Feeds

Amazon cosies up to Nokia for Google Maps alternative

To exit Google Maps, head southwest

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE
Tim Berners-Lee isn't happy, but we should be
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store
DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
(Not so) Instagram now: Time-shifting Hyperlapse iPhone tool unleashed
Photos app now able to shoot fast-moving videos
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
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.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.