With all the uproar about the new Maps app introduced in Apple’s iOS 6 – also part of the new iPhone 5 – a story has surfaced that puts a new light on the situation. The general consensus among the techie-crowd was that Apple wanted to do their own maps app to thumb their nose at Google or because Apple was being greedy. However, it is now being revealed that Google was not willing to license the voice guided turn-by-turn navigation technology to Apple - at least not without concessions that Apple could to agree to. Not willing to grant a third-party significant leverage over the functionality of its operating system (ala Adobe Flash), Apple was basically forced to develop its own mapping application.
So was Google being the nose-thumbing, greedy company instead of Apple? There is probably truth to both sides, but the reality is that where the companies were once allies, it appears that they are growing ever more antagonistic. Apple seems to have known this was coming, as they have been making acquisitions of mapping-based technologies since July of 2009. The Google/Apple schism is a shame because both companies have strengths in their respective areas. Hopefully they’ll be able to cooperate again in the future. The specter of Microsoft still lurks.