Collaborators or competitors? Apple has decided to do away with the Google Maps built-in application in the new iOS 6 which is out for launch soon. Instead, the default mapping option is being powered by Yelp, which means that Google Maps are probably going to be replaced altogether, with a small chance that they will be available as a web-app. Google has announced that it will develop a new, upgraded Maps app for the iOS, but Apple seems to be pretty enthusiastic about Yelp.
The Apple Maps intend to use Yelp for check-ins, hotel listing, restaurants and of course every other way that Yelp can work. An interesting feature seems to be live streaming of flight information as well, which many users will find useful. And while many people seem to be pleased with the level of competition and the move to Yelp, not everyone is happy.
Yelp reviews have always been under question. Apparently they refuse to remove a bad review unless an owner pays to do it, which means this could be a thin line as an extortion racket. Normally, user reviews over the internet are nullified by removing the top 10 percent of best reviews and top 10 worst ones, thus making a middle ground to trust.
There is also the question of missing transit directions into the maps app. Apple comments it will allow third party developers to offer transit directions, but without this key feature that lets you follow your route through a subway or a bus, Apple is falling behind Google Maps that actually offers this service.
However it is likely that Google will suffer the loss of Apple in a big manner. While it won’t put Google out of business, it will reduce Google’s ability to collect information, which is what it does best. With iPhones, iPads and other iOS using products no longer using Google Maps, Google can no longer collect information about where people are going and what they’re likely to do. And this decreases its efficiency in forming searches, which is what we know Google for.
Of course Google can release a maps app through the App Store just like it has other apps. But by not being default, each time you use a maps feature in your new iOS, you’ll invariably use the Apple App. How many would really go through Google Maps to search for a place?
With Apple now replacing Google Maps, Android is the only major platform that uses Google Maps. Google has commented it is underway with a better application of Maps that will serve across other platforms. For now, it is a wait and watch situation.