Google hosted an event today showcasing “the next dimension of Google Maps.” The event was put together rather quickly after several sites reported that Apple has plans to replace Google Maps with their own mapping technology when iOS 6 rolls out. Although, the fact that Apple has plans to offer their own 3D maps should not come as a surprise due to the fact that Apple has purchased three different map companies since 2009.
During the announcement, Google demonstrated the maps on an iPad instead of an Android tablet. Why would Google show off the new Google Maps on an iPad, instead of an Android tablet? Perhaps to show that even if Apple replaces Google Maps on iOS, the app can still be downloaded and used on iOS devices.
The timing of the event and the fact that the app crashed several times during the presentation makes it look as though it was rushed together. Apple is rumored to demonstrate their own in-house maps at the WWDC 2012 event on June 11th. Google is having their own developers conference on June 27th, why not wait until the Google I/O event in a few weeks?
Maps on iOS devices are a huge deal for Google. Apple pays Google a licensing fee to use Google Maps on iOS and Google receives money from iOS App Developers who license the Maps API for their apps. Google seems a bit worried about having Google Maps removed as a core app on iOS devices.
We will see what Apple’s plan are next week at the WWDC event.