)

As a final point, there is no pre-approval for apps. I don't know where you heard that but you were mislead.

Is Apple a good enough source for you?

It took an FCC letter of inquiry to get this [cnn.com] little bit of information about Apple's App Store approval process. Every single app is reviewed by at least two staffers before it is allowed to go into the App Store. Google Voice is specifically mentioned, and that particular app has been "under review" by Apple for about six months now. Google resorted to a web app to allow iPhone users to access it.

Joe Hewitt [techcrunch.com] , author of the iPhone's most popular app of all time - the Facebook app - quit developement for the iPhone altogether last november specifically because of Apple's App Store approval process.

Seriously, what planet have you been living on for the last couple years?

Re:Apple's been begging for treatment like this (1)

bipbop (1144919) | more than 4 years ago | (#31968374)

I'm confused. It looks like you were arguing with "there is no approval for apps". But what they said is "there is no PRE-approval for apps", that is, getting approval before submitting the app. I don't see anything in your links or in your rebuttal about pre-approval, despite the quote you're responding to.

Re:Apple's been begging for treatment like this (2, Informative)

node 3 (115640) | more than 4 years ago | (#31968680)

As a final point, there is no pre-approval for apps. I don't know where you heard that but you were mislead.

Is Apple a good enough source for you?

Um, you're misreading what DJRumpy wrote. He's not saying that Apple doesn't approve apps, he's saying they don't pre-approve apps. In other words, they don't tell developers, ahead of time, "sure, write that app, you are pre-approved and we absolutely will not block it". Each and every third-party app is submitted and reviewed, after it's developed, not before.

Good job on getting "+5 Informative" while being 100% wrong. Slashdot should have an Achievement for that!

Re:Apple's been begging for treatment like this (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31968332)

I know it's popular to bash Apple these days but if you recall, Google gained inside knowledge of the iPhone from their close ties with Apple. They broke those ties and created Droid. Apple denied google's app after that fact. Tit for Tat. Google is hardley innocent here no matter what open platform they develop.

The problem here is arbitrary application of rules. If Google's app was indeed approved as GP says, and Apple reversed their decision based solely on the fact that Google is now competing with them, then it just goes to show that no-one can truly trust Apple review process in any way whatsoever, and all rules they have are just rubbish.

Re:Apple's been begging for treatment like this (2, Insightful)

node 3 (115640) | more than 4 years ago | (#31968738)

The problem here is arbitrary application of rules. If Google's app was indeed approved as GP says, and Apple reversed their decision based solely on the fact that Google is now competing with them, then it just goes to show that no-one can truly trust Apple review process in any way whatsoever, and all rules they have are just rubbish.

Except that's not what happened, so it doesn't show any of the things you said it did.

It's even worse that than. Even if what was said is what happened (it's not), the thing about "no one can trust the process in any way, all rules are rubbish" is patently false. Thousands of developers have successfully trusted Apple's review process, and many of the rules have kept buggy, crappy software out of the App Store (people like to point out the Fart app as a counter-example to this, but consider that the Fart app is the bottom of the barrel. That barrel would have been far deeper without the approval process.

Re:Apple's been begging for treatment like this (3, Interesting)

HunterD (13063) | more than 4 years ago | (#31968548)

A) Google has been developing Android for years. They purchased the company who initially developed Android before the release of the first iPhone. Apple got it's panties in a knot when google finally released it.

B) Maps is definitely not developed in C, C++ and Objective C, so getting the code to run on an iphone would violate their approval policies.

C) No sane development shop should be developing on the iPhone platform anyway. When an arbitrary and capricious bureaucracy can kill your income stream at a whim and has been shown to do so on a regular and increasingly common basis, the level of risk there is unreasonable. Releasing an iPhone app is a solid reason for your company's stock to go /down/, as it shows that the management team is reckless with a company's resources.

D) It always galls me that iPhone users seem to have some sort of feeling of entitlement towards getting everything they want. Google doesn't do /free/ turn by turn for your OS and that makes them evil? Get over yourselves. You are not entitled to google making anything for free for you.

Google not making a free app that many companies sell for hundreds of dollars on an OS that explicitly bans them from reusing their code developed by a business that has been shown to be highly hostile to them may be the dumbest reason I've ever see floated for them having violated "don't be evil".

I'd quite a turn-by-turn guide... (2, Insightful)

Angostura (703910) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966092)

... that would help me parse the article summary.

Re:I'd quite a turn-by-turn guide... (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966120)

Really? Google previously said one thing. Nevertheless, they backpedaled and said something different. Was it that hard?

Re:I'd quite a turn-by-turn guide... (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966136)

The article summary was 'meh', but the summary summary was spot on ... though it did break my sarcasm detector, so now I'll need another one of those. I wonder if Google Maps on my iPhone can guide to me a store that sells them?

the funny thing is.... (1)

jisou (1483699) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966102)

apple would probably deny it anyway.

Re:the funny thing is.... (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 4 years ago | (#31968766)

apple would probably deny it anyway.

Why? Apple approves plenty of turn-by-turn nav apps. They actually would have denied them before iPhone OS 3. The terms for iPhone OS 2 disallowed turn-by-turn apps. But now, Google should be fine with this one.

Why not sooner... (4, Interesting)

Wierdy1024 (902573) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966128)

I don't understand why all mobile makers are so touchy about turn-by-turn navigation.

When you've paid for the map data, and got GPS hardware in your device, it seems crazy not to implement turn by turn navigation, since the added software development cost is pretty minimal.

I suspect the problem is more of a licensing one - for example, when turn by turn navigation came out for android, it was US only for a while. A hack existed to enable it in the rest of the world, but that was soon stopped by google. Only later did it get released for the rest of the world.

Considering that it worked with a hack, it can't have been a softwatre issue that was preventing worldwide release - the only possibility is that licensing and company politics was getting in the way. Maybe people like tomtom get exclusive rights to do navigation on map data, and therefore while google has rights to use the maps, they don't have rights to do turn by turn directions with them?

Re:Why not sooner... (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966206)

Yes AFAIK it is a licensing issue. Ever noticed when you use Google Maps it says "Copyright" by someone which is not Google? These people also sell map data to the GPS handset manufacturers and would much prefer to keep their royalties, thank you. Nokia is like the one exception in that they bundle Ovi Maps with their cellphones by default. I would hope this eventually gets standard, rather than relying on a web connection for navigation.

Re:Why not sooner... (2, Informative)

jeti (105266) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966260)

AFAIK there only were two companies that could provide turn by turn information (NavTeq and Tele Atlas). Nokia bought NavTeq and TomTom bought Tele Atlas. Shortly after that, Google fell out with Tele Atlas. That's when Google started its Streetview cars, which also collect turn by turn information.

Re:Why not sooner... (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966306)

Navteq belongs to Nokia and yet, it is been rumored that EU called Nokia and said "Don't do a crazy thing like enabling maps on every Nokia device for free." because of monopoly reasons. It didn't stop a prestigious and unique solution provider, Wayfinder going out of business.

Google has also reached to some point that, they may wish "free nav" isn't really hurting companies prompting a monopoly "talk". If that monopoly talks start, they never stop you know. They are gathering great amounts of really personal data with Google maps and Governments already started to do some media games to wake up their public.

Is Nokia behind this? (4, Interesting)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966844)

Navteq belongs to Nokia

Hmmm the plot thickens. Nokia does have a major axe to grind with apple. If all google maps come from a company owned by nokia you could see them not agreeing to lic them to google for use on apple.

Re:Why not sooner... (1)

c_forq (924234) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966854)

They kind of made a big deal that when Google made available their turn by turn they also switched the copyright to google for the entire US and many other places (one of the reasons they don't do turn by turn in some countries). It turns out when google was spending out their streetview they were doing more than taking pictures and locating wireless routers, they were also creating maps.

Re:Nokia and Ovi Maps (1)

mrawhimskell (1794156) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966952)

Nokia is like the one exception in that they bundle Ovi Maps with their cellphones by default. I would hope this eventually gets standard, rather than relying on a web connection for navigation.

Just a quick note. Nokia bundles Ovi maps with their phones but you still have to download the map data for free onto them. By default the phones rely on a web connection for navigation.

living in the rest of the worl (Canada here) (1)

mhamel (314503) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966606)

for example, when turn by turn navigation came out for android, it was US only for a while. A hack existed to enable it in the rest of the world, but that was soon stopped by google. Only later did it get released for the rest of the world.

reading your post I thought that turn by turn was finaly working so I rushed to my G1.. but sadely I still have a "road not available" message. But the good news is that the hacked application (google maps brut) is still working like a charm. :-D

Re:living in the rest of the worl (Canada here) (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 4 years ago | (#31968960)

His post is right if by later he meant just 3 days ago, and by the rest of the world he meant just the UK [neowin.net] .

