We just finished watching Google’s presentation on all the updates for Google Maps.It was boring.
Really, really boring.
It was clear from the start that Google didn’t have much to say today. Most of the presentation felt like a history lesson, going over how Google Maps has evolved over the years.
It was even more clear that today’s event was a knee-jerk reaction to the news that Apple will have eye-popping 3D maps in the next version of iOS. (Oh, and Apple is going to stop using Google Maps data in iOS Maps, which is a major blow to Google.)
In short, Google announced nothing, just a few days before Apple shows off its new maps product at WWDC. The entire thing came off as insanely desperate.
Google only gave us a look at some stuff that’s coming to Google Maps soon. Nothing shown was close to final:
- Soon Android users will be able to save Google Maps for use offline. That’ll be a handy feature if you’re in a foreign country and don’t won’t to pay international data rates.
- Soon Googlers will start using funky backpacks to take Street View images of remote locations that can only be reached on foot.
- Soon Google Earth will have a gorgeous 3D images on Android and iOS devices. They look cool, but it’s clear they’re not ready. Google is still sending out planes to take aerial images of buildings and landmarks so it can build them as 3D models.
Based on Google Maps Boss Brian McClendon’s comments at the end of the presentation, it sounds like soon won’t be so soon. Google is still trying to figure out how to launch these features on all platforms.
At the end of the day, it felt like Google was just scared of a product Apple hasn’t even announced yet.