Google launches Maps SDK, offers iOS developers alternative cartography

Google launches Maps SDK, offers iOS developers alternative cartography

Mountain View's mapping service is back on iOS, but Google's cartography team isn't content with launching a standalone app: it wants to worm its way into other developer's apps, too. Leveraging a URL scheme, Google Maps' iOS SDK allows developers to call up its own navigation application in favor of iOS 6's offering. The SDK also demonstrates how to perform a quick check to make sure Google Maps is installed, allowing apps to default to Apple's solution if it isn't found. Developers looking for a more integrated solution can request access to API keys that will allow their apps to natively utilize Google's cartography in 2D and 3D views. It's a subtle hand to play, but the updated SDK gives developers more control over the experience they offer to users, a good thing, to be sure. Looking for access to the new API? Register your interest at Google's developer site -- it's doling out access to qualified developers as API keys become available.