If the other whinge bags put photo cars on the road so I can see buildings and landmarks as well (and for free) then I'd happily use them. In other words beat them with products rather than with a legal stick.
The European Commission has reportedly widened the scope of its investigation into Google's alleged anti-competitive Android operating system tactics in the 28-member-state bloc. According to Bloomberg, officials at the antitrust wing of the European Commission have fired off missives to companies seeking their views on …
Wednesday 11th November 2015 16:33 GMT DougS
They can't complain about this without complaining about the whole Android strategy
If you want to use any Google services on Android you have to use them all. A vendor like Samsung can add a Samsung Maps app to the phone, but can't replace Google Maps.
Since Google gives away the OS for free, how else are they supposed to make money if OEMs can pick and choose which services to include? Maybe Google ought to root for Apple or Microsoft to steal a bit of their Euro marketshare so they're taken below the monopoly threshold (2/3 in the EU IIRC?)
Wednesday 11th November 2015 16:34 GMT Anonymous Coward
What about Apple?
So they don't sue Apple for their lousy maps but they'll sue Google.
All this is has become is more chicken shit cowardly politicians trying to use the courts to punish American competitors of European manufacturers.
Except they ALL use Apple themselves (because all the luvies do) so they wouldn't want to upset their personal choice of phones
Wednesday 11th November 2015 17:30 GMT ThomH
Re: What about Apple?
On the contrary, they're alleging that their businesses suffered due to illegal competition from Google. The 'illegal' part being up for grabs.
In Apple's case, the business suffering part would be much harder to establish: in Europe Apple has only a 6% share in Spain, a 10% share in Italy and around 15% in France and Germany. Its 38% share in the UK hardly redresses the balance. Android's share is as high as 90% in Spain, through to more like 75% in France and Germany.
Putting aside that nobody is being sued, it's therefore a lot more sensible to look at whether Google is performing both of the things necessary to establish anti-competive behaviour — both distorting the market, and using an unfair advantage to do so — than it is to look at Apple.
Wednesday 11th November 2015 16:54 GMT Nik 2
Wednesday 11th November 2015 17:42 GMT Curly4
Unless the EU is interested in promoting antiquated technology they should be investigating their companies instead. Now I am kind of old fashion and don't keep up the latest gadgets and I use a Garmin. My son has a modern smart phone and uses google to navigate. His can update minute by minute as needed to reflect the traffic conditions whereas my Garmin does not. When I do get a new smart phone I will no longer need the Garmin (Tom Tom, etc) for the phone will do everything the gps does and much more.
If the EU gps companies ei Tom Tom etc don't want to lose business let them move into the modern world and produce a better product, one that is better than the others out there and it will have users.
Wednesday 11th November 2015 17:58 GMT Voland's right hand
They have moved
f the EU gps companies ei Tom Tom etc don't want to lose business let them move into the modern world and produce a better product
They have. Tom Tom maps are licensed to Sygic which on Android beats Google Maps hands down. I have clocked in excess of 18K miles around Europe using it and compared to it Google Maps are still (till this day) a joke. Tom tom also has its own app for Apple if memory serves me right.
Wednesday 11th November 2015 21:58 GMT ArthurHH
Re: They have moved
"They have. Tom Tom maps are licensed to Sygic which on Android beats Google Maps hands down......... Tom tom also has its own app for Apple if memory serves me right."
Maps are not the same as navigation. Sygics navigation sucks in a very major way (although the maps look nice). It is less than acceptable. There are many many better alternatives out there. (search navigation on Google Play).
TomTom has an app for Android as well. However their paranoia about map security cripples it. Like the stand alone devices updating is a major PIA.
The sooner TomTom and Garmin die the better the navigation experience will be.
Wednesday 11th November 2015 19:18 GMT Paul Crawford
Lets face it the main advantage of Google maps is it is "free" (in return for bending you over and lubing you for privacy violations).
It works well if you have a good data link, but outside of 3G+ areas, or in cities when your chosen supplier is shit at times (looking at you Tesco mobile), the result is crap. I use it occasionally and sure it is nice to have, but if I had to depend on something for daily use would not be Google's offering.
Thursday 12th November 2015 08:26 GMT fuzzie
The point behind the complaint is that all Android OEMs are forced to ship Maps. That's predominantly how Google Earth, the web site version suddenly became the dominant mobile mapping solution. You could argue that before that Nokia tried the same with their maps, but their market share was never dominant.
Supposedly Google's insistence on Google Maps scuppered Nokia's early considerations to move to Android when Symbian started to lose its lustre. I'm still a big fan of HERE maps (on Android now).
Wednesday 11th November 2015 21:12 GMT Test Man
Wednesday 11th November 2015 22:31 GMT ArthurHH
"First things first - Google Maps isn't a patch on TomTom - it doesn't matter the cost, TomTom is simply better."
Better at what? The maps are pretty and the navigation algorthms are good, but the devices and TomTom infrastructure are pants. Add to that if you buy a ToMTom device you also have to supply a Windows computer to update it, even though TomTom is based on Linux.
"Lastly, have you seen StreetMaps lately? No innovation at all. AT ALL. It's the same as it was around 15 years ago, but now even more full of ads."
StreetMaps? what's that?
I know about the Open Streetmap project and also Googles StreetView.
Don't like adds, get an adblocker or stop being a freeloader.
Thursday 12th November 2015 10:20 GMT tiggity
@ ArthurHH Cannot comment on new TomTom kit, however...
I have an old TomTom satnavdevice, I think it suffers from similar issues to iPods - lockin to file format used by first OS used to configure it.
I installed the initial software / map updates to TomTom satnav via a UNIX based system (Mac - they provided software for OSX - not sure if still the case)
Since then, if I try to update the satnav from a windows machine I cannot due to some file format issues, updates only possible from Mac.
Though must say there was only Windows / OSX software tools provided, nothing Linux specific
Thursday 12th November 2015 12:38 GMT Anonymous Coward
Friday 13th November 2015 00:17 GMT Anonymous Coward
Re: Freeloader here
> Using openstreetmaps and maps.me
Bona fide proletarians, hipsters, those who no points left in their driving licence, and anyone wanting to try that amazing experience called public transport head over to Transportr.
Thursday 12th November 2015 08:40 GMT MrWibble
Thursday 12th November 2015 11:56 GMT smartypants
There is so much more they could have done to keep people engaged. I don't feel sorry for them.
Thursday 12th November 2015 16:14 GMT strum
There does seem to be general misunderstanding of the issues here.
It doesn't matter whether Google Maps is the best of the bestest. If it deprived other options of a chance at fair competition, then Google are in breach of the law.
Some of those other options might have come up with innovations unthought-of by Google (or the very same ones it did think of), if they had had the usage that was denied them by uncompetitive behaviour.