[UPDATE] Google Maps Stays: Motorola Says Skyhook Will Enhance Location Abilities, Remains Committed to Google


Motorola has made a statement on their Facebook page to lend some clarity to the newly-announced Skyhook partnership for future Android devices. From what can be gathered from the statement, they are making the move out of no ill-will towards Google, and want to use Skyhook to enhance the abilities of location-based services and apps.


It would seem they will only be implementing core elements of Skyhook to help with GPS tracking and accuracy. The statement remains unclear about future support for Google Maps and Navigation, but it doesn’t look like their life on Motorola devices is at stake. If anything it looks like Skyhook aims to improve the capabilities of these services.

The statment is clear that Motorola has no intention to break from their partnership with Google, but also notes the caveat that Android’s open nature makes moves like Skyhook implementation perfectly acceptable by Google’s standards.

[UPDATE] I got in touch with the folks at Motorola and they had the following to say:

Motorola’s relationship with Skyhook — a leader in location positioning, context and intelligence — is complementary to our company’s work with Google.

And for those naysayers:

both [Google Maps and Skyhook] will live on the device; Skyhook is not a replacement.

So there you have it, definitive word on what impact Skyhook will have on Motorola’s Android handsets and Google Maps.

As a side note, I just can’t help but think of  The Dark Knight every time someone mentions Skyhook. Hopefully the enhancements will be as good at improving Android location abilities as Skyhook was at extracting Batman from China.

[Motorola on Facebook | Thanks to Johnny for the heads up!]

Kevin Krause
Pretty soon you'll know a lot about Kevin because his biography will actually be filled in!

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  1. You’re welcome.


  2. I don’t really understand the “controversy.” Motorola is replacing a free utility in android with one that that may be better. I don’t see how it’s any different than HTC including their own soft keyboard. And assuming that Google maps would be replaced is like assuming that because the soft keyboard is replaced, the messaging app will be. Maybe this is all more significant than I’m reading into it, but it just doesn’t seem like that big of a deal.

  3. @Jeff J actually Google Maps is not a free utility. The Google apps are the closed parts of Android. You need to buy a license to include them in your Android device. You are free to offer other similar features though (which a certain fruity platform does not).

  4. @Wello
    Google maps is not a free utility, but the location API that they are replacing with Sky Hook IS. It is part of the core of android.

  5. “[UPDATE] I got in touch with the folks at Motorola” That’s how it *should* be done, every time. Good work.

  6. GOOG: Um, MOTO, did you like the 1m+ DROIDs you sold?
    MOTO: Yes, GOOG
    GOOG: Would you like to be able to keep selling anDROIDs?
    MOTO: Yes, GOOG
    GOOG: So you like _OUR_ maps, don’t you?
    MOTO: Yes, GOOG
    MOTO: We love GOOG MAPS! All Hail GOOG Maps!

  7. has anyone writing the stories or commenting actually bothered to read what skyhook is?

    it’s NOT A MAP APPLICATION. it does not replace any user application.

    In a nut shell it’s a bit of code that allows the device to determine location based on wifi signals rather then gps. They maintain a database of wifi signals and their location and their code checks what wifi access points you can “see” and guesstimates your location. (I think their database is crowd-sourced- but I’m not certain.)

    It’s similar to how googlemaps can sometimes guess your location by the wifi access point you are connected to when you have your phone (so no tower guess) and gps off.

    “To quickly and reliably arrive at accurate location results, the Core Engine synthesizes data from Skyhook’s Wi-Fi Positioning System (WPS), GPS satellites and cell towers with advanced hybrid positioning algorithms. By leveraging the strengths of more than one underlying position technology, the Core Engine provides the best possible location available in any environment.”

    someone from phandroid needs to call skyhook and have them explain what they do and stop spreading all this mis-information.

  8. I’m glad someone else finally understands what is going on here!! Seems that both the bloggers here and the comments really don’t read the article nor understand what they are writing! The article says it in plain english – Location-based services while indoors. That’s NOT GPS! That’s cell triangulation technology that kicks other alternatives’ butts! It really isn’t all that hard to figure out.

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