Skyhook – the location services outfit that was booted from both Google's Android mobile OS and Apple's iOS – continues to work its way back onto phones through third-party applications. On Tuesday, the Boston-based company announced that MapQuest's free Android application has embedded the core Skyhook location service engine, …
Meet Google, the old Microsoft
"Last year, Skyhook sued Google, claiming that Mountain View strong-armed its Android partners into dropping Skyhook in favor of Google location services. According to the suit, Andy Rubin – who oversees Google's Android project – told Motorola co-CEO Sanjay Jha that if the handset manufacturer didn't drop Skyhook, Google would remove official Android support from the devices. This would mean that Motorola could not use the Android Market and other proprietary Google services or use the Android name."
Hmm... sounds a lot like what Microsoft used to do to computer makers back in the 90s, forcing them to only ship PCs with Windows. But we all know better, Google does no evil. *rolls eyes*
"...and it was due to be included with Android as well, but both Google and Apple chose to replace the service with their own location systems"
One has to wonder just what type of licensing terms (money) Skyhook was seeking in order to be shrugged off by both Apple and Google. The "we'll just collect the data ourselves" mentality likely didn't surface because the Boss was seeking to save a few cents a device....
Google/Android and Apple/iOS are going in the same direction.
They don't see any advantage in having a 3rd party competing with their business model. For the inclusion of a small piece of software and a bit bigger database they get to build what Skyhook has proved in principle. And it gives them new patent opportunities.....
Or have I missed something?
Surely this is one goal against fragmentation that Google have scored?
Location is so fundamental a feature to a mobile platform, it seems to my mind better that this is kept to a single API and supported by the OS than to have some apps forcing a different API/product/expense on people.
Though, yes, it could be more to do with making sure the location data can go to Google.
MapQuest android app is rockin
Traffic data blows Google maps away, and app as whole is set to do the same. They *listen * to users, on things like making the god aweful search bar hideable. Google still sucks donkey dingdongs at UI, choosing to be imposing instead.
Opt in or not?
Google maps data collection is opt-in, is it not? One of the prompts when you install the phone.
Apple's is not opt-in and is unauthorised by the user. I'l love to see them have to wipe their hole db as it was gathered without the users permission.