Google Adds 250,000 Miles of Street View as Apple Tries to Improve
(NEW YORK) — While Apple is apologizing for its new Maps app and trying to mend the glitches, Google is trying to stomp it into the ground.
For those who haven’t been following the mobile maps war between the two tech giants: Apple’s new maps app in iOS 6, which was released in September, replaced Google Maps for the iPhone and iPad. It was quickly criticized by many users for its lack of certain features — but more so for mistaken locations and jumbled images.
Thursday Google announced that it is releasing the biggest update ever to its Street View feature, which gives users a view of what places actually look like from cars dispatched by Google to photograph everything they pass. The company has doubled the number of images in Street View images, adding 250,000 miles of road from around the world.
Listed on Google’s blog are places where they have added more Street View coverage. Some are in the U.S., but most are abroad, in places like South Africa, Denmark, Japan and Spain.
Google has even added places like the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taiwan and Stanley Park in Vancouver.
“Street View, as you know, is a useful resource when you’re planning a route or looking for a destination, but it can also magically transport you to some of the world’s picturesque and culturally significant landmarks,” Ulf Spitzer, the Street View program manager, wrote.
Apple’s new Maps app has been criticized for lacking anything like Street View, which is very helpful when you want to see a place without going there. While Google offers its Maps service via its mobile website for the iPhone, which includes Street View, it doesn’t yet offer a full mobile app in Apple’s App Store.
Two weeks ago Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, apologized for the glitches in the new maps app. Apple also directed people to Google’s Maps and provided instructions on how to create a shortcut to the Google Maps website on the iPhone or iPad home screen. Apple has been releasing updates to its offering, which fix glitches like distorted landmarks.
“Apple should have kept our maps,” Eric Schmidt, Google’s chairman, said Wednesday night at the 92nd Street Y in New York. “The fact of the matter is they decided a long time ago to do its own maps … What Apple has learned is that maps are really hard.”
Interviewer Walt Mossberg asked if Google would release a dedicated app for the iPhone. “I don’t want to pre-announce products,” Schmidt answered.
Google has been rumored to be planning an app for the iPhone before the end of the year, though Schmidt did say that it all would depend on Apple’s approval of it.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio