Google opens Maps API keys to all iOS developers
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is opening its Maps API to all members of the iOS developer community, concurrently adding support for new features and functions.
The Google Maps SDK for iOS initially rolled out in mid-December, coinciding with the introduction of the standalone Google Maps app for iOS, a release necessitated by Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) decision to replace preloaded Google mapping services with its own Apple Maps platform. The SDK enables third-party iOS developers to integrate Google mapping data and services into their own apps; at launch, Google required developers to register their interest in the SDK and wait in line for approval, but with the release of the new Maps SDK for iOS 1.1, it is making the Maps API available to all interested parties. To get started, developers must enable the Google Maps SDK for iOS service in the Google APIs Console.
The Google Maps SDK for iOS 1.1 also touts support for ground overlays, gesture control and geodesic polylines.
The free Google Maps for iOS app is highlighted by turn-by-turn voice navigation, a feature absent from the preinstalled iOS version because of multiple disputes between Google and Apple, as well as vector-based map images available in 2D or 3D views. Google Maps also integrates live traffic conditions, public transit data and details on more than 80 million businesses and points of interest, complete with Street View and Business Photos images, contact information, user ratings and reviews.
More than 10 million Apple device owners downloaded the Google Maps app in its first two days of App Store availability. Apple's own Maps app became the target of enormous criticism after consumers identifying dozens of inaccuracies including missing roads, misplaced landmarks and mislabeled businesses; Apple CEO Tim Cook later issued a public apology for the project, vowing dramatic improvements. A revamped Apple Maps remains under development.
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