If you recently purchased an iPhone or iPad from Apple, it arrived, shiny and new, pre-loaded with Google’s map software.
Apple, which did not have its own map service, saw value-added from an inclusion of Google maps in its products. Google, for its part, simply wanted its software in front of as many eyes as possible.
It has been a marriage of convenience for the two tech titans, who each derived benefits from cooperation with their rival. But with Apple set to unveil its own map software, it may be a marriage headed for divorce.
Apple engineers have been quietly developing a map service for some time, and their efforts are expected to bear fruit soon. Analysts expect the company to replace Google Maps with its own map service in its next mobile operating system.
In anticipation of the change, Google has begun fleshing out its own map service, announcing on Wednesday that Google Maps and Google Earth will begin showing three dimensional images of entire metropolitan areas. Google also said it would soon make Google Maps available to users even when their device is not connected to the Internet, according to the Wall Street Journal
The announcements were seen as a shot across Apple’s bow, an intimidating indicator of Google’s substantial creative investment in their map service.
The water’s fine, taunted Google, Come on in — just don’t expect an easy time staying afloat.
Google currently dominates the mobile map market, with countless websites and apps embedding Google maps in their product. But Apple plans to make a big push for developers to incorporate its own map service into apps on Apple platforms, providing the new service with a substantial foothold in the mobile market.
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