Google Maps for iOS message: What Google really meant to say

Google Maps for iOS message: What Google really meant to say

Summary: Google's blog post on the Google Maps for iOS launch has a series of jabs in it. Here's a between the lines reading.


Google has launched its native Google Maps app for iOS and the world can rejoice---and stop driving into ravines, oceans and other things trying to follow Apple's ill-fated map effort.


The effort by Apple to boot Google and develop its own maps only to flop and later apologize to customers highlights the ongoing mobile battle between the two companies. The maps flap also illustrates the two companies core competencies---Apple does design and hardware and software integration and Google does data and cloud.

Overall, it seems more likely that Google will get the design chops before Apple gets this cloud and data thing right.

The upshot here is Google's blog post on the Google Maps for iOS launch has a series of jabs in it. Here's a between the lines reading:

Google officially says:

People around the world have been asking for Google Maps on iPhone. Starting today, we’re pleased to announce that Google Maps is here—rolling out across the world in the Apple App Store. It’s designed from the ground up to combine the comprehensiveness and accuracy of Google Maps with an interface that makes finding what you’re looking for faster and easier.

What Google really meant to say:

Those silly kids at Apple thought it could do maps better than we can. Good luck with that. People have been asking for Google Maps on iPhone because Apple maps suck. Ha!

Earlier: Google Maps for iOS now available | Google didn't just release an updated Google Maps for iOS, it's Google Maps Navigation Beta | Apple's Map apology: Humble, plugs other services, good enough

Google says:

The app shows more map on screen and turns mobile mapping into one intuitive experience. It’s a sharper looking, vector-based map that loads quickly and provides smooth tilting and rotating of 2D and 3D views. The search box at the top is a good place to start—perhaps by entering the name of a new and interesting restaurant. An expandable info sheet at the bottom shows the address, opening hours, ratings and reviews, images, directions and other information.

What Google meant to say:

We do data as organizer of the world's information. We'll dress that data up too. But you can't put a pretty face on crappy data and expect to get much.

Google says:

At the heart of this app is our constantly improving map of the world that includes detailed information for more than 80 million businesses and points of interest. Preview where you want to go with Street View and see inside places with Business Photos to decide on a table or see if it’s better at the bar. To get you there, you’ve got voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation, live traffic conditions to avoid the jams and if you want to use public transportation, find information for more than one million public transit stops.

What Google meant to say:

We have such a ridiculous lead on Apple on mapping we're not even sure why they try. And yes, we're going to take this map thing and tie in business advertising---since that's what we do.

Google says:

The world around us is constantly changing and, thanks to feedback from you, we make tens of thousands of daily updates to keep Google Maps accurate and comprehensive. Here’s a helpful hint for the new app: if you see something off, simply shake your phone to send us feedback.

What Google meant to say:

We just wanted to reiterate that we do data and can integrate feedback since Google Maps will be ridiculously popular and we have that Android market share.

Google says:

To complete the Google Maps ecosystem, we’re also releasing the Google Maps SDK for iOS, and a simple URL scheme to help developers use Google Maps when building their beautiful and innovative apps.

What Google meant to say:

Since Apple tried to eradicate us once on maps we're going to get developers on our side. One nice perk of this effort is that these developers might become Android converts from iOS.

Google says:

The new Google Maps app is available for the iPhone and iPod Touch (4th gen) iOS 5.1 and higher, in more than 40 countries and 29 languages, including Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish. Please note some of the features mentioned in this post aren’t available in all countries.

Visit the App Store today and download the new Google Maps app. We believe this delightful new experience is a great starting point—and we’ll continue to improve Google Maps for you, every day.

What Google meant to say:

Apple can't keep up with us on maps and has other things to do. Maps aren't a hobby for us.

Topics: Mobility, Android, Apple, Apps, iPhone

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  • The last entry

    You forgot the very last sentence of what Google "meant to say."

    "Google continues working with Apple as a trusted partner andm we sincerely look forward to the day that Apple becomes just one more member of the Open Handset Alliance, manufacturing high quality phones and tablets running the most recent release of the Android operating system."
    • @dsf3g please don't mind

      I am hijacking your thread to bring something to Larry's attention. I hope he reads these talkbacks.

      When are you or your team going to fix the ZDNet site?
      The issue I tweeted few days back is surfacing. The only way you could go around it is clear all of your cookies and history in the browser. It is so annoying.

