Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Prediction: Apple Will Approve Google's GPS Navigation App

There you have it.  Apple will approve Google's new navigation app and everyone in the mobile world will be better for it.

Today, Google sank the hearts and minds of the GPS navigation industry with its own free navigation software for its Android device and said it will have the same offering for iPhone users if Apple approves.

Initially, I was going to tease this post with a title about Apple maybe striking out Google.  First with the Latitude app and then the Google Voice app.  But I couldn't go there because Apple will approve Google's navigation app.

As you probably know by now, Apple and Google have started taking shots at each other publicly but since Android's debut, Chrome OS, and Apple's app rejections (though some would take Apple's line that it continue to study Google Voice), things does not appear to be rosy between the two.  Now, there are no e-mails or anything definite to say that even a cold war between Apple and Google has started.  But folks can connect the dots.

In this instance, I am not sure how Apple can say no to a mobile experience that enrich iPhone users and even make the GPS app market more competitive.  Google's offering will be free which may force other navigation app developers to lower their prices.  Sure, Apple is likely to lose out on some revenue should app developers cut prices but that's the nature of the market.  And it'll certain force developers to be more innovative and add features to their apps.

Now, it isn't without precedent that Apple has rejected app for reasons no one can understand.  However, remember Podcaster?  It was rejected because Apple said it duplicated a function on the iPhone.  Months later, it came out with its own podcast function in the iTunes app.

I bring up this point because a map service company this summer leading many to speculate that Apple was thinking of replacing Google's map app with its own.  But like of Apple's moves, you don't know what they're going to do until they do it.  Perhaps, Apple do intend to replace Google's offering with its own in the future.  But that's months if not a year or so from now.  Until then, Apple can ill-afford to alienate its users by denying them free services and apps.

And speaking of alienating, Apple, Google, and the whole wireless industry are currently under the watchful eye of the FCC.  During the latter part of the summer, Apple, Google, and ATT were summoned by the FCC to explain why the Google Voice app was rejected.  That matter does seem to have been cleared up yet.

So, Apple isn't going to give the FCC to open up another front into its business by rejecting Google's navigation app when there are plenty of other apps like it in the app store.

So, folks.  We will get Google's free navigation app.  It's a matter of when.  Meanwhile, I look forward to experiencing it when T-Mobile updates my G1 with Android 2.0 which includes the navigation function.

Here is a video of what Google has to offer iPhone users.  And yes, iPhone users.  We want this!

More at Appleinsider, Engadget, Techcrunch (vid of Droid in action)

Note:  Okay, we'll see the nav app from Google in the app store.  I'm wondering if just maybe we'll even see Latitude slip in there somehow.  But I could care less about Latitude since I don't use it at all.

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