Don't be evil (1, Flamebait)

FreakyGreenLeaky (1536953) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966134)

Sometimes people (fan0is) seem to forget they're a for-profit corporation first, do-no-evil (purported) paragon second.

Re:Don't be evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31966148)

In fact, I don't even see what this has got to do with being evil or not evil at all.

Re:Don't be evil (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31966198)

Sometimes people (fan0is) seem to forget they're a for-profit corporation first, do-no-evil (purported) paragon second.

Google is the one that said it, and we won't forget.

Houston, we have a problem (3, Insightful)

h00manist (800926) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966138)

As much as I like Google for all it's well-built, low-annoyance stuff, I have to admit there is just a fundamental, structural problem with companies - they need lots of income to keep going. I myself run, opened and closed a few... All planetary data being owned by a company is going to be a problem. But it's our own fault for directing all our attention, energy, and monies to companies, instead of community owned projects. For example there is Open Street Map [openstreetmap.org] there to prove that we can build stuff we own all by ourselves, no companies involved, thank you very much. Where we get salaries or monies to pay for bills and expenses is a problem, but problems always have many solutions. Open source civil engineering perhaps...

Re:Houston, we have a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31966240)

We'd have a government to counter the situations where companies fail with regards to society or even individuals' needs. In theory, if Google's ownership of data ever proved to be a problem, we should be able to expect the government to intervene.

If we need "open source" civil engineering, that is a sign that either our government operates inefficiently, or that it fails entirely to do what it is supposed to.

Well, but even the need for an iPhone, or iPhone as GPS is far-fetched. Apple prevents way too many things with their hardware for any of it to be considered essential, ever. Some other device should be able to function as GPS and Google shouldn't be holding a monopoly on "maps", but that is not a problem so far, is it?

Re:Houston, we have a problem (2, Insightful)

stephenn1001 (1780930) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966542)

Why not turn the "company" into an open source one? How about the "Open Source Business Model" OSBM: - Everything is "open": The books, the "source", who owns shares, even the business model/plan. - "Work" is submitted to the "shareholders", and if they approve, then one share is given for each hour worked. - One hour = one share. Everyone's time is equal. - People who already own shares vote on who gets the hours (yes, it is a club, but you can always fork!) - All expenses and "contracted hours" are voted by shareholders. - Each month, the company sets a price where it will "buy back" shares at a specific price (the effective net worth of the company minus a few month's expenses). - The founders can maintain control of their "fork/branch" by not selling in the beginning, and later on have a "salary" by selling their new monthly shares/hours. - If the founders become "corrupt", then the business can always be forked with the goal of less corruption. I know, a very socialist idea. The "1 hour = 1 share" ratio can be changed, but then you are getting into a different issue, which is should some people's time be worth more than others?

Re:Houston, we have a problem (4, Insightful)

ortholattice (175065) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966598)

I hadn't visited OpenStreetMaps in several years (it was an interesting project, but a little crude and sparse back then), so out of curiosity (prompted by your post) I went there to see how it has progressed. I am impressed! I don't know about how it fares overall, but someone has put an awful of work into Lexington, MA where I live. What most impressed me the most is that it includes the walking trails in the conservation land areas, which Google does not. Compare Whipple Hill on OpenStreetMap [openstreetmap.org] with Whipple Hill on Google Maps [google.com] . (The hyperlinks are much shorter too...) So, finally I don't have to guess when I encounter partially overgrown trails on my frequents walks through them. This project needs to be more widely publicized. I had no idea how much it has improved.

Re:Houston, we have a problem (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966916)

This project needs to be more widely publicized.

Yeah I agree. Went to a meet of theirs in Sao Paulo and spoke to some map-making guys. Heard that in London it's the best map by far. I started to contribute to it sometimes. Yahoo had apparently made some huge contribution a little while ago with some satellite images.

Re:Houston, we have a problem (1)

CODiNE (27417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31967170)

Don't forget 3rd world countries where there may be a lack of actual maps in existence. OpenStreetMaps lets the locals take care of themselves and accomplish what their government and corporations either can't or won't do.

Just wait til OSM gets big enough to start costing google serious marketshare, then google will start sending copyright violation claims bankrupting the project while they constantly have to fight to prove their edits were homemade.

The iPhone is the popular blonde in the room (2, Interesting)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966154)

Whenever anyone speaks in generalities about offering great things in the future, she always thinks they're talking about her.

