Feeds

Amazon cosies up to Nokia for Google Maps alternative

To exit Google Maps, head southwest

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Amazon has unveiled a mapping API that offers an exit strategy from Google Maps for its developers. The new API is aimed at devs who want to incorporate mapping into apps on Amazon's pocket cash registers tablets such as the Kindle Fire, and uses Nokia's mapping services – Nokia Location Platform.

Although the ruthless retail giant wouldn't say what powers the Google Maps alternative, Nokia didn't need much persuasion to crow about a win. Nokia Location Platform is a wholesale offering based on the eye-watering €5.7bn ($8bn) acquisition of Navteq in 2007. Yahoo! maps uses Nokia's services, as does Bing Maps – although Bing draws in map data from lots of sources.

Nokia raised eyebrows when it was disclosed that it had licensed its map services to Microsoft for Windows Phone 8 - giving every WP licensee access to turn-by-turn navigation. Wasn't this a case of giving away the 'crown jewels', asked some pundits? Nokia Maps high quality vector maps were one of the few highlights of the dying days of Symbian – offering punters fast, friendly vector graphics that work offline. But Nokia clearly sees more value and differentiation in the applications built on top of the services, which rapidly become commoditised.

For Google, it's another example of the company neglecting rather than sweating its assets. Google acquired mapping company Where in 2004, the same year it acquired Keyhole Inc, which produced the amazing product later known as Google Earth. While Google now offers maps of the Moon, Mars, undersea terrain and the sky - it has failed to keep the product competitive for functions required by air-breathing earthlings.

Amazon uses a forked version of Google's Android OS for its Kindle Fire slablet, and wriggling out of the Chocolate Factory's shadow is essential if it wants to maintain its independence. It has already dumped Google Search.®

Related link

Amazon Maps SDK

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows
Behold the Internet of Things. Wintel Things
Linux Foundation says many Linux admins and engineers are certifiable
Floats exam program to help IT employers lock up talent
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.