Google has allowed this to happen by:
1. not cultivating a better relation with Apple as a top vendor for Google Maps through iOS Maps (eg denying Apple turn by turn)
2. not having their own Google Maps app for iOS in anticipation of Apple’s switch
It seems they can only fix the latter. Google already has native Earth, Latitude, Places and Zagat apps for iOS, they should be kicking themselves for not being ready to roll out a separate native Google Maps app ASAP. To me that would be worth the marketing on the level of their Chrome browser campaign. I hope they are working on it ASAP. Competition is always better for the users and although Google Maps mobile web version now includes a full set of features, the Google Search App for iOs is a lazy “all of the bookmarks above” linking App.
So apparently, with iOS6b Maps there is neither street view nor transit directions for all devices. The real immediate punch in the gut for Google is that it does need access to the millions of Apple iOS (ipad, iphone, ipod touch) map users they no longer have access to as a result of this change. I doubt the newly Google+’ed Zagat app or Places will replace what all these users loved about iOS maps using Google Maps API or what Android users love about the awesome Maps application on Android. Traffic updates partially depend on active map users and without a bunch of iOS map users, Google’s traffic quality may deteriorate (although I think they user other geo-mapping services like NAVTEQ and/or TANA (aka Tom Tom) to supply real time traffic info as well).
Transit is a must have for me in Philadelphia, in the North East and when travelling. I am going to use it today to go to a graduation party, not just to know what Regional line I am getting on (you learn the lines fairly easily), but to know the exact time I need to walk out of my house and to the nearest Regional Rail stop. I used it on the Muni in San Francisco to go from the Mission District to the Ferry Building or to take the train from the airport to downtown. I guess they believe most iOS public transit riders will just use the excellent HopStop in conjunction with iOS6b Maps in the meantime. Even then Street View still helps me finish off these trips in full confidence. It’s a big feature deficit.
In addition, you have to have Siri to have turn by turn, so neither of my iOS devices (iPad 1G, iPod touch 32G) will be eligible for that. That is fine, but just saying this is a major phase out of those devices and that gives Google an opportunity to develop a native, full featured maps and directions app that can operate on all iOS6 devices, not just iPad 2 and up and iPhone 4S. 3D is beautiful, but I don’t fly a helicopter, street view is the 3D vantage point I desire and 3D is only on iPad 2 and up and iPhone 4s regardless.
In the end, even when looking at the detail of the actual street maps, Google Maps on Android is the one product on my Android phone and tablet, still running Android 2.x, that is still far superior to the Apple offering (and iOS maps with Google Maps is also better). The features I would get from Maps on an iOS6b device are “look at my swag” not “look how dependent I am on this” features. Especially when Google is finally adding offline maps (a feature Nokia’s Map’s have had for a while).
Google is the mobile Maps king, but Apple is selling too many new and fully upgrade-able devices that won’t feed data to Google Maps when iOS6b hits for any current supremacy in the Maps department minus involvement in the default Maps app to be any consolation to Google. Over 95% of Android users have never used the latest Android version “ice cream sandwich” after months after release while 61% of iOS device users were on the latest version two weeks after it was released. That means when iOS6 drops, 2 weeks or so later, 60+% users of iOS devices will no longer have Google Maps while 90%+ of Android users will be using an OS designed for 2 years ago. If Google wants to continue to rule Maps they need to have an actual Google Maps app in the iTunes store before most users forget the difference or Apple’s Maps App gets enough features post beta that it makes iOS users forget they ever needed a map from Google.