"Other platforms" really doesn't mean many options if you're talking about the smart phone market, but it also is not synonymous with "iPhone." I would not be surprised to see Google start to hold back a little on the iPhone development in order to bolster the desirability of the Android platform. They've been giving Redmond the finger practically since the beginning*. Plus, with King Steve talking trash about Android, I wouldn't be surprised if they put a hold on some of their development as a little bit of petty revenge. It's not like there's another turn by turn package that's even close to free for the iPhone.

*Yes, I own a WM phone and, yes, I'm a little disappointed that several features in the GoogleApps world have not been ported to the WM system (the ability to see multiple calendars - even if only by using tags - is at the forefront; I couldn't care less about turn by turn).

Re:The iPhone is the popular blonde in the room (1)

tcr (39109) | more than 4 years ago | (#31967274)

It's not like there's another turn by turn package that's even close to free for the iPhone.
 
I've just started playing with Google Maps Nagivation on the Nexus (am in UK). I think it has more going for it than the $0 pricetag...
It looks a different class of satnav when you see the satellite layer over your 3D route, and the ability to check out any of your waypoints in 360 degree compass mode is pretty nifty.

Re:The iPhone is the popular blonde in the room (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 4 years ago | (#31968598)

Too bad that you don't care about turn-by-turn navigation, since Windows Mobile was the primary platform for this kind of software for almost a decade and still has got the widest selection of navigation software.

Google maps for iPhone in China Offset (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31966164)

Anyone know how to get help from Google with getting the maps function for the iPhone to work properly in China (Like it seems to for many other phones)? Many posts have been made by people on the google forums but no official response. Anyone with any ideas?
http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/maps/thread?tid=764a763844bc2fdd&hl=en
Not sure where their don't help people in their own forums section fits in with their company motto?

Re:Google maps for iPhone in China Offset (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31966214)

Don't know if you heard, but Google and China aren't exactly like this these days.

Don't be evil doesn't mean drop everything you're doing for a country that you don't operate in. Especially if its working fine for other phones in China. Perhaps you should be contacting Apple, since it seems to be their device with the issue.

Re:Google maps for iPhone in China Offset (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31967644)

Read the thread I linked, people already have.

I suspect... (3, Informative)

msauve (701917) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966172)

that it is Apple which has caused this change in direction.

Google's Android apps are written predominantly in Java. Apple recently made an edict that all iPhone apps must be developed in some form of C (or Javascript, but that's not Java).

So, Google would now be required to completely rewrite the app. No wonder they're "decommitting."

Re:I suspect... (3, Informative)

Henriok (6762) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966210)

Android has always been a predominantly Java platform and that's been known since day one. iPhone has never, ever, supported Java in any form (since Javascript is not Java as you point out) and that's also been known since day one. Nothing has changed besides a growing animosity between the companies.

Re:I suspect... (5, Informative)

jmichaelg (148257) | more than 4 years ago | (#31967250)

Android has always been a predominantly Java platform and that's been known since day one.

True.

iPhone has never, ever, supported Java in any form (since Javascript is not Java as you point out) and that's also been known since day one.

True.

Nothing has changed besides a growing animosity between the companies.

False. Apple just decreed that any app written for the iPhone must be written in C, Objective-C or C++. Google has tools that translate Java into JavaScript that runs correctly on any platform. Translating Java to Objective C or C++ isn't a stretch. Apple's *new* policy disallows Google from doing that.

How anyone who isn't an Apple employee can defend that policy eludes me.

Re:I suspect... (1)

mrawhimskell (1794156) | more than 4 years ago | (#31967000)

that it is Apple which has caused this change in direction. Google's Android apps are written predominantly in Java. Apple recently made an edict that all iPhone apps must be developed in some form of C (or Javascript, but that's not Java). So, Google would now be required to completely rewrite the app. No wonder they're "decommitting."

Wow, you hit the nail on the head. That must be it!

When did Google say it would be on iPhone (2, Interesting)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966272)

If you are going to claim that Google said it would be on the iPhone, then you might want to actually include a quote and link for an article that says that. The one included says they are WORKING on bringing it to the iPhone. Come on, lots of people have been working on bringing lots of things to lots of platforms, but they don't always work out. I don't call that backpedaling.

I swear, this is why some companies feel they have to remain so secretive about everything...because you announce the POSSIBILITY of something and then they act like you promised and crucify you when it doesn't happen or doesn't have all the features they thought it should.

