Apple v.s. Google is like the Knicks v.s. the Pacers in the 90’s. They can not see eye to eye and coexist in the tech world. Hit the jump for the latest story on the two tech companies.
Some things have started to change since the passing of Steve Jobs (witness the Apple dividend) but others not only remain the same, they rage on and even accelerate. Like the holy war between Apple and Google.
Jobs was known to have a chip on his shoulder about Android, claiming that Google unceremoniously stole it from Apple. Biographer Walter Isaacson had this doozy of a quote in Steve Jobs:
I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Appleâ€™s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. Iâ€™m going to destroy Android, because itâ€™s a stolen product. Iâ€™m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.
Some things never change.
Google developed an amazing Navigation app for Android and itâ€™s free. But itâ€™s not available on iOS because Googleâ€™s loathe to give consumers any incentive to buy an iOS device. Google, after all, wants you to purchase an Android device. And itâ€™s not going to put one of its defining apps (like Navigation) on iOS any time soon.
But thereâ€™s no love lost by Apple either.
In March Apple began using OpenStreetMap data in iPhoto for iOS â€” where Google map data would be the logical choice. Googleâ€™s map data is richer, it includes satellite, terrain and street view imagery, live traffic and information about practically every local business in the universe (complete with phone numbers and reviews).
(You can compare the quality of Appleâ€™s, Googleâ€™s and OSMâ€™s map data on this mashup site).
So why would Apple switch to obviously inferior map data in its products instead of using Googleâ€™s?
One word. Spite.
Just like Googleâ€™s loathe to release its amazing Navigation app on iOS, Appleâ€™s loathe to pay Google to use its map data on iOS. (Itâ€™s unclear if Apple actually pays Google any cash for its map data, but the location data and queries are highly valuable and Google could probably find a way to make money from it, if it isnâ€™t doing so already).
Apple was just testing the water with iPhoto. A spate of rumors over the weekend suggest that Apple is dropping Google as the data provider in its stock Maps app, which installed by default on the home screen of millions of iPhones, iPods and iPads. It would follow similar defections by Wikipedia and foursquare.
Take that Android!
According to the rumors, Apple is going to replace the Google with OpenStreetMap in the version of Maps that ships with iOS 6 â€” rumored to make its debut next month at WWDC. But instead of being inferior, rumors suggest that the new Apple offering could one-up Google Maps.
Apple has made several mapping acquisitions since 2009, including Placebase, Poly9, and C3 Technologies and rumors suggest that its been spending the last few years combining them into a super-secret Google-Maps killer. 9to5Macâ€™s Mark Gurman thinks that the result could be a stunning new iOS app that includes 3D renderings of cities and a â€œmuch cleaner, faster, and more reliable experience.â€
Iâ€™m fine with change for the better, but Iâ€™m not fine with Apple releasing an inferior mapping product because itâ€™s in a stupid holy war with Google. Maps is too important an app for Apple to use as a pawn in its game with Google. I use an iPhone because itâ€™s better than the others offerings out there, but itâ€™s a close race. If Apple takes a step backwards and dumbs down Maps, I wonâ€™t hesitate to defect to Android, and I suspect that I wonâ€™t be the only one.
Google Maps has quite a compelling feature set, will Apple be able to compete?