Dec 13th, 2012

After murmurings and whispers that Google was readying a doozy of a release for iOS users, tonight, Google has officially released their world famous Maps application into the Apple App Store. Built from the ground up, the new Maps for iOS features most everything Android users have been enjoying for years now, including voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation, traffic conditions, Street View, over 80 million business listings with store hours, phone numbers, and more. Google really pulled out all the stops, ensuring iOS users got the full Maps experience (the one Apple didn’t want their users to have). What’s more is Google is providing an SDK for developers to implement Maps into their own apps — something Apple cannot be too happy about.

iOS users flocked to the App Store for Maps, crashing it in the process

My question to you guys is, do you think Google releasing Maps for iOS is more of a slap in the face to Apple, or to Android users? I’ve seen a lot of chatter on Twitter and the question many Android users are asking themselves is, “Why would Google release Maps — a shining jewel in the crown of Android — for a rival OS? Sounds like madness, right? No… this is Google.

Remember, the sole reason Google created Android in the first place as open software alternative to iOS was so that so that manufacturers from all around the world could put Android on the device of their choosing. All without the worry of licensing fees or hassle. Heck, OEM’s could even theme Android as they saw fit, themeing and transforming the mobile OS into something that was uniquely “theirs.” Almost like the Trojan Horse of lore, the motivation behind Android has always been about one thing: getting as many Google apps and services into as many consumers’ hands as possible.

Maps is iPhone-only for now. Not optimized for the iPad

Where your average Android fanboy wants nothing to do with Apple, Google isn’t so much concerned with their pride as they are with good business. Google knows Android already controls the market share with no signs of slowing down. Still, Apple’s iPhone has shown itself time, and time again, a hit with consumers and it only makes sense, from a business perspective, to reach that audience as well. Crazy you say? Crazy like a fox.

So, where some of you might get your feelings hurt at Google sharing — not taking away — one more thing with iOS users, this isn’t something that will soon change. Heck, Google would even release their apps for Windows Phone. You know, if they had any users that is.

[Google Blog]

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