Re:When did Google say it would be on iPhone (1)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966850)

Moreover they may have been working on it but stopped development at some point for a legitimate reason.

This legitimate reason may have been a technical one... or it may have been the realization that since they cannot control whether or not it will actually be accepted onto the iPhone platform, it's an unacceptable risk to put development effort into it. For instance, they put effort into a Google Voice application for the iPhone, only to have that effort wasted. Given this, it seems not at all unreasonable (and certainly not evil) to hold back further development of iPhone software.

Re:Fanboism at work again (1)

mrawhimskell (1794156) | more than 4 years ago | (#31967044)

You're right on the money, it's not hard to detect apple fanboism and bias from an article. Interestingly Proverbs 18:17 says "The first to plead his case seems right, Until another comes and examines him."

Google sized companies can't gamble (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966284)

These kinds of apps aren't really "Fire up XCode and code couple of lines" things. People also have tendency to rely on the data they get without reading the EULA and you end up being blamed as result. The programmers of these apps must be getting huge money and they must be working a lot...

So, spend millions of dollars just to get some intern reject your application? Only Adobe would do such mistake. If they get some sort of guarantee from Apple, that would make developers of other 99.995 apps mad so it is not a option. Remember what happened with Google Voice.

I think, they should keep enhancing the Google maps on other, open platforms (I just click a link in Symbian browser) and it would push Apple to stop this "code, submit and pray" silliness. If I were them, I would even work with Opera ASA to make a very simple, Opera Mini like "maps" client for J2ME.

RTFA ? (1)

AftanGustur (7715) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966354)

There is no text anywhere quiting Google spokespeople saying Google would bring this to the iPhone ???

I think people are getting way ahead of them selves here thinking Google has some obligation to do this or else "be considered Evil".

Think about it this way: You have a store and when people with kids come and buy stuff from you, you give the kid a baloon. Do you think you would have any obligation to do the same thing for your competitors ?

Re:RTFA ? (0, Troll)

Smurf (7981) | more than 4 years ago | (#31967354)

There is no text anywhere quiting Google spokespeople saying Google would bring this to the iPhone ???

RTFS again.

There are three FAs in it. The first FA [cnet.com] is even quoted in TFS:

'However, Google is working with Apple on bringing it to the iPhone, and it's not ruling out licensing the software to makers of portable navigation devices used in cars throughout the world, said Gundotra, vice president of engineering at Google for mobile and developers.'

So, Google's vice-president for engineering said Google is working on bringing it to the iPhone. Now Google says "We did not say we would bring it to iPhone".

Google has no obligation to bring any product to market, but at least they should say "we finally decided not no bring it to the iPhone". Saying "we did not say we would" is just sleazy.

Working with Apple on Will Bring (1)

CritterNYC (190163) | more than 4 years ago | (#31967670)

They said they were 'working with Apple on bringing it to the iPhone' which isn't a promise that it would come to the iPhone. They were working on it with Apple at the time. But I'd wager that Apple's increasingly closed, anti-competitive moves (Adobe) made Google think that they'd make similar ones against them (Google's AdMob vs iAd) and decided better than to support a competitor. I doubt we'll see many of Apple's new mobile apps showing up on the iPhone going forward. They'll be on the Android as a competitive advantage and on other open platforms (Blackberry, S60, WebOS, etc) where Google can be assured they'll actually be able to give the app to users, though.

Re:RTFA ? (1)

AftanGustur (7715) | more than 4 years ago | (#31967674)

"working with Apple on bringing it to the iPhone" only means they are talking .. possibly putting each ones claims and requirements on the table.

Re:RTFA ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31967500)

Agreed, the author of the cnet story said that Google is working with Apple. But, that is cnet saying that not Google.

SDK terms issue (1)

svirre (39068) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966368)

I wouldn't bee too suprised if googles iphone support plans were based on automatic translation from their android apps. With apples recent change SDK/app store terms this might no longer be feasible making iphone support a costlier and slower project.

I don't think google will want to drop iphone support given it's installed base, but it might very well become a second class platform for google meanng delays in support of new features.

Already on the iPhone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31966380)

They already have turn-by-turn directions on the iPhone!

Android on iPhone [blogspot.com]

never was coming on google's terms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31966548)

even an apple fan site reported ages ago that it wasn't a lock in
the quote itself dictates it's apple's fault if it doesn't arrive:
http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/09/10/28/google_says_its_navigation_will_come_to_iphone_if_apple_approves.html

"Apple is a close partner," a Google spokesperson told AppleInsider Wednesday. "Millions of users experience Google Maps on the iPhone. We will continue to work with Apple to bring innovation, including Latitude and Navigation, to users but you'll have to speak to Apple about availability."

