Jun 23rd, 2012

It seems Google’s pockets have been itching as they start losing some of their bigger Maps partners. Apple has decided to create its own mapping service. Likewise, developers like Foursquare are not happy with the prices and finding greener pastures. With repercussions coming in fast, the Search Giant has decided to make things a bit more flexible for developers.

Developers have been paying $4 for every 1000 Map loads after a daily limit of free 25,000 hits. This price has been brought down to $0.50 per 1,000 third-party app map loads. In addition, Google is also relieving developers from “styled maps” distinctions. Such developers would get a lower usage limit before these changes.

The vast majority of apps using the API will not exceed the 25,000 daily hits. In fact, Google states that only about 0.35% of them exceed said limits. But there is no doubt companies of the likes of Apple and Foursquare reach their limit very quickly.

It is hard to say if developers will start flocking back to Google’s wing. We know Apple won’t. But at least current users and upcoming developers will see this as a great incentive. Google IO is coming next week, and we will probably be hearing more about the improved 3D map features. Which by the way, look rather impressive.

We know Google will be working hard to improve its Map services, and with lower prices it hopes to keep as many partners as possible.

[Source: Google Developers]

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