Changes to Google Maps API
On 11 June 2018, Google will be rolling out some changes to the maps API. No of these changes are groundbreaking or to the benefit of a developer. These changes are just damaging to the Google maps API, in my opinion.
Apart from an increase in the price of using the Google Maps API, there are many more and none of them are great. Below is a list of what is happening to the APIs with these changes:
- The 18 separate APIs that are currently on offer are being consolidated into three segments, these are Maps, Routes and Places. (No changes have to be made to the current code)
- The Standard (no access to customer support) and Premium plans are being merged into one pay-as-you-go pricing plan. The new fee structure is outrageous, to put that in context Google is raising the prices by more than 1, 400%.
- All projects will need valid API keys and will cut all Keyless support.
- You can no longer use the APIs in the first place unless you create a billing account and hand over your credit card information to Google. This goes for all users, even those with a simple map on one page of their site.
- Just to make matter worse you will only receive $200 of fee usage per month. To put that in context, those using Dynamic Maps will only get 28, 000 free loads per month compared to the current 25, 000 loads per day.
- Google is protecting Andriod app developers from these changes and not charging for mobile Native Static Maps and Mobile Native Dynamic Maps.
Alternatives to Google Maps API
These changes will have a huge effect on location-based small businesses, as these functions will simply not be in the budget for them. So maybe it is time to change to a different Maps API provider. Here is a list of alternatives:
We have always known that the search engine giant had its eyes set on making Maps its next billion-dollar business, but when Sundar Pichai shared thoughts on how the company plans to get there, he neglected to mention it would be looking to capitalize on its near monopoly in the market. It is time to start researching the best alternative to google as quite frankly this is just not affordable for most developers or small businesses.
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