      Thanks in advance.
      Ram U
      • 400 Bad Request

        I have been experiencing issues with ZDNet for quite some time and I was sure I wasn't the only one. One way around this is to keep alternating browsers when 400 Bad Request error occurs. Right now, I downloaded Opera just so I could access ZDNet as IE, Firefox, and Chrome are displaying the error and I don't feel like deleting cookies all the time.
        • site issues

          @statuskwo5... can you please provide urls of where this is happening on the site so we can fix it? How often is this happening?
          • I get the same

            or did until I binned the cookies. Since doing that, it seems to work fine. It got to the stage I couldn't open "View More Articles" and any further actions were met with the same 400 page error.
            As I say, until cookies were deleted but that is not a long term solution methinks.
            Little Old Man
      • site issues

        @ Rama.NET do you have urls or can you explain where you were on the site? Are you getting 404 errors? Any details you could provide will help us fix it. Thanks! Julie, Product Manager, ZDNet
        • Julie

          Remember I was tweeting the issue a few days back. It got resurfaced. If you end up having cache established your browser with ZDNet, it gives 400 error with bad request

          something like this. And this happens on all browsers and at least on Windows 8, Ubuntu, and OSX Mountain Lion.

          The following is the error it shows:

          Bad Request

          Your browser sent a request that this server could not understand.
          Size of a request header field exceeds server limit.


          I truncated the cookie, if you want I could send the entire cookie string.
          Ram U
          • @Rama.NET

            If you could send me the cookie string, I'll send it to the Engineers. julie dot mccracken at cbsi dot com. Thanks for reporting the issue. Feel free to contact me directly for issues like this.
      • Look above.....

        At the small bio of Larry? You'll see a 'contact' link! It allows you to email Larry with your complaint! He's more apt to get back to you on your problem if he has a legit email to read and respond to! At least he HAS answered my private emails in the past!
  • And Apple did their maps better than what Google provided for iOS, it is ..

    ... true.

    Apple maps did all things that Google was incapable of:
    1) fast vector graphics (and with APIs right from the start; Google only now made its APIs);
    2) voice;
    3) turn-by-turn navigation;
    4) photorealistic flyover (exclusive to Apple Maps).

    Now, after Apple booted them, Google finally provides good version of their maps (minus photorealistic flyover, which is unavailable for them; but they have streetview instead).
    • And Apple did their maps better than what Google provided for iOS, it is ..

      @DDERSSS You should know that Apple wrote the original Google Maps app for IOS using the Google Maps API so if anything was missing it was likely due to the fact that Apple didn't make it available. Google supplied the data in the original Google Maps app for IOS but Apple wrote the app.
      • Apple did not write Google maps application

        Steven Jobs contacted Google in 2006 and they had early access to iOS (then iPhone OS), multi-touch concept/UI and the corresponding APIs. Eric Schmidt was sitting at Apple Board of Directors.

        Google was intentionally sabotaging its iOS version of Apple, never providing updated functionality. So Apple had no choice but to seek to be its own maps provider.
        • Not even remotely true!

          > Google was intentionally sabotaging its iOS version of Apple, never providing updated functionality. So Apple had no choice but to seek to be its own maps provider.

          That isn't even close to the truth. Early on, ,Apple actually forbode turn-by-turn GPS on the iPhone, and pretty much everything Google implemented on the maps app for android was not accepted by Apple. Adding to that, Apple had and still has full access to google's SDK so even if what you said is true, they could have rolled their own maps app using Google's vastly superior data.

          Also, I don't think Google really cares whether you buy an ios or Android device, because they just care about getting users to use their search engine and other services so they can sell eyeballs to advertisers. Android is just a tool that facilitates driving more traffic to Google.
          • Google only provided limited data; the lacking functionality was server-...

            ...based and Google never provided that.
          • Yeah, and if I were Google...

            I'd make IOS users pay $.99 for the Google Maps to teach Apple a lesson. Bullying, maybe but the message would sink in... Don't mess with the big dogs. LOL!

            Then later down the line, offer a free Lite version... or do the Free lite version first then make'em pay for full featured version. Either way would have been Hilarious.

            (lets see how many people get rubbed the wrong way)
            Free Webapps
    • iOS Maps app

      was made by apple, not google. It used Google data only. Nice try.
      • Not really

        See my answer above.
    • The original Google Maps for iOS was created by Apple with Google's data

      The original Google Maps for iOS was created by Apple with Google's data*. So if you find it lacking, blame Apple.

      * see details at
      • This article is incorrect; see my answer above

        The subject.
        • And, if it the app would not be done by Google, the lacking features are ..

          ... provided by server. Google did not provide the functionality.