Bing Maps update forced onto last Google Maps hold-outs
There are a few advantages to how Palm structured the Google Maps app to be stored in the cloud and downloaded practically every time you launched it. For one, it was a true “cloud app,” and that allowed Palm to update the app at will without requiring any changes to webOS itself. Since the launch of the HP TouchPad, HP’s been on a Bing Maps kick, pushing it out as the default on the Pre3 and then offering Bing Maps as an app update for everybody else, adding Enyo framework support to all webOS phones in the process.
There’s a flipside to the cloud app scheme – HP can also turn it off. Such is the case today, as the Google Maps app is simply no longer functional on all webOS devices. While this is partly a case of HP forcing an upgrade to their preferred Microsoft-sourced mapping partner, it’s also a case of Google changing things and giving HP a path to follow their heart. As we noted in our post last month about the Bing update, Google was planning to phase out support for the Maps API used by the webOS app, so without an update from HP it would have stopped working anyway. That day has come.
Regardless, if you want to use Google Maps on your Pre, Pixi, or Veer, you’re out of luck. Firing it up now returns a white screen with a message reading “Please tap here to update to the new Maps app.” Sure, you lose Google in the process, but you’re gaining Enyo.
Thanks to CMahy and evacaf for the tips!