Google on Friday unveiled a new pricing scheme for its Google Maps application programming interface (API), dramatically cutting costs to developers for using its maps data.Google first indicated the 1,000 calls would cost up to $4 per 1,000 calls, but now says it’s going to cost $0.50 per 1,000 calls. Google is starting to monitor Maps API usage today.
If you have an application that regularly makes a ton of calls for Google Maps data, you’re charged for every 1,000 calls the app makes.
Google still lets developers of newer and smaller apps make calls to the Maps API for free, but once your app reaches 25,000 API calls per day for three months straight, Google will start charging you.
Ahead of Google’s I/O developer conference next week, that’s a relief for developers. Several competitors, like OpenStreetMap (employed in Apple’s iPhoto), have emerged to challenge Google’s dominance in Maps.
Google needed to create a compelling case as to why developers should be using its maps data.
Apple’s Maps app also definitely has Google a little concerned.
Apple is ditching Google’s Maps data in the next version of the iPhone operating system. With the iPhone being option one for app developers, they might be more inclined to use the same maps data that Apple uses on its phone.
Earlier this month, Google had a press event about Google Maps that featured almost zero news. It felt like one long advertisement for the service.
A big chunk of its Maps users are on the iPhone too, according to ComScore data (that data focuses on U.S.-based numbers).