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Amazon introduces mapping API as alternative to Google

Amazon is giving developers a pathway to bucking Google from their mobile apps if they so choose. As part of their mobile app SDK, the retailer-turned-tablet-maker has introduced a new maps API, which developers can utilize in their own applications to provide mapping functionality.

The new API will provide similar capabilities to what Google offers, including the ability to pinpoint a user’s current location as well as overlay satellite imagery, points of interest, and local data. Where, exactly, Amazon is pulling its mapping data from remains a mystery.

With the Kindle Fire line of tablets Amazon may have chosen Android for the operating system, but it has been retooled in a way so as to distance it from Google’s build. Google’s suite of mobile apps are also not included. The introduction of their own maps API only serves to further drive a wedge between the two. The move certainly won’t sit well with Google, but they have little choice given the free and open nature of the Android OS.

[via GigaOM]

Continue reading on the Amazon Kindle Fire forums, see the specs, or find news and reviews.




  • UniBroW

    I think what Google should do is offer their play store and hence their apps available as a download which could be side loaded. Wouldn’t have the deep Google services framework but it would be beneficial for them as well as customers

  • Dean Politis

    In some ways Amazon sucks. They use Google to develop the guts of the operating system and then do things like this. I thought it really sucked when they made Bing the default search engine. First of all, Bing is inferior to Google search. Second, shouldn’t Google make some money for providing Amazon with the guts for their devices. This all makes me think Amazon is evil.

    Also, does the Fire line have GPS?

    • DaReality

      Ok now look a what you stated and replace Amazon name with Google and Google name with Apple. This is how it would look…..

      In some ways (Google) Amazon sucks. They use (Apple) Google to develop the guts of the operating system and then do things like this. I thought it really sucked when they made Bing the default search engine. First of all, Bing is inferior to Google search. Second, shouldn’t (Apple) Google make some money for providing (Google) Amazon with the guts for their devices. This all makes me think (Google) Amazon is evil.Also, does the Fire line have GPS?
      Downvote away!!!!!!!

      • http://twitter.com/KoryJS Kory Salsbury

        Even on your ‘Google stole from Apple’ trollery, the example doesn’t fly. Amazon is using complete source code from Android (which, sadly or not, is their right to do so), as opposed to design concepts such as rectangles with rounded corners (look out road signs!). Apple didn’t ‘develop’ anything that went into Android, unless you somehow claim to have the source code for both OSes to compare.

        I’m glad you enjoyed your mad-lib. Did the other kids on the short bus help you with it?

      • Canon User

        Epic fail on your analogy, troll.

      • Dean Politis

        Where do you get that iOS is the guts of Android? Amazon is based on Android code. There is no iOS code in Android.

        I guess one could claim that Apple stole from Blackberry since they had a smart phone before Apple. Apple acts like they invented touch screens, but I recall HTC having touch screens before anybody every heard of the iPhone. Apple is famous for stealing. Even Jobs admitted to doing so. They stole the idea for the Mac from Xerox and then had the nerve to sue Microsoft over technology they did not create. If anything, Google perfected the smart phone and gave the users more control over their devices.

        Also, slide to unlock was in the Neonode N1m (a Windows CE device) two years before the iPhone was announced. How Apple managed to sucker some bureaucrat at the patent office that they invented this is a mystery. Also, the iPhone copied their iconic look from the LG Prada (a device announced before the iPhone was announced and released right after the iPhone was announced).

        And one more thing, notifications in iOS were a direct rip-off of Android. The old notifications system in iOS was a pain in the butt. I haven’t heard Google suing Apple for stealing that.

        • Scotsman of Loch Ness

          even though they weren’t designed for it, i sometimes used finger touch instead of stylus on some Palm Pilot and Handspring devices.

      • UniBroW

        How you do you function on a daily basis with the distortion field that surrounds you? Reminds me of when Barry gets drunk at the bar (beer fest)

        http://www.beereur.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/top-terms-for-being-drunk-Beerfest-Drunk-Barry-300×199.png

      • LinuxFrenzy

        What you wan’t a cookie for sounding cool?.Just GTFO.

      • Eliezer king

        adroid is nothing like crapple do your research before u post stupid ish

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Pedro-Marques/615328537 Pedro Marques

        So, in your analogy Google made Bing it’s default search engine… Now, this isn’t an insult, just a factual question: Are you THAT stupid? It’s rethorical also, don’t bother to answer it.

  • Canon User

    I’m all for folks taking Google’s open sourced code and using it for their own purposes, but Amazon is *really* going out of their way avoid Google, and force their users not to use Google.

    Cute, but I don’t think it will pan out for them in the end.

  • David Cramblett

    Google should release a “1-click” tool that wipes the Fire devices and makes them Stock Android devices.

  • nsauce7