According to Bloomberg sources, Google is looking to throw in a $1 billion bid for Waze, possibly portending a bidding war between the search giant and Facebook, which is also rumored to be eyeing an acquisition of the social mapping service.
Nearly a year after Apple introduced its own Maps service in iOS 6 with Flyover 3D satellite views, Google is expanding its own online Maps to support similar 3D satellite imagery, with the same sorts of buckled roads and visual distortions Apple was castigated for last summer.
In the midst of its Google I/O developer conference, the search giant showed off a redesigned version of its popular mapping app, one that will heighten the competition for Maps supremacy on Apple's iOS mobile platform.
Waze, the social mapping and traffic service that Apple once recommended as a potential alternative to its own iOS Maps solution, is reportedly in talks with Facebook about a possible acquisition by the networking giant.
Eric Schmidt doesn't hold a grudge against Apple for developing its own rival mapping program for iOS, but the Google chair does seem to think the iPhone maker would be better served with his company's app as the default for its devices.
An in depth comparison of the development frameworks behind Apple's Maps and Google's finds pros and cons in both, but highlights Apple's as more mature, less limited and recommended for most third party app developers.
Apple has been quietly updating its much maligned iOS Maps app over the past weeks, adding Flyover support for 15 new cities, while updating 3D building rendering, turn-by-turn navigation, points of interest and other tweaks for many others.
Google on Monday rolled out an update for the iOS version of Google Maps, adding contact searching and saved addresses. A separate update for its Chrome browser, gives iDevice users improved search functionality and browser navigation, as well as better sharing features.
Recent job postings from Apple indicate that the tech giant is still looking to expand its team to address quality issues that sprung up when it switched from Google's mapping system to its own in-house Maps app.
Officials in Victoria, Australia are pointing at Apple's much-maligned Maps App for causing dangerous inaccuracies in a bushfire information app, saying that problems with the mapping service make it difficult to determine exactly where fires are when alarms are received.
In an update to its Jobs at Apple webpage on Monday, Apple posted at least ten advertisements for positions within the iOS Maps team, suggesting the company is looking to make major enhancements to its proprietary mapping service.