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  • Apple "Maps" Out a New Game Plan

    Image via intomobile

    You never know what Apple is really up to these days. But as our friends at CNET indicated over night, at least we're gaining more insight into why Apple hasn't openly embraced Google Latitude.

    It turns out, Apple is in the map business now too.

    It appears that Apple has purchased PlaceBase, a company that produced a maps API called Pushpin and offered a mapping service much like Google Maps. The evidence, dug up by ComputerWorld's Seth Weintraub, first appeared in the form of a tweet in July by Fred Lalonde, the founder of Openspaces.org, a company that used PlaceBase's software, stating that Apple had purchased PlaceBase.
    The Apple purchase was Tweeted in July and it's only making headlines today? How did this one get past us?

    In and of itself, the purchase by Apple is significant because it obviously expresses the company's desire to continue venturing into new territory. But it's also a dramatic indication that the tensions between Google and Apple will likely not disappear any time soon. After all, long before Apple rejected the Google Voice app, Apple first shot down Google's Latitude app. Remember?

    Apple's rationale apparently was that people would get confused between a Google Maps app and a Google Latitude app. The explanation seemed a bit baffling, since customer confusion didn't seem to be a concern when Apple approved at least 13 To-Do List applications and 30 streaming music apps.
    After all this time, its clear why Apple didn't want the Google app. This developing story (which comes about three months late) signals Apple's intention to distance itself from Google maps in order to rely on its own blossoming service.

    The apparent purchase of PlaceBase seems to explain why Apple would place such restrictions on Google--Apple has a similar feature coming for the iPhone that it doesn't want competition for.
    Rivalries and speculation aside, the move by Apple illustrates that the company is growing ever more aware of the importance of geolocation - an area in which Apple has somewhat dragged its feet, much to the dismay of some Apple customers. PlaceBase will undoubtedly help Apple expend into new territory with some degree of confidence. As a former Google Maps competitor, the folks at PlaceBase definitely know what they're doing.

    Best of all, with increased smartphone competition popping up at every turn, perhaps it really is wise for the company to distance itself from Google, which has its hand in many pots, including that of the Android operating system. In the mobile realm, becoming as self-sustaining as possible probably isn't a bad course for Apple to "map" out for itself.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple "Maps" Out a New Game Plan started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 23 Comments
    1. swehbe's Avatar
      swehbe -
      it was about time to have a competition for the google maps..hope it will be up to challenge though
    1. iphone4idiots's Avatar
      iphone4idiots -
      I think this is bad news. Google Maps is great and Apple should be focusing its resources in other areas just like Google shouldn't be wasting time with Android.

      Don't get me wrong, I'm a capitalist and competition is good, but there are so many things still needed to be done before my TV, internet, telephone and computer are an all in one device that fits nicely in my pocket.
    1. JAG2621's Avatar
      JAG2621 -
      I think it all started when google started to venture out with there own phone with the android operating system. Apple is thinking why let google make money on the iPhone and on andriod also that will be competition for the iPhone.
    1. billchase2's Avatar
      billchase2 -
      I'm not sure how I feel about this. In one way, it may be good to give Google Maps some competition... but at the same time, Google Maps is so good and innovative that losing it on the iPhone could be a bad thing. I guess we'll have to wait and see how this plays out!
    1. hollow0's Avatar
      hollow0 -
      I'm eager to find out how this app will work and look! I really hope it does well and i'm glad Apple is distancing themselves from Google...however i do like google maps! As far as Android OS..pfft the OS itself bootlegs the UI of iPhone..i hate that! So many similar things when you look at both phones. Bunch of bootleggers. But anywho..that's just my opinion..
    1. tudtran's Avatar
      tudtran -
      I think Apple is making a mistake for Google. Because Google does have more resources than most companies out there.
    1. rwin84's Avatar
      rwin84 -
      Apple is going to phase google out as a result of their relationship dissolving and att is going to facilitate this because it might keep apple around longer
    1. mixer911's Avatar
      mixer911 -
      I luv google maps and think this will hurt the iPhone more though. I hope google finally adds multi touch to android now that apple is not holding them back. Let's just wait and see if this new maps app will be as good as google maps
    1. andygev35's Avatar
      andygev35 -
      This should be interesting. When it comes to native applications, Apple (for the most part) does a very good job at making simple, attractive, and smooth-working apps. I think if they plan on replacing Google maps with their own rendition, it will almost have to be superior in just about every way. At least I hope that'll be the case. Maybe they'll even do their own eye-popping SatNav app to go with it.
    1. hollow0's Avatar
      hollow0 -
      Quote Originally Posted by andygev35 View Post
      This should be interesting. When it comes to native applications, Apple (for the most part) does a very good job at making simple, attractive, and smooth-working apps. I think if they plan on replacing Google maps with their own rendition, it will almost have to be superior in just about every way. At least I hope that'll be the case. Maybe they'll even do their own eye-popping SatNav app to go with it.
      definetly true! Apple always puts great effort into making their apps attractive and with smooth functionality. There's no way they'd bring a halfass app to the default iPhone screen. Also, i'm sure they're going to want every iPhone user to see why this particular app is the best and incorporates more features. It's a competition, Apple won't back down. Is it really neccessary to always stick with one type of app(google map)? Why not see what else is out there that can be perfected?
    1. Fallguy's Avatar
      Fallguy -
      Seems to me like more of the same . I mean what improvements can apple do that would want me to pay for an app that I already have ? Google Maps and Google earth are way ahead their time . There are way to many map apps now I dont see why Apple would bother . Even though competition will bring costs down and I welcome that , I would think Apple is a little late on this .
    1. brandonmarback's Avatar
      brandonmarback -
      I love my 3G but I would never have one unless it was jailbroken. GV Mobile is one of the most powerful apps out there. Apple is just shooting itself in the foot, while other companies like Palm, Microsoft and Google are trying to make their products as multi-platform as possible, Apple want to squeeze itself out of the market. Why is there no iTunes store for Android or Windows Mobile. It's probably because Apple is very short-sighted. They are assuming that everyone will eventually have an iPhone so it doesn't matter but they are wrong.
    1. The Digital Alchemist's Avatar
      The Digital Alchemist -
      "I love my 3G but I would never have one unless it was jailbroken."

      I second that!
    1. santaf's Avatar
      santaf -
      this for some reason reminded me is there an app that can be like integrated with maps or has a map that can tell you where buses are in Seattle i'm taking the bus a lot and when i'm waiting i jsut like to know where the bus is or if i'm walkign to the bus stop i can check to see how much time i have. i dont' know if this works casue the buses would need a gps thing on them but i heard they do have them. and heard there is an app like this in a conversation between two people but they both had a different phone (not the iphone but they had the same phone)
    1. ecd5000's Avatar
      ecd5000 -
      well i would like to try this app to see if its better than using google maps but i want more features, voice navi would be great if the price is reasonable or free. dont get me wrong i like google maps just as much as the next person but hopefully there will be a choice we all can make instead of apple saying oh here you go no more google. but i think google should hookup with saurik and have there apps in cydia, just a thought tho!
    1. Carlos's Avatar
      Carlos -
      I defiantly think it is a great idea, first because google has been acting a little shady toward apple maybe because they do have their own phone, but secondly apple would have no choice but to make it better or try to make it better then google maps, and since they are using the same company it shouldn't be hard for the genius minds behind apple to improve on a product that is already good.

      The more attractive, the more features and the more user friendly the BETTER!
    1. badass1469's Avatar
      badass1469 -
      i sure hope, "if" they decide to part with google, that they don't make some half as$ed native map app, cuz apple is lame for native apps. Sorta like the completely un-needed "contacts" app, all apple did was take a chunk off the phone app and dump it onto the springboard as a "new app". Contacts app is good of course if you have a iPod. but then again if you have an iPod I'm sure you have a cell phone as well; thus making the app useless.
    1. one1's Avatar
      one1 -
      Incase no one has figured this out yet........ Apple partners with who they need to get up and going, then duplicates their functionality and drops them to keep all the revenue for themselves. Remember this phrase from the app rejection store "duplicates functionality"? They don't let you do it, but they do it. It's business.
    1. mdc929's Avatar
      mdc929 -
      whyyy apple whyy???
    1. applekid80's Avatar
      applekid80 -
      Why does apple hate google! Google is the best. They have the best resources. Apple is just being a bully selling overpriced stuff. No wonder why I swithched to windows. More competion and no greedyness