Google is always on the hunt for new ways to boost revenue from search ads, the company’s primary money-maker, and it may have just begun to scratch the surface of a huge opportunity. Amid the numerous announcements made during Google I/O 2013, Google said that developers can now create geofenced ads that automatically display in Google Maps when a user is approaches a certain location. So, for example, a Starbucks ad with a coupon might pop up on the screen as a user walks or drives past a Starbucks coffee shop. According to industry watchers, this could end up being a huge deal. More →
With its I/O Developers Conference in full swing on Wednesday, Google took the wraps off its redesign of Google Maps for mobile devices. As revealed in an earlier leak, Google Maps has been updated with a brand new layout, new search features and new ways to highlight the “things that matter most.” The latest version of Google Maps for mobile devices is fully integrated with Zagat restaurant ratings, Google Offers and includes enhanced navigation with real-time updates for accidents. The update will hit the iPhone, iPad and Android devices this summer. Google also redesigned the Maps user interface on the Web to better match up with the company’s mobile offering. More →
The days leading up to a big industry event like Google I/O are always packed with leaks and this week has been no different. Among the details trickling out ahead of Google’s big day is confirmation that a complete overhaul of Google Maps will debut during the keynote on Wednesday. Or, it would have debuted had Google not leaked it ahead of time. Droid Life managed to grab screenshots of the new Google Maps’ sign-up page when it accidentally went live briefly on Tuesday night, and they reveal what appears to be a terrific reimagining of Google’s popular mapping service. Changes include a brand new layout, new search features and new ways to highlight the “things that matter most.” Additional images showcasing Google Maps’ new design follow below and the rest of the screenshots can be viewed by following the source link beneath them. More →
IPhone users welcomed Google Maps with open arms when it was finally released by Google (GOOG) late last week. The app quickly vaulted to the No.1 spot in Apple’s (AAPL) App Store as more than 10 million people rushed to download it during the its first 48 hours of availability. Apple executives weren’t happy. Australian citizens were. According to new data, Apple’s mapping app is so bad that it was actually preventing a number of users from upgrading to iOS 6 — and now that Google Maps is here, those users are finally ready to update. More →
The long-awaited debut of Google Maps for the iPhone was welcomed with open arms by iOS users. In a matter of hours, Google’s (GOOG) mapping application became the No.1 free app in the App Store and had Apple (AAPL) executives “seething” over its success. Jeff Huber, Google’s senior vice president of commerce and local, revealed just how well the app has done. The executive announced on his Google+ page on Monday that Google Maps for iOS was downloaded more than 10 million times in less than 48 hours after its release. “We’re excited for the positive reception of Google Maps for iPhone around the world,” Huber said. “Congratulations to the Maps Team on the recognition for the passion and hard work they poured into it, for this release and over the last 7+ years.”
No, the Apple (AAPL) Maps fiasco wasn’t part of some grand plan to get Google (GOOG) to produce a higher-quality iOS maps application of its own. Daring Fireball’s John Gruber, who’s about as well-connected to Apple as any blogger out there, senses that Apple’s executives are “seething” over the way Google Maps has received “accolades and joy” after being released for iOS this week as Apple Maps has become “the butt of jokes.” Even though Apple Maps was a big black eye for Apple, the company still doesn’t have all that much to complain about this year since its iPhone 5 had a record launch and its iPad mini is by far the most wanted tablet for holiday shoppers in the United States. All the same, the company can’t be happy to see many of its own fans happily rejoicing that they no longer have to rely on a subpar maps application.
That’s right, iPhone owners — you can finally drop Apple’s (AAPL) awful iOS Maps application in the junk folder on your last app page. Google (GOOG) on Wednesday evening released its third-party Google Maps application for iOS devices including the iPhone and iPod touch running iOS 5.1 and later. And it’s glorious. It doesn’t offer deep iOS integration like Apple’s Maps app does, but it also won’t leave you stranded in the Australian outback to be ravaged by rabid dingos. More →
Augmented reality hasn’t caught on as some may have hoped, but as smartphone adoption increases we have begun to see more developers incorporating the feature into their mobile applications. Google (GOOG) is just one the companies that has embraced the technology, launching an AR-enabled mobile game this past Thursday. Smaller companies, such as Japanese developer Crossfader, have also looked towards AR to help their applications standout in a crowded marketplace. Crossfader’s AR-MAPS application for the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 allows users to enhance maps by using a live video feed from their smartphone’s camera. The app lets users search for specific addresses or landmarks, and even places a pin on locations that can be viewed through the camera. AR-MAPS can be programmed to use mapping data from Apple Maps or Google Maps and is available for free in the App Store.
Ever since Apple (AAPL) replaced Google (GOOG) with its own mapping service in iOS earlier this year, the Internet giant has been rumored to be preparing a dedicated Maps application for the iPhone and iPad. While Google’s former CEO and current chairman Eric Schmidt confirmed in September that the company had not prepared a maps application for iOS 6, recent reports suggested that an iOS-specific app was on its way, although employees believed Apple would bar it from its App Store. According to The Wall Street Journal, Google has reportedly distributed a test version of its new mapping app for iPhones and iPads to testers outside of the company and is putting the “finishing touches” on the app before submitting it to the App Store. A Google spokesperson responded to the report with a vague statement confirming that the company’s goal is “to make Google Maps available to everyone who wants to use it, regardless of device, browser, or operating system.”
iPhone fans hoping to get Google Maps back on their home screens soon shouldn’t hold their breath. A new report from The Guardian claims that while the Internet giant is developing an iOS specific Google Maps apps, the company is “not optimistic” that Apple (AAPL) would ever approve it. Google (GOOG) employees were reportedly optimistic following the departure of Apple’s Scott Forstall, but the company now believes that Apple will still bar the app due to “industry politics.” Apple’s decision to replace Google Maps with its own in-house service this past September has been widely panned, forcing CEO Tim Cook to apologize and leading to Fortstall’s resignation. The Guardian’s source did note that the two companies are in constant communication over a variety of topics and things can change rather quickly. If a Google Maps app is approved, however, iOS users should “never expect” to see Google as the iPhone’s default mapping solution.
Help for your mapping needs is on the way, iPhone users. San Francisco-based software developer Ben Guild has posted some details about Google (GOOG) Maps for iOS 6 on his blog, along with some low-quality images that he says are the application’s alpha build. Among other things, Guild says the app will be “ vector-based,” will feature “two-finger rotation for any angle” and will be formatted for the iPhone 5′s four-inch display. Needless to say, this is music to the ears of iPhone 5 users who love their new device but who miss having the guidance of Google’s high-quality Maps application. More →
The trouble with trying to catch up with Google (GOOG) Maps right now is that Google isn’t exactly resting on its laurels. Case in point: Google on Thursday updated more than 250,000 miles of road images on Street View , which the company says is its largest update for the feature yet. The update includes increased road coverage in the United States, Macau, Singapore, Sweden, Thailand, Taiwan, Italy, Great Britain, Denmark, Norway and Canada, and “special collections” in South Africa, Japan, Spain, France, Brazil and Mexico. On Google’s Maps blog, the company showed off new Street View updates for Taiwan’s Taroko National Park and Denmark’s Kronborg castle. More →