Apple is trying really hard to make its mapping service trustworthy and for that purpose, it has announced some changes at the WWDC event this Monday. We won’t be able to see these changes until fall.
However, Google used this as a stimulant to make its Google Maps service even better. Google has announced that they have purchased Waze for more than $1 billion. The big question is now: Why did Google make this move when Waze is doing everything that Google already does?
Google is currently the leader among mapping services and with the purchase of Waze, it received three new assets: the application, the database and the great team. Skobler’s co-founder, Marcus Thielking, said that Waze is a good acquisition but Google is already many steps ahead in this area. Maybe the purchase of Waze was just another way of taking on the competition on the field. At this point, in a field of 4 companies that provide maps, Google holds the first place and NavTeq, which is owned by Nokia and has a deal with Microsoft, is at the number two spot. There is also TomTom, which helps Apple Maps, OpenStreetMap – popular in some countries in Europe and Wikipedia mapping.
Apple is the company that was previously rumored to have a plan of purchasing Waze. Shortly after that, Tim Cook denied all the speculation about the bid for Waze. Thielking has reported that this could have been a better acquisition than Google’s. Waze would definitely help out Apple into building its mapping service. Perhaps Google did this acquisition just to take out Apple’s future progress if it decides to purchase Waze after all. Thielking said Apple wanted to show the world that they can do something on their own but establishing a great service (well, better than Google’s) can be tough.
Apple’s own map service didn’t go very well from the beginning and Google took advantage of the whole situation in a very clever way. They reacted really fast and that brought them one step ahead of other similar services.
Google is now busy making the maps more personalized. When you type chicken into the search bar, the maps will show you all the restaurants around you that serve chicken. When you log on, the service will know what kind of restaurants you prefer because it gathers information from your previous search.
Apple has made a step closer to Google Maps with its OS X and car integration but there is still a very long way to go. Apple seems to be on the right track but I’m afraid Google doesn’t have any intention of stopping. Who’s going to end up with a reputation of the best mapping service? Do you believe Apple is capable of satisfying its users and finally offering them good maps? Time will tell.