Just the other day when I gave my thoughts on the new iOS 6 maps, I speculated that Apple and Google’s maps contract had run out, and that is why Apple released their mapping service, even though, it is less than great.
Well, The Verge is now reporting that my and other’s speculation has no basis, because Apple and Google had over a year left on the Google Maps agreement. This means Apple could have used Google Maps while they continued work on their own mapping service. Apple could have waited another year, and they didn’t.
This move apparently caught Google by surprise as development of their own, standalone Goole Maps app is reportedly months away from being a finished product.
This was a baffling move to me, especially after my hypothesis was blown away by the fact that Google and Apple had an agreement for another year. That means Apple released something that was still being worked on(or at least it looks like it). The way Apple could have avoided some of this bluster is if they had labeled the service as “beta”, much like they did when Siri was introduced last year. Apple’s Maps is suffering (mostly) due to a lack of data from users (this is why Google’s is so good). Give it time, and the service will improve. It’s just going to be a long, hard, slog.