will-kate-legoWord on the street is that Google is about to submit their own Google Maps app for iOS (yup, packin’ turn-by-turn), though Google is not optimistic that Apple will let it sail through the approval process. I am.

What I do know about Apple’s App Store rules is that they were written in a manner such that Apple can reject basically whatever they want, including what would be a very popular app that is across-the-board superior to most of the apps of similar functions already on the App Store, including, perhaps, Apple’s own map app. Apple screwed the pooch so badly with their maps app that the CEO, like a shamed samurai, actually apologized (“We are extremely sorry..”), when the volume of anger amongst their patrons was just too strong to ignore. Worse than Antennagate.

Whether the Apple maps app has improved significantly since its release or not doesn’t matter, there has got to be plenty of demand for Google Maps with turn-by-turn, vector imaging and whatever goodies they include, with momentum on that demand that will linger for some time. Also, some people just like Google, period. People want this app now. If it gets rejected and leaked, people will jailbreak for the sole purpose of running Google Maps, you watch.

Assuming there’s no glaring defect with it, I don’t see how it could be, for a company that apologized like this and told its patrons to try out Garmin and Waze while they work the kinks out, politically acceptable, or possibly even legal, to reject or indefinitely delay Google’s impending submission. I see that as generating too much blowback for it to be worth A) the satisfaction of snubbing Google and B) whatever competitive advantages of adoption and migration to their own maps app would be sacrificed by approving Google’s app and giving its users a very viable alternative to what by virtually every account I read was a garbage navigation app nowhere near acceptability.

And if they reject it, forget the “duplicating functionality” bull, this will get plenty of attention and they had better dream up a brilliantly convincing reason why fending off this app is in the interests of its loyal customers — or even Apple for that matter.

Maybe if Jobs were still around I’d be singing a different tune. But what do I know…

Doug Simmons


  1. Yeah Apple has no choice but to approve the Google app. I think it is ironic that Apple, in an effort to strike down Google and not include their app in iOS 6 instead will make the Google app the number one downloaded app in the App Store and give them even more recognition. The problem I have is that there will be more ads but with a trade off with more functionality.

    • Smith, I’ll go ahead and assume with you that Google will lace ads into this app in the same manner they do with Google Maps on Android, and also assume that Apple’s Maps won’t be displaying a lot of ads, at least not until they can get the hang of helping people navigate and brokering well-targeted ads.

      When you see ads that are routinely relevant to your interests, like Amazon telling you what other books you might want to buy based on what it’s learned about you or Google letting you know there’s a Japanese grocery store nearby because it knows you’re a regular at a sushi joint or a hobby shop nearby because you spent three hours the other day watching RC helicopter stunt youtube clips and so forth, the component of utility in these advertisements makes them less of an irritant and more of something you don’t want to avoid, or something you don’t even realize is a bit of information someone paid up to put in front of you.

      The lines are being blurred effectively between you seeing an ad for a nearby gun store on your phone store because you googled how to donate to a right wing PAC after looking up a thirty odd six ammunition dealer and nonalcoholic M1911 clubs versus seeing nearby gas stations because you have that enabled in your Google Maps Navigation layers — meaning, though you asked to see the gas stations and not the gun store, you’ll welcome both if Google guessed right about your proclivities.

      Meaning, yes, just what you said, you’ll accept this trade-off of seeing more of these ads if in exchange you get to run the superior product slash service. You’re correct. And kudos to Google, the ad brokerage with a whole lot less cash on hand than Apple, for producing a navigation thing that’s so good you’d choose it over its counterpart produced by the software and hardware company behind your phone and its platform without being swayed by the notion of seeing some ads. I’d call that an accomplishment.

      Me, I’ve never once used Google Maps on my phone and wished to myself Man, I wish I could find a hacked version on XDA that stripped out the ads.

      But, regarding Internet ads in general and hiding from the cookie people and Google Analytics types tracking you, freedom, if inclined, you can go onto Google-operated websites to get AdFree for Android, you can flip on In Cognito mode on Android’s stock browser or Android’s Chrome browser, or regular Chrome, or on Chrome you can suit up with AdBlock Plus and Ghostery. Don’t like ads in Gmail? Don’t even need an extension, just disable web clips in your settings, done. To me that’s Google’s way of saying we’re so good at making stuff you really like and hitting you with the right array of ads at the right time that we’ll even offer you the tools to cut off our flow of bread and butter and how do you like that big guy!

      I like that Google, I like that.

  2. First of all I did not spend three hours watching YouTube videos on RC helis. I never have that much discretionary time to waste. Besides I’ve seen them all anyway. LOL I have no issue with ads and understand their necessity especially when mobile searches are up 400%. You can lace some searches with ads but myself I have never clicked a mobile related ad ever. On a small screen mobile device I would rather them not be anywhere and would be willing to pay. All my zynga games are purchased mainly because of my aversion to mobile ads. I never doubted Googles prowess at finding relevant information bout me and layering ads to solicit my decreasing dollar earned, I just don’t want them. Also I do not have a .30-06, its on the Christmas list but we weren’t really talking about guns now were we?

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