Google+ takes on a location element as it pushes deeper into iPhone
Choc Factory keen to keep a tentacle touching the fanboi
Google has pushed its social network Google Plus deeper into the iPhone and given it a location element, launching the Google + Local app yesterday. Google is wriggling itself into more crevices on the iPhone before the axe falls on Google Maps in September, when Apple will introduce their own maps app in iOS 6.
The friendly logo for the new Google + Local app
The search giant has rebranded its popular iOS app "Google Places" as "Google + Local" and tied it up to their social network - a change that comes just a week after Google introduced Chrome for iOS.
Places offered a useful local search function that pulled in data from Google's vast information reserves and displayed details and maps to what's around. The Local app now uses Zagat place summaries to provide accurate content and has a voice search function.
Described as "everything you loved about Google Places and more", the changes are relatively small - mainly the introduction of reviews from people you know, and a re-prioritising of venues depending on where your friends have been.
Readers may be familiar with Google's cunning way of introducing Google + into places it was not before - see the Gmail debacle, and it looks like the company is doing a similar thing here. Or it could just be an excuse for Google to keep a location- and identity-enabled app running on iPhones and collecting useful information once Maps is gone (as is the case also on the great majority of Android devices). ®
Re: In the future
Given that there are a number of map and navigation applications already - many using their own mapping data rather than the (soon to be Apple) Google maps. There is even a Navigation section in the App Store for maps. Google Earth is already available available in the App Store.
Given all the above I think it is very unlikely that Apple would reject a Google Maps application. On the other hand if the 'better on Android' factor is important to Google they may not offer it. Obviously in a case where Google submitted the app to the store Apple would not be paying them for use of the map data (which they are at the moment).
Given this Google would have to weigh up whatever ad-revenue (and valuable user location data) they would get from such an app against the cost of providing it and the effect if any on Android. I don't have the data to see where the advantage for Google lies. If I were them I might release as good a maps app as possible but require a logged in Google account for its use, driving G+ usage etc. and providing them with significant amounts of personal location information.
Google is watching you.
The man with the weather baloon looks alright. Damned if I know what that has to do with location.
Re: Re: In the future
It's not a question of whether it is user "deletable" or not, if you have read any tech news in the last few months, you'd know that Apple is getting rid of Google maps under iOS, and dropping in their own software, with licensed map data.
The point being made is that Apple don't allow you to publish competing apps on the app store, that duplicate functionality already present, for the most part, even if they do improve matters. There are a few wrinkles to this, but they are mostly half-assed like being able to wrap another browser UI around the system webkit libraries etc..