Backpedals? (2, Insightful)

pj81381 (1703646) | more than 4 years ago | (#31966814)

"Clarifies" is probably more correct. The prior article [macuser.co.uk] that indicates confirmation of navigation for the iPhone has no quoted text which actually confirms plans to bring navigation to other phones. And the above quote doesn't even read as "we won't bring navigation to the iPhone", but rather "we did not confirm we will bring navigation to the iPhone". I believe this is also in line with prior statements they've made on Google Maps Navigation, so it's not like they're really changing anything.

More power to ya Google.. (2, Insightful)

poly_pusher (1004145) | more than 4 years ago | (#31967030)

This is a good thing. Apple has recently been bullying their competition, the suit against HTC. Remember Apple was sued over patent infringement on the Iphone. They settled out of court. They aren't even offering that possibility in their suit against HTC.

The suit against HTC is a semi-passive attack at Google. With the way Apple is behaving, I don't think google should put any of their products on the Iphone. Keep them on Android and continue to grow android as a very open platform. It's why I ditched the Iphone to begin with. A single company developing this kind of regulatory power over a large group of people is dangerous.

To any of you who for some reason think apple is some kind of enlightened company, you better hope they don't reach a personal computer market share large enough to entice the hackers...

"But I thought Macs don't get viruses," says the Apple fanboy.

Would it make it to the App Store anyway? (1)

Alien1024 (1742918) | more than 4 years ago | (#31967080)

Considering recent Jobs' statements on Apple's moral responsibility, there's some objectionable stuff [google.co.uk] on Street View.

No problem (1)

Lije Baley (88936) | more than 4 years ago | (#31967104)

Turn by turn nav works beautifully on my Nokia 5230, for a hell of a lot less money! $10 data plan anyone?

you say that as if it's a bad thing (1)

pydev (1683904) | more than 4 years ago | (#31967220)

Google has been going out of its way to help Apple and make it a more viable platform. Even though they already had their own phone under development, they supported iPhone. Even though Apple laptops and desktops are commercially insignificant, Google supports a lot of software on them. And the thanks from Apple? Insults, lawsuits, rejected apps, and attempts to monopolize the smartphone market through dirty tricks like restrictive developer agreements.

Why should Google even bother develop anything for the iPhone anymore after Apple's rejections of Google Voice, Flash, and Air? There's a good chance Apple would turn down turn-by-turn directions from Google anyway.

It seems... (1)

hedleyroos (817147) | more than 4 years ago | (#31967454)

It seems... that Google has lost its way.

Yeeeaaah!

Cue The Who song.

Good For Google, Keep It Up (1)

CritterNYC (190163) | more than 4 years ago | (#31967638)

Realistically, that quote "However, Google is working with Apple on bringing it to the iPhone" is just what it says. They were working with Apple to bring it to iPhone. It didn't say it would be coming to iPhone, just that it was being worked on. Obviously, Apple's spoiled-child behavior as of late has made Google question whether it wants to support a platform as closed and anti-competitive as the iPhone is, where Apple has already contractually excluded Adobe in every way they can and, based on Apple's past behavior and new "iAd" abilities, will probably soon exclude Google's AdMob from the platform as well.

Google should pull all development from the iPhone that they aren't contractually obligated to provide already (I'd guess they are obligated to provide Google Maps) and slow down development on the apps they already do provide (Google Maps) so the best features are in the app for their open platform (Android) as well as open platforms that let any developers participate (Blackberry, S60, PalmOS, etc).

Google is evil (1)

ron-l-j (1725874) | more than 4 years ago | (#31968094)

Why ? Advertising and fraudulent click counting. Google defines what are legitimate sites. Now if you have a nice bot net and some random traffic looking programs generating false clicks and revenue for you and Google. Google sees this and stopping it is not in the best interest of Google or its shareholders. So Google may be responsable for some click farming operations raising advertising dollars and raising the price of goods as well. Ron

Evil? Backpeddled? WTF? (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 4 years ago | (#31968980)

Wait a minute, maybe google was misunderstood by the media. As I understand it, about the only people will talk with reporters, are other reporters, a lot of news is second, or third, hand. I am willing to give google the benefit of doubt, you know: innocent until proved guilty.

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