Apple's Split with Google Over iOS Maps Driven by Turn-by-Turn Navigation Dispute

Reports about the high-profile split between Apple and Google that saw Apple replace its Google-powered Maps app for iOS with its own solution have continued to trickle out, with AllThingsD now reporting that the lack of turn-by-turn directions on Google's Maps app for iOS was the key motivator for Apple.

[M]ultiple sources familiar with Apple’s thinking say the company felt it had no choice but to replace Google maps with its own because of a disagreement over a key feature: Voice-guided turn-by-turn driving directions.

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 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 arch rival was calling the shots on functionality important to the iOS maps feature set.

Apple reportedly pushed hard for voice navigation in Google's maps on iOS, but Google was unwilling to hand over the functionality without concessions from Apple. As detailed by other sources, Google was seeking greater control over the mapping experience on the iPhone, such as Google branding and Google Latitude integration, concessions Apple was unwilling to make.

ios 6 iphone ipad maps
Combined with the deterioration of the overall Apple-Google relationship and Apple's concerns that Google was collecting too much information from iOS users, Apple ramped up its mapping efforts in order to bring its own turn-by-turn directions to the device, ultimately deciding that it could afford to do away entirely with Google's maps.

Popular Stories

iOS 18 CarPlay Feature

iOS 18 Adds These 5 New Features to CarPlay

Thursday June 13, 2024 7:44 am PDT by
Apple did not mention CarPlay during its WWDC keynote this week, but iOS 18 includes a handful of new features for the in-car software. Overall, there is not a whole lot new for CarPlay on iOS 18, with changes seemingly limited to the Messages and Settings apps so far. Below, we recap everything new for CarPlay on iOS 18. New for CarPlay on iOS 18 1. Contact Photos in Messages App...
ios 18 button bulge

iOS 18 Adds Pop-Out Bezel Animation When Pressing iPhone Buttons

Tuesday June 11, 2024 10:40 am PDT by
iOS 18 includes a small but interesting change for the buttons on the iPhone, adding more of a visual element when changing volume, activating the Action button, or locking the screen. When you press an iPhone button in iOS 18, the display bezel bulges outward slightly. This feature is available for the volume buttons, Action button and the power button, and it will also likely be used for...
iOS 18 Mock iPhone 16 Feature Gray

Revealed: iOS 18 Works With These iPhone Models

Monday June 10, 2024 3:57 am PDT by
iOS 18 will be compatible with the same iPhone models as iOS 17, according to a post on X today from a private account with a proven track record of sharing build numbers for upcoming iOS updates. iOS 18 will be compatible with the iPhone XR, and hence also the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max models with the same A12 Bionic chip, but older iPhone models will miss out. Here is the full...
maxresdefault

First Look at Messages via Satellite in iOS 18

Thursday June 13, 2024 11:29 am PDT by
Apple has been gradually expanding its suite of satellite connectivity features for iPhone, and iOS 18 brings a significant new one in the form of Messages via satellite. The feature allows users to send and receive iMessages and SMS texts, including emoji and Tapbacks, while out of range of cellular and Wi-Fi networks. CNET met up with Apple's senior director of platform product marketing,...
iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

Massive iPhone Upgrade Coming This Week But These Devices Will Miss Out

Sunday June 9, 2024 1:25 pm PDT by
Apple is planning a major AI overhaul in iOS 18, with a feature set it is referring to as "Apple Intelligence." However, these new features will not work on older iPhones, even if they do appear on the new operating system's device compatibility list. Apple's initial AI roadmap for iOS 18 is said to come in two parts: Basic AI features that will be processed on-device, and more advanced...
Generic iOS 18 Feature Real Mock

Your iPhone 15 Can Show the Time When It's Out of Battery in iOS 18

Wednesday June 12, 2024 2:57 pm PDT by
The iPhone has had a Power Reserve function that holds back a small amount of battery life to allow features like Find My and NFC unlocking to work even when your device has died, and in iOS 18, Apple seems to be improving the feature further for the iPhone 15 models. As demonstrated on Reddit, when the battery on an iPhone running iOS 18 is exhausted, the phone can continue to show the time ...

Top Rated Comments

NachoGrande Avatar
153 months ago
Well that makes me feel a little bit better about the crappy map data. I'd rather have turn-by-turn.
Score: 54 Votes (Like | Disagree)
blockhed Avatar
153 months ago
Best explanation yet

This is the best explanation yet for how Apple got in to this mess. It seems like a good reason for Apple to break ties with Google, and I have faith that very soon... weeks or months, Apple's map app will be very good, even superior to what Google offers. Thanks for the article
Score: 49 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Small White Car Avatar
153 months ago
I think John Gruber laid it out best by showing this as '3 options Apple faced' (http://daringfireball.net/2012/09/get_the_fainting_chair). When you look at it that way it makes more sense. (Even if you still don't like it.)

It was like a band-aid that Apple needed to pull off. They decided to do it quickly. Very painful, but probably better than dragging it out longer.
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kaibelf Avatar
153 months ago
Good. Who the hell wants Google's stupid branding all over things when the product is paid for already?
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Aquaduck04 Avatar
153 months ago
A bit ironic that the dispute was driven by turn by turn directions...
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
212rikanmofo Avatar
153 months ago
I don't want my phone slowly turning into an Android. Thank god that Apple pulled away to do things their way. Apple map looks a lot sexier and cleaner than google maps. Give it time and I am sure it will be a lot better. Turn by turn navigation works really well for me and the way apple implemented into iOS is drop dead gorgeous. Doesn't feel cheap and bloated like other other phones.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)