Google plans to reinstate Maps access for Windows Phone users

Daniel Bader

January 6, 2013 11:19am


On Friday, Google ignited a torrent of criticism and no shortage of support for its decision to redirect Windows Phone users looking to use Maps inside Internet Explorer. Google’s decision came after declaring the HTML5 version of Google Maps compatible with only WebKit-based browsers, which comprise the default apps on Android and iOS. The experience, Google claimed, was not optimized for Internet Explorer 10, despite the fact that, until yesterday, users of Microsoft’s latest mobile OS had been using Google Maps without issue. But working and performing well are two separate matters altogether, so Google felt just in making the change.

Now, however, the company has slightly muddled its view. While not committing to creating a version of Google Maps, either native or in the browser, for Internet Explorer 10, it does plan to deliver a “better experience,” though it may take some time to implement. The whole drama reeks of diplomacy — Google was likely hoping few would notie, or wouldn’t make as much hoopla as they did — since it’s obvious that the company has spent a long time optimizing its map software for WebKit-based mobile browsers.

Microsoft, too, has no shortage of options at its disposal, including an excellent native Bing Maps app and, for Nokia users, an even better Nokia Maps version. In fact, Bing Maps is considered by many to be Google Maps’ equal in terms of accuracy and performance, and Nokia Maps and its partner software Nokia Drive rivals Google Maps for Android and iOS in terms of features. Google, already reluctant to develop for Windows Phone, likely sees no benefit to creating a version specifically for a comparatively minute user base. Nevertheless, it has decided to do something to amend the situation.

“We periodically test Google Maps compatibility with mobile browsers to make sure we deliver the best experience for those users.

In our last test, IE mobile still did not offer a good maps experience with no ability to pan or zoom and perform basic map functionality. As a result, we chose to continue to redirect IE mobile users to Google.com where they could at least make local searches. The Firefox mobile browser did offer a somewhat better user experience and that’s why there is no redirect for those users.

Recent improvements to IE mobile and Google Maps now deliver a better experience and we are currently working to remove the redirect. We will continue to test Google Maps compatibility with other mobile browsers to ensure the best possible experience for users.”

The above statement was provided to the media inquiring about yesterday’s incident. It’s also interesting to note that another non-WebKit browser, Firefox Mobile, was singled out as an example of a browser that, while not providing an ideal solution for maps users, works better than Microsoft’s. The statement says a lot with a little.

The term “shenanigans” has been thrown around over this and other recent Microsoft-Google spats. It seems you can’t go a week without hearing about another flare-up between the two companies; it was only last year the same could be said of Apple and Google, now practically pals in comparison.

It all makes for rich chow for the press, but in the end consumers lose, and that’s what we’d like to see far less of in 2013.

Via: The Verge

  • blackkey

    Honestly I didn’t care, as a WP8 user I just used Bing maps any time I actually needed a map.

    • Google is the new Apple

      ahhaha Google has become everything your nerds were against!

    • Tyco

      This is interesting. Oh by the way, RIM Is dead.

      RIP RIM

    • Tyco

      Oh, and Android makes my bum hurt.

    • babablacksheep

      Yes Google is the new Apple, exactly!

      These Fandroid sheep are bigger sheep than Apple sheep! Apple at least is up front with most things. With Apple, their devices are the product, it’s simple

      Google though is pulling the woll over the eyes of all these Fandroid sheep. With Google, these Fandroids don’t realize THEY are the product. A human product, a piece of meat. Android devices are simply a tool for Google to track the sheep with. That’s why Google flooded the market with Android.

      Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    • Tom

      Is Bing maps really so good? I’ve used it in my browser and on my Playbook and found it to be quite bad. (I’m scared about the idea of BB10 relying on Bing Maps.)

      And, if it is so good, why are people so upset about GMaps not working in WPhone browser? For mobile, an app is really better then browser for something sophisticated like maps. How can GMaps in browser even thouch Bing native app if Bing Maps is now so good?

    • babablacksheep

      ^

      People are upset because it’s the PRINCIPLE. If Google is allowed to do this, then there’s no telling how far they’ll go with their evil greed and manipulation.

      I could care less about actually using Google Maps, but the PRINCIPLE of the matter is that Google was using their monopoly position in an illegal way in this case. Now they’re flip flopping and have lied about it to try and weasel their way out of it, and to not have the authorities on their back about it.

