During Apple’s keynote address at the Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month, the Cupertino-based company announced that it would no longer be using Google Maps as part of its Maps Application when iOS 6 is released later this year.
Apple’s decision to drop Google Maps came after Google decided to raise the prices on its Maps API last fall, a move that was unpopular with many developers. Both Foursquare and Wikipedia stopped using the APIs after the change as well.
Today, in an effort to prevent more developers from defecting to other mapping solutions, Google dramatically lowered the prices on its APIs. It used to cost $4 per 1,000 map loads, but now it will cost a mere 50 cents for the same number of loads.
Additionally, Google’s fees will now only apply to the top 0.35 percent of sites exceeding the published limits of 25,000 map loads every day for 90 consecutive days.
Sites with less usage will be able to use the Maps API for free. Google is also eliminating the differences between Styled and unstyled maps, which used to have different usage limits. Previously, Styled maps, which can be altered to suit developer preferences, were limited to 2,500 loads per day and higher prices, but that limit has now been raised to 25,000 loads per day.
Google’s pricing changes created quite a bit of upset in the developer community, so it is unsurprising that the company has decided to drop its prices after hemorrhaging important developers. This announcement also comes just before the Google I/O developers conference, and is clearly a gesture intended to re-attract devs to the APIs.