Yeah, there's really no good reason this announcement wasn't done at I/O. Even if Apple had made a spectacular maps announcement, it's not like Google would have lost any more or less marketshare in the two weeks before the event had they just waited and polished.
You are probably exactly right. I also get the feeling that they are trying to get ahead of the Apple event. I do want to add, though, that I get the feeling that this is also partially an effort to avoid an even worse situation: looking like a me-too, like what's happened with voice and Siri. Now it turned out that voice isn't yet as big of a thing as all you blogger-types said it would be, but I think in this case we know that maps will be important. What this announcement prevents is Apple announcing some set of mapping features, the blogs declaring Google Maps as "behind" or "dead" and then Google being forced to announce the same thing but looking like they are copying.
Edit: Disclosure: I am doing a Google Summer of Code project this summer, so Google is providing me with my primary source of income right now.
To quote Crocodile Dundee "You call that a knife? THIS is a knife". Google was laying out the framework for what a map platform is, guessing that Apple won't have ticked all those boxes. more here if you care http://prioleauadv.com/archives/301
Apple Maps don't need to be as nearly as good as Google Maps.
Knowing Apple and their douche bag attitude, they will integrate iMaps so much into ios that no matter how much it sucks (and I have a feeling it will pale in comparison to Google Maps data) ios users will be forced to use it.
Every address you click will load in iMaps, every restaurant you search for will land in iMaps. Yes Google Maps will come to ios as a stand alone app in the app store, but we all know Apple will do anything it can to cripple Google Maps ability (because x is not allowed in ios apps).
I expect Google Maps to continue being the best mapping system on earth. But that wont matter, in ios you get what apple gives you and if you pick another solution they will make life hell for you (iMaps will always be the default option). Or Apple might just cripple the Google Maps app, either way say goodbye to Google Maps on ios for the vast majority of ios users. But hey that's the price of a lock down prison ummm I mean 5 star hotel.
I absolutely agree with +MG Siegler on this one. It was out of desperation. What were they trying to convey? 3D? Offline? They could have floated "3D - coming soon" just as it is. And for offline, they could have used IO stage.
Cant believe a company with 6 years of head start in mapping is leaking in pants even before announcement. #wwdc2012 #google
+MG Siegler you could take the google maps event many different ways.
1. We knew this was coming, were better than you at Maps, we know it, you know it, the world knows it, try and do better. 2. Were are scared and this is a hack job preview (Flying a fleet of airplanes doesn't seem like something they started doing yesterday).
It all depends how you view Apple and Google. We all know how you view Google.
Well just a simple idea, but what about letting People Decide what they like best? Goggle. Apple. Samsung. Htc. Windows. Mac. Who cares? If they fit my needs its ok. Sometimes its really that simple.
+MG Siegler I was underwhelmed by the press conference too. Most of it was on the past of Maps.However, they were demonstrating the comprehensiveness of the map framework and eco-system. Most people just go Gaga over Apple when they come out with something. Atleast this time a few more people will be aware that THIS was done before Apple and be Meh.
I don't understand why people are Apple-bashing or +MG Siegler -bashing here. Google clearly seems to have thrown together this event without anything to introduce or clearly demo. There's not much of an announcement. It's more of a "THIS IS WHY MAPPING IS HARD and We've been doing it for AGES" kind of a presentation. It's like they're hoping to put developers in doubt of Apple Maps (when/if it does come out) so the devs wont readily just jump ship. Sadly smells of desperate. I expected more of Google :(
+Arvind Gautam Totally not new. At best incremental and unworthy of a Press Conference. However, had this NOT been done, next week Apple's Maps would be christened by Apple and the media as the next coming of Christ.
You don't need a wireless signal ... you need a GPS signal. If you're visiting a totally different region ... say Europe from US or vice versa you'll want to hit WiFi at least once so Google updates the relevant GPS data. Once that's happened, you just need a visible skyline.
Apps like GPS Status (as well as a solid dot in the location service icon) will indicate when GPS satellites have your location.
You're still right though, it's doesn't work all the time and won't work without a visible skyline.
+Daniel Roca My argument was not based on Apple having a better product. I couldn't care less what Apple introduces BEFORE it introduces it. I don't support technology for the brand..even though I still am a Google fan. I was just saddened by what seemed like a desperate attempt :(
Competition is great for the customer. Regardless of how Apple comes out of the gate, they'll push the Google Maps team to do their best work and vice versa. Obviously Apple won't support Android, but Apple should allow consumers to have the choice to leverage Google applications on iOS if that's their choice.
Google Nav/Maps on Android destroys the service on iOS. Hopefully iOS users will finally have turn by turn!
More "massive greatness". I've taken dumps that have been more massively great than your writing. Easier to flush too. Great spin, spinster - once again proving instead of having your finger on the pulse of technology, you only have your finger in your colon.
You honestly think Apple is going to come out with this world beating software product? History suggests this isn't really in their core competency. If it was designed to push google out of ios, and it sucks, well then Apple is on the road to implosion - proving that many decisions coming out of there are going to be bad ones. Maps are one thing, but do you think it will be better than the turn-by-turn nav on Android? I highly doubt it.
By Google beating Apple to the punch here, it's not desperation. Apple is going to have a big conference about it, and Google can now say "*Yawn. Dudes. We covered this last week (and we're STILL better at it than you)*". Basic marketing / business idea - something you CLEARLY don't understand. Offline maps for Android and 3D modeling, along with all the experience + future integration with Zagat/Latitude/Google Places (which I'm sure is in the pipeline) will surely beat any kind of Apple product in the map space. Unless Apple / Facebook team up, Google can easily add social layers to their maps as well. Competition is good and will make the products better.
Anyway, you're just guessing (as usual - and hedging your bets): "no one knows much about the Apple maps product yet — it could very well suck". You're just throwing crap against a wall seeing what sticks and inciting people. You're like one of those carnival monkeys that you see that stop every 20 seconds to masturbate. Good until all the wanking starts, and it becomes annoying and you just want the music to stop.
This announcement was certainly done to one up Apple, but there's no way Google just threw this feature together as a response to Apple, they probably were both just developing it. Other people can have the same ideas as Apple ya know...
" ...One curious thing about the announcement of the event is that it invites were sent out as Google’s Eric Schmidt took the stage for his keynote at Mobile World Conference. Coincidence? Or was Apple distracting the world while Android was trying to gain the spotlight? "
Google has nothing to worry about siri has brought crapple lawsuits by how many ppl due to its lack of function apples never had anything really 4 phones all the same os a small damn screen and an endless non customizable ugly ass sea of icons.. Every droid is different thats y it will always be better its what you want in your phone. My evo will forever be better than the iphail
+MG Siegler, I like reading your stuff (a lot), but it's probably best that we, uh, reduce the frequency of these Apple v Google posts. No one should be concerned with what Apple's doing with mapping, just as there was no real threat in Siri. It's reasonable to suggest that it'll be some time before Apple perfects whatever it is they're trying to achieve with 3D maps anyway. I love both companies (and own a fair share of devices from both of them), but Google has nothing to worry about. Their mapping department is comprehensive - maybe even world-leading.
+MG Siegler I love how if Apple does a similar thing they will raining on Google's prade, but if Google does it they reveal anxiety. You Sir are a world class hypocrite. I like how you play the role just because it gets you the popularity. Amazing facade, brilliant, just brilliant.