Thursday Apple Rumors: Google Maps Cut Over Voice Directions

Apple wanted the feature, Google wasn't willing to provide it

By Christopher Freeburn, InvestorPlace Writer

daily apple rumors AAPLHere are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:

Deal-breaker: It appears that voice navigation was the key issue that prompted Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) to dump Google‘s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Maps app from iOS in favor of an in-house developed maps program, AllThingsD says. Sources say that voice-guided turn-by-turn directions were not included in its original deal with Google. Voice-guided instructions mean that users don’t have to look at their mobile devices while driving. When Apple attempted to get Google to introduce them to iOS, the Internet search giant balked. Apple apparently felt that voice directions were a significant enough selling feature on Android-based smartphones that it could no longer leave it out of iOS devices. Unhappy to leave Google with so much control over a critical feature, and unable to convince Google to implement it on iOS devices, Apple ended the contract a year ahead of schedule, catching Google by surprise.

Owning Siri: Apple has filed a patent application covering the technology and features included with its Siri voice assistant, AppleInsider notes. Siri, which interacts with users on a limited basis, was the primary selling point of last year’s iPhone 4S. In its patent application, Apple says Siri “engages with the user in an integrated conversational manner” to locate information and perform services. Among the inventors named in the patent was Siri co-founder and former president Dag Kittlaus, who departed Apple last year. While Apple has touted Siri’s capabilities in a number of TV ads featuring high-profile celebrities like Martin Scorsese and John Malkovich, critics have called Siri’s performance, slow and spotty, and say it doesn’t work as promised.

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Icon Skirmish: Apple has lost another court battle over patents, ITProtocol notes. This time, Apple wasn’t contesting smartphone and tablet patents with Samsung or Google’s Motorola, but rather icon design with Myspace, the formerly popular social media platform whose success was eclipsed by the rise of Facebook (NASDAQ:FB). The U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board refused to grant Apple trademark status for the icon representing its music app in iOS. The board noted that the icon looked too similar to the music icon trademarked in 2008 by iLike, which was later purchased by Myspace.  Apple can still appeal the decision, but hasn’t indicated whether it will do so.

For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.

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