Google Schedules a Special Maps Event — Set Five Days Before Apple’s WWDC
This Friday, Google invited journalists to a June 6 event where it will unveil the future of Google Maps. It’s curious timing considering that just a few days later on June 11, Apple is expected to unveil the future of its iOS Maps app — an app that’s rumored to ditch Google Maps as its data engine.
Apple’s event, its Worldwide Developers Conference, or WWDC, has been on the calendar for ages. Could Google be responding to buzz about Apple’s new mapping strategy by sliding in a mapping announcement of its own, right before Apple’s grand reveal?
The timing of Google’s June 6 press event does seem a bit strange, especially considering the company’s own yearly developer mega-event, Google I/O, is less than a month away. Charles Golvin, a Forrester analyst, says the timing of the Google Maps event — right before WWDC and broken out from I/O — could reasonably be interpreted as a move to steal a bit of Apple’s thunder, especially if Apple does actually dump Google Maps.
Nonetheless, Google can’t act merely on spite. With a room full of press, Google will have to show off something impressive, he says.
“It’s likely that the relative timing between all these events has a role here, but Google wouldn’t just have this event to rub Apple’s nose in something, and they wouldn’t have a Google Maps-specific event if they didn’t have some big news to share,” Golvin said. “And they might not want to risk whatever they’re going to announce being lost in the flood of news that will come out of Google I/O.”
While neither Apple nor Google have made any announcements regarding Google Maps’ future in iOS, it’s only a matter of time before the two companies split their mapping ways, Golvin said.
“It’s reasonable to expect that all the pieces of Google in the iPhone would diminish over time, especially as Android continues to grow, and Apple and Google grow as rivals,” Golvin said. “But even so, Google Maps is a powerful product by itself. With the presence of Google Maps on every Android device, even if Google Maps loses its presence on Apple’s iPhone and iPad, it will still be the most popular map app on mobile devices and on the web.”
At WWDC this year, Apple is expected to introduce iOS 6, the latest version of its mobile operating system for the iPhone and iPad. IOS 6 is widely expected to feature a new Maps app that sources mapping data from the OpenStreetMap Foundation instead of Google Maps, which has been Apple’s Maps app partner since the iPhone was introduced in 2007.
As for Google’s June 6 press gathering, it promises the following: “At this invitation-only press gathering, Brian McClendon, VP of Google Maps and Google Earth, will give you a behind-the-scenes look at Google Maps and share our vision. We’ll also demo some of the newest technology and provide a sneak peek at upcoming features that will help people get where they want to go — both physically and virtually. We hope to see you there.”
Gadget Lab will be there. And at WWDC. And at I/O too.
Tools For The Internet – This Blog Will Help You Explore Tools For The Internet
Tools-For-The-Internet – Tools-For-The-Internet