  • Twosee

    RIP RIM!!!!! :D :D

    • xenrobia

      You really should seek professional help; I mean what kind of whacko spends all their time on such an inane pursuit.

    • Dave

      There should be a way to ban these users IPs in the future for such stupidity.

    • xenrobia

      I think Mobilesyrup should report this individual to the authorities. Can you imagine what such an unbalanced individual as this might do if they had access to firearms? I’m serious, this person has very serious emotional/mental issues that need to be dealt with.

    • The Authorities

      For posting “RIP RIM”?

      HAHAHAHA

    • xenrobia

      @The_Authorities: Yes, obviously this person has a manic obsession with the demise (the death) of RIM as witnessed by repetitive nature of the comment over the period of how many month now and it’s to the point where they are posting in totally unrelated threads. What is going to happen when this individual comes to the realization that their obsession will not be realized? I think the consequences of ignoring such disturbed behaviour could be quite dire and I think that Mobilesyrup should supply the IP addresses of this individual to the authorities so they can trace the physical address and get this person the help the so desperately need.

    • The Authorities

      @xenrobia,
      What is going to happen when their obsession IS realized and RIM declares bankruptcy? This individual will likely smile, celebrate and then finally go away. This should happen within a matter of months. Stay calm, and be bold.

    • xenrobia

      This isn’t about RIM, this is about the obsessive behaviour of one individual. What do you call it when someone repeats the same activity over and over and over and over again for no apparent reason? Those are the kind of behaviours that are associated with individuals that are emotionally, or mentally incapacitated. And this person has been exhibiting such behaviour far too long for my liking.

    • The voice of reason

      @xenrobia
      Twosee is just a harmless troll… All of your messages directed towards him/her show a lot of rage and hostility. This is exactly what the trolls are hoping to accomplish here. You have 2 options… either ignore him or continue to dwell over it in which case members may start to question YOUR mental health.

    • xenrobia

      @The voice of reason:
      I don’t see the hostility, but you are correct in that I should ignore this individual. I should really address my concerns directly with the management of Mobilesyrup.

  • InfinitiGuy

    Google is putting resources where it makes sense. WP8 has a very small user base and a very slow adoption rate compared to other platforms.

    • babablacksheep

      The sheep scale is very high with you

      Baaaaaaaaaaaa

      You must believe every word Google shoves in your eyes.

      What a good sheep you are, baaaaaaaa

    • IjustGotaTan

      Go back to your confined Apple walled garden. It’s not safe for you to wander outside.
      BTW, try to come up with something original, we all know who the sheep users are. The rest are awakened and know what choice really is.
      Baaaahh

  • GENERAL WONG

    I thought the mapping capabilities of WindowsPhone was one of the main selling points to transition over?

    Seems extreme for people to need to view a desktop version of competing products mapping site on a 3.5-4.5 inch screen.

    • Frederick Edwards

      for clarification: bing maps is now powered by NAVTEQ which is owned by Nokia. Nokia location services are divided into multiple applications which are only provided to Lumia devices but licensable to other OEMS. Samsung and HTC have not chosen to license the Nokia apps. That being said, if you have an HTC and Samsung device, Google Maps was and will be useful for location services like transit.

  • Dani Sat

    It should be noted that blackberry and Palm browsers are also Web-kit based, so this is a mobile standard which Microsoft had yet to support.

    • Brad F(anboy)

      @Dani HTML is a standard. CSS is a standard. Javascript is a standard.

      WebKit is not a standard.

  • gnote

    why bother catering to the <1%???

    • Tom

      Same reason they install 5-step mini-excalators at your local gym, so that fatasses like yourself could have a chance at normal life…

    • gnote

      “mini-excalators”?

      I’ve never seen those at the gym before. You must use them as you seem to know what they are. Or maybe you’re just a r****d and can’t spell. Either way, you are on ignore. LOL

    • Tom

      You can ignore me, but you can’t ignore the extra large pizza you consume by your lonesome every day for lunch. Don’t forget the garlic bread sticks, with gravy on the side!

      ;)

  • tardis

    To Tyco, TwoSee, The Authorities or whoever you are…
    Being able to freely post comments without signing up is one of the great features of this website. Please don’t ruin it for everyone else by continually posting d*****s comments to the point where MobileSyrup will then require everyone to ‘Sign Up’ first with a valid e-mail address before posting.

    Thank you

    • babablacksheep

      ^
      Keep continuing to use Google’s spy tools as “products”. Keep being Google’s product, you sheep.

      Baaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    • babablacksheep

      That comment was directed at Dalex

    • Dalex

      Ummm what? Try being more eloquent and non repetitive. Also, sheep? What are you twelve? Rest assured I’ll keep on using good products in the future. If Google was actually bored enough to feel the need to spy on me, they can go nuts, I don’t recall having anything to hide.

      Until then, enjoy using your crippled crappy excuses for products.

  • Oldschool

    Looks like your precious Google are a bunch of jealous dictators just like Apple.

    I hope RIM and Microsoft put both those fools in their place this year and remind the world who was here first.

    • GENERAL WONG

      Palm was here first, and they got buried.

    • babablacksheep

      That big baby Eric Schmidt has built up a lot of karma over the last 20 years working at deadbeat companies like Novell and Sun, and mark my words, Google will become a deadbeat company if Schmidt continues to be allowed to make decisions.

      Schmidt really needs to be put in his place!

    • Dalex

      RIM sure, because they are a Canadian company… Microsoft? Really? Microsoft is nearly on Apple’s level of douchebaggery, except at least Apple has an idea on how to be insanely profitable and market their products. Microsoft is just an archaic amateurish company that thinks that for their products to succeed, they just need to shove the wads of money they built with their desktop monopoly of the PC-era at their uninspiring products.

      No thanks… Keep your overpriced Surfaces and ecosystem defunct Windows Phones.

  • Brad F, Brad F(anboy), jack

    All 18 WP8 users are happy again.

    • Brad F, Brad F(anboy), jack

      @babablacksheep

      That includes you. You should be happy now.

    • Brad F, Brad F(anboy), jack

      LOL.. 18 Thumbs down. What are the odds of that?

  • Too Late

    Too late. They already showed they are not reliable and trustable. I’ve switched from gmail to outlook.

    • GENERAL WONG

      you think nobody cares? lmao, youre not even a flea in google’s eyes

  • Dylan K

    So Google supporting their maps in a competitor’s device that has been slow to adopt, that they make no money on, after deciding that it doesn’t run the way they would like it to, makes them tyrants? Holy cow.

    Be happy they are bringing back support for it.

  • Gareth

    To me its conspicious that Google are unblocking only their maps, which already has better options on the windows platform (Nokia and Bing, although Bing is often based on Nokia which owns Navtec).

    The real news would be if they decided to unblock access to youtube API’s from windows phone, since that is the only monopoly they own with no real good alternative out there.

    Google are definitely making sure it is in a monopoly position too by dropping video searches and just making them youtube searches, rivals are not welcome on Googles platform

  • Michael

    F Google.

  • Vengefulspirit99

    all these people hating on Google… They seemed to have forgotten that Google is a company not a charity… They will pull the plug on anything that is not profitable or useful in any sense. Google is here to make money not satisfy your needs. if Bing works so well, then why are people complaining?

  • lol

    Don’t be evil my a*s

  • Imrightyourewrong

    What a bunch of sad, pathetic nerds you Google hipsters are.

    The truth is out there, yet you’re too blind to see it. Google is using you as a product. All of Google’s silly services that were/are in perpetual beta testing. Google doesn’t even care enough to beta test their products properly, so they use Google users, you as in their product, as the beta testers, so they don’t have to test it themselves.

    Almost everything at Google is always some hobby project or experiment, and at the end of the day it all goes back to ad revenues for Google. With Android, Google has also been not only illegal in its market flooding actions, but also been completely sycophantic in sucking up to all you tunnel vision nerds with Android, and how “great” it is to tinker. Google loves you Fandroid nerds because you too are their product, and you are the beta testers for new versions of Android.

    You hipsters need to realize you are only a TINY minority of the world population. Most people just want their phone to WORK, and WORK RELIABLY without tinkering with it. Out of the box Windows Phone just works. Iphone just works as well. Android requires a lot of tinkering and messing around with for it to reliably work day in and day out. Plus average Android phone hardware quality is worse than iPhone or Windows Phone average hardware quality.

    • Tyrone Biggums

      such nerd rage driven drivel that has nothing to do with the article.

  • Tyrone Biggums

    The irony is rich when WP users play the monopoly card.

  • swizzlerz

    Google maps for Athabasca Alberta is wrong. wrong map wrong roads not even a good satellite image.

    Bing maps for Athabasca works. all roads are right. and even has high quality satellite images.

    I use Bing maps always on my phone. I only used the Google maps one time to get a buss rout for a friend to txt them the buss times.