Tag Archive for ‘PlaceBase’

Apple Taking Maps to the Next Level ➝

According to a recent Apple job posting, they are looking to hire an iPhone software engineer to help them “take Maps to the next level.”

From the job description:

The iPhone has revolutionized the mobile industry and has changed people’s lives and we want to continue to do so. We want to take Maps to the next level, rethink how users use Maps and change the way people find things. We want to do this in a seamless, highly interactive and enjoyable way. We’ve only just started.

The specificity of this job description is interesting. But, this it is especially interesting given the current status of Apple and Google’s relationship.

Apple acquired mapping company, PlaceBase a few months ago and will likely be using their maps in future iPhone mapping apps, leaving Google out in the cold.

Apple has always developed their mapping application in-house, only collaborating on Google in terms of hooking into their Maps API (likely in a closer way than many other applications are allowed, I’m sure there is a lot of communication between Apple and Google during this apps development). But, since Apple developed the app themselves they could relatively easily switch their source for maps without wasting a lot of time redeveloping aspects of the application.

Apple and Google Slowly Parting Ways

Apple and Google Slowly Parting Ways ➝

Pushpin LogoSeth Weintraub, of Computerworld, reports that Apple has purchased PlaceBase. PlaceBase is a company that made a product called Pushpin, which was a mapping API. It is possible that Apple could use PlaceBase as a replacement for Google Maps on the iPhone and iPod touch.

PlaceBase’s CEO, Jaron Waldman, is now listed as part of the “Geo Team at Apple” on LinkedIn. A team that may not have existed until the acquisition.

Apple’s relationship with Google has been souring for a while now. With Android, Chrome, and Chrome OS, Google has been releasing (or announcing) products that compete directly with Apple. This clearly can’t make Apple very happy, especially since Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt, was on Apple’s board during those announcements. Most recently Google and Apple have been in a bit of a spat with the FCC regarding Google Voice’s “rejection” from the App Store.

Oddly enough, Google has started including sponsored results in searches done with the iPhone’s Google Maps application. The sponsored results are shaded yellow (as they are in Google search results) and appear at the bottom or top of results pages.

Google and Apple are both incredibly innovative companies and I hope that this breakup isn’t detrimental to Apple and Google’s products.

Google Un-Redacts Its FCC Filing
Apple, AT&T, and Google Respond to the FCC

Update 10/14/09: Google has announced that Art Levinson has left Google’s board. Levinson will remain a member of Apple’s board. There is obviously tension between Google and Apple, this is one of the last ties the two companies had to one another (aside from the obvious bits of technology used in Apple’s products).

Update 11/30/09: Apple Taking Maps to the Next Level