On the timing of Apple’s map switch

John Gruber:

If you think about it, it makes strategic sense that, if Apple were going to break out on its own for mapping data, they would do so while there was significant time remaining on the maps license with Google.

Develop its own mapping data before the end of the Google contract? So far, makes sense. If you’re Apple, regardless of the end, having an Apple produced Maps in your back pocket is sensible.

An all-new maps back-end is the sort of feature that Apple would only want to ship in a major new OS release…I think everybody can agree this has been a major change, for users and app developers alike — should be delivered only in major new OS updates.

Significantly weaker argument here. Apple is famously a company devoted to what’s best for its consumers, right? So you’re telling me a flat out PR and technical disaster when it comes to their in house maps functionality (Apple’s current direction) is favorable over keeping the Google contract for a few more months to work out internal Maps kinks and yes, worse case releasing the app “mid cycle”?

It’s this lack of delay that’s infuriating about Apple’s switch to an in-house Maps client. There was effective time on the clock; yet Apple rushed out a half baked client and tried to package it during WWDC as though it